If we rewind about 3 years, I was a sufferer of Pre/Post Natal Anxiety. At 37 weeks pregnant, I obsessed about loosing my baby, that point should have been the time I asked for help. I told myself it was normal, which yes it was normal to worry… But not normal to obsess.
I then had my baby, but instead of enjoying it, I was scared. Scared that I wouldn’t love her, scared that I wouldn’t ever be good enough and scared that I would unknowingly hurt her.
I had these feelings but I kept them shut tight in my mind and tried not to let them show. From the outside looking in, you wouldn’t think there was an issue. My baby was always well dressed and well looked after and most importantly always loved.
But inside was another story, I couldn’t sleep, incase something bad happened or I did something to hurt either Ruby or Harvey. Ofcourse I never did hurt anyone, but the fear overwhelmed me and I didn’t trust my head.
There, the evil and ritualistic circle started, I was too scared to sleep but I was loosing grasp on reality due to sleep deprivation. When Ruby was around 5 weeks old, I had a complete frantic breakdown… Even now it’s still one of the scariest experiences of my life.
Looking back, I should have sought help. But my convincing mind told me that my baby would be taken away. So I channelled my anxieties into compulsive behaviour. All gates had to be closed, all doors locked, all electrical items turned off and knives hidden at the back of the drawer.. If these things weren’t done, I wouldn’t sleep. Because I wouldn’t feel safe enough and my mind would take over.
Months had passed and I found myself obsessively checking my own body for lumps, illnesses etc. Constantly seeking reassurance from family and friends that I wasn’t dying and that I was okay. I’d spend hours a day on the Internet looking at different diseases and convincing myself that I had them.
This form of anxiety and OCD was almost my minds own diversion from the original problem.
When Ruby was 9 months old, I couldn’t take it anymore. My whole body was absorbed with worry and dread to the point it physically hurt. My chest was permanently heavy, I constantly ached and was exhausted. Nothing would lift me, still terrified that they would take my baby away but knowing I needed help. I contacted my local counselling team.
About a month later I recieved my first session of cognitive behavioural therapy. And I’ve never looked back since.
They taught me how to correctly channel my thoughts and feelings and I finally had my grasp on reality back. I’m so truely grateful that I could be saved, I’ve seen so many stories where things haven’t been so positive.
Also without Harvey, I wouldn’t have coped. He really is my rock. I don’t know many men who would stand by their wife/girlfriend like he has.
Seriously, to any women out there feeling the same, who are too scared to seek help. Please do it, you can get better, you can find reality again.