The battle for acceptance

It’s truly ironic that I blog about depression and advocate on social media to break mental health stigma and yet when it comes to accepting my own battle with PND and anxiety I still have a long way to go.

Most people find diagnosis to be a helpful turning point, and it was for me too in a lot of ways because it was the beginning of treatment and recovery. But it also stuck a huge, icy shard of terror, and if I’m being really honest, shame into my heart.

After a long struggle I began to make peace with PND. I told myself it was just this one isolated problem and I was getting treatment and it would be over soon, and I could forget all about depression and get on with my life.

And I did. Life was pretty good for 18 months. I came off my medication, I bid farewell to my therapist. I told myself that I would happily turn back to both options should I need to but in my heart I desperately prayed I wouldn’t. This was “just” PND, just because I had a baby, and sure it may come back if I have another baby but otherwise it was over.
What a bloody fool I was. Anxiety reared it’s ugly head again and I think the reason I have struggled to claw my way out this time is because I’m so damn angry and bitter that apparently it wasn’t actually over, and there’s a chance I may have to deal with depression and anxiety for the rest of my life. I know this isn’t definite and I’m working hard to manage my thoughts and symptoms but it’s tough, and it’s made tougher when I battle against the fact that I have a mental health issue.

But I’m getting there, I’m making slow progress on dealing with this fact and accepting that yes, I struggle with depression and anxiety, and given that my son is 2 years old maybe it is regular “garden” variety rather than PND. This is a hard fact to get my head around but I know from experience that the more I resist, the more I struggle, the worse I feel. So I’m trying to move towards full acceptance.

In the meantime, I’m separating the illness from my core being and my life. It’s something I have to treat and deal with but it’s not me. I can still live my life alongside it. I can still count my incredible blessings. I can still enjoy my son.

The best thing to come from the last couple of months is the glimmer of hope that when (when not if, when not if) I recover again I will feel much more comfortable in my own skin than I did before.

Does anyone else struggle with acceptance?

3 comments on “The battle for acceptance

  1. I struggle with acceptance everyday. “Do I really have PND or am I just depressed?” “Was I like this before my little ones birth and just didn’t realise?” I have some periods of feeling like I have conquered my illness and feel confident it will never return, but then the storm clouds start to roll in and I know I am in trouble. Like you, my little one is nearly 2 years old but I find myself constantly asking “will this ever end?” “Is this it now? Is this how it is going to be from now on?”. It is undoubtedly very hard to come to terms with it all…..but we WILL, one day. And until then, we have the support of each other and all those other amazing Moms who are on the same journey too xxxx

  2. I too struggle with acceptance. Perhaps of a different kind. I’d never really suffered with my mental health until my son died in December 2014. I’ve spent my whole life being strong but this has shown me how vulnerable I am and how fragile my mind is. I cannot accept my son’s death. But I have accepted that I am not only grieving but I am depressed. Therapy, medication, meditation well being you name it. I’m stuck. Know how you feel. Lovely piece xx

  3. I dont have depression or pnd but i def feel down from time to time. We cant all be up 24/7. I dont understand why we need to label things in order to feel justification for how we are feeling. More power to you for talking about how you feel to me thats the real cure.

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