Sometimes we are the worst people for taking our own advice.
Since becoming a mum and suffering from PND & Anxiety I’ve become a huge advocate for self-care. I didn’t really even know what self-care was until then, I suppose because before Caterpillar came along I didn’t have much need for it. My life was really straight forward. Good but low pressure job, lovely house, supportive & loving husband. There were very few stresses to worry about so you could say self-care happened regularly and without much thought.
When I was recovering from PND I realised the importance of self-care (or the cringe-worthy ‘me time’ as it’s sometimes known). Taking care of a baby or young child is utterly all-consuming, doing so while struggling with a mental health problem is even more difficult, so taking time for yourself is vital. I figured out what self-care meant to me (as it’s a very personal thing) and I became an expert at it and it helped. And I recovered.
Then I let it slip.
As I continue my recovery from this recent spell of Anxiety & Depression I have begun to look at the reasons as to why this happened. I’m a reason kinda gal. I like to have explanations for things, I like to be able to put stuff neatly away in a box. There aren’t always reasons for mental illness, of course, sometimes things just happen and that’s okay. But I’m starting to understand the reasons why this has happened to me this time. If I look back, I’m able to see clear warning signs that I’d previously ignored.
Since the miscarriage I have buried myself in my blog and my advocacy work. It was my way of coping, I suppose. I thought if I could just keep busy then I could manage those feelings of intense loss. The feelings of huge anxiety that were subsequently brought up by trying to conceive again. Keep busy and then you wont cry so often about losing your baby. Keep busy and you wont be so obsessed with your cycle. Keep so busy you can ignore the fact that every time you think about not being able to have another baby your heart beats a little faster and your palms sweat and a familiar panic creeps in. Keep so busy you forget to take care of yourself.
And this is the result.
To say I’m annoyed with myself is an understatement. I feel like a prize-winning idiot for running around writing blog posts to advise people how to keep mentally well and look after themselves when I accidentally forgot to do it for myself!
But life is about lessons, right? And I’ve learnt this one. By putting it here I hope someone else can learn from my mistake too.