Then & Now


When you’re in the grips of a Perinatal Mental Illness nothing exists except that terrible moment; that fear and that sadness. But a brighter future does exist…and recovery is possible.

Then, I was terrified of being a mum. I felt an unspeakable urge to run away. I wondered if my son would be better off without me….Now I can’t imagine my life without him.

Then, I couldn’t sleep a wink for nights on end. I imagined I’d be a lifelong insomniac…Now I could fall asleep standing up with a toddler hanging onto my foot (this has happened).

Then, I was having panic attacks several times a day….Now I can’t remember the last one.

Then, I had frightening, violent thoughts about hurting myself or my son…Now I’ve learnt to barely even notice my thoughts at all, weird or otherwise.

Then, cuddling my baby boy made me feel trapped, panicked and uncomfortable….Now I don’t let go until he does.

Then, the future stretched out like a terrible abyss and every new day felt like a chore…Now I look forward to tomorrow.

Then, I worried how I’d take care of my son and every upcoming milestone felt like a choking responsibility…Now I’ve weaned, potty trained and watched him grow, and I feel confident about raising him to be a good man.

Then, I was scared of anxiety returning, and that if it did my world would end…Now I know it can return, and likely will, but I can face it with strength and defeat it once again.

Then, I wondered if I loved my baby…Now I tell him every ten minutes, and it’s the easy truth.

Then,  I feared I wasn’t enjoying motherhood…Now I don’t really care if I am or not. Some moments are amazing and some are hard – but all are fine.

Then, I wanted to be the perfect mother…Now I just want to be me.

Then, I wanted to die…Now I’m really living.

Look forward to your now. And in the meantime, reach out for help and support.


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35 comments on “Then & Now

  1. It’s so good to come out the other side.

    I don’t know about you but I think that one thing I have lost is my innocence. I never expected to experience those frightening thoughts and feelings, and they literally knocked me for six. Sometimes when I’m feeling vulnerable for whatever reason for example recently when I was in the throws of a sickness bug, I get scared those feelings will come back. There is nothing like the terror of being trapped inside your own head. However I’m happy to say that despite all the worrying I have done about it, it hasn’t happened and like you I am now sleeping well, enjoying work (dare I say) and generally getting on with life. I do get ‘scary thoughts’ from time to time (my main anxiety was that I would do harm to my beautiful daughter) however I am able to dismiss these thoughts in a way that I couldn’t do before. I think it’s because I love my daughter so much that I worry about the most irrational things. That’s what I meant about innocence being lost, two years ago I never entertained these thought’s – I guess that’s one of the ways that mother hood changes you! Good luck & keep writing xxx

    1. I could have written that myself! It’s definitely a loss of innocence and I actually wrote about that in my previous post (The Big Decision). Sadly, there are some dark places of the mind that once seen cannot be unseen. But, like you say, we know how to deal with those issues now and are stronger for it. Thanks so much for reading and for your great comment x

  2. What a wonderful way to reflect on what you have been through and how you have come out the other side. I’m sure this post will be very helpful to any mum who is in the midst of these feelings right now and wondering if it will ever get better. Thanks you for sharing your heartfelt thoughts and feelings with us. #thelist

  3. I’m so glad you are in this happy place Laura. Back then seemed so dark and scary but you have got past it and that’s brill. Keep going and enjoy your boy xx #twinklytuesday

  4. You are such a fantastic writer, you have managed to convey the exact feelings experienced by a few after having a baby, with sensitivity, honesty, and beauty. I had exactly the same experience as this with my babies, and never thought I’d be in the place I am today. I’m thankful everyday that I got better.
    I’m glad I’ve found you’d amazing blog, and feel privileged to follow your journey!

    1. Thank you so much for your lovely words. You should know that anyone who compliments my writing makes me very happy 🙂 I’m so sorry you had to go through something similar and I’m really pleased that you’re in a good place now. Thank you so much for reading x

  5. Anxiety can be crippling in my experience, thanks for sharing this side of your story and your improvements now xx #coolmumclub

  6. What a powerful and inspiring post! I love your last two lines – “Then, I wanted to be the perfect mother…Now I just want to be me. Then, I wanted to die…Now I’m really living.” Continue being you, continue living! And continue writing because you are an amazing writer. #coolmumclub

  7. Wow. What a strong, incredible post. It’s amazing you are able to sit and reflect…and what’s more turn the positive into negative. Congratulations on your success of weaning and potty training. You’re doing a terribly amazing job. I read this post and felt pride! #coolmumclub

  8. This is so beautifully written. You have explained your trauma so well and how you have overcome it. Your post is an inspiration. Thank you for linking up with us your personal post on #FabFridayPost xx

  9. What a stunningly simple, honest post. I think it is a very hopeful to anyone struggling with the same thoughts and feelings…every now and again I get a flash of fear or doubt that reminds me of similar negative times after having my son and I don’t want to feel that way again, but as you said you know you can beat it. Amazing lady ## #Fabfridaypost.
    Jade recently posted…An in-depth guide for PANICKING parents with little ones, picking and starting BIG school…The leap from Nursery to Primary.My Profile

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