A moment in the dark – World Mental Health Day

A moment in the dark – World Mental Health Day

Tonight I slipped back into the darkness.

It was, in fact, more of a fall than a slip. I was like Alice tumbling down the rabbit hole into Wonderland: falling, falling, falling, wondering if I would ever stop and what the world would look if I did. My toddler is ill and my five year old forgot how to use his quiet voice and his listening ears in bed this evening. The older one woke up the younger one; I moved them in to share a room at the beginning of the week, just another fuck up to hang from my ever expanding mummy mistakes belt. The five year old settled but the toddler was having none of it. He screamed, fidgeted and fought sleep with every ounce of his being. So I rocked him in my arms like a newborn, all 11kilos of baby chub and gorgeousness. He’s an Oscar winning actor in the making, he looked peaceful so I lay him in his cot, the second he was gently placed on the mattress he started screaming and was wide awake again. I picked him up, rocked and shushed him some more.

world mental health day

Will he ever sleep? Will I ever sleep? Will any of us ever sleep again?

He woke at 4am this morning, my head had been in a fog all day and now my precious evening was slipping through my fingers like fast running water. I need my evenings, I need that child free time between their bedtime and mine to unwind, spend time with my husband, just recalibrate and be me.

Rocking, shushing, screaming, on and on it went until my tears started to mix with his. ‘This is your fault’, piped up that quiet voice in my head that I’ve worked so hard to keep quiet. As soon as I heard it, it tossed another painful comment my way, ‘Leo’s going to go to sleep thinking you don’t love him because you shouted at him instead of kissing him goodnight’. Another appeared just as quickly – ‘Leo could die in his sleep and the last thing you did was tell him off’ – and another – ‘Alex might die in his sleep and it will be your fault for not just rocking him to sleep and holding him all night’ – and another – ‘Would everything be better if I was dead?’.

Once the chest full of anxious thoughts, guilt and low self confidence burst open, it was impossible to close the lid down tight again. The negative thoughts spilled all over the inside of  my head, drowning my brain in fear and sadness and self loathing. More crying from me, more from my son, more rocking and shushing and no closer to either of us going to sleep. I got the husband to come help, eventually both kids were settled and asleep, but not before we were all pushed to the brink of sanity.

world mental health day

Tonight I fell back into the cave, I had a moment trapped in the dark place and I let myself believe I’d never be able to climb back out.  I did climb back out though. The husband and I are both fighting our own battles but we are the lights that guides each other out of the hard times, the flickering match that draws you in and will never let you leave.

Tonight I just had a moment. It all got too much and I let, for a second, my brain convince me it was all too hard to keep going. It was just a moment, I looked at my boys and my husband and I let it pass. The tough situation ended, just as any logistical brain knew it would. The negative thoughts, however, they lingered. I still hear them now, the last lock on the chest in my mind still needs to be secured. I won’t let myself live under the weight of depression anymore though, I will always be battling but I will never let it win. Those thoughts, those really really dark ones of saying goodbye to this life, I will never give in to them and, please, if you feel them too, don’t you give in to them either.

Everyone has their moment in the dark at some point, don’t for one second ever think it’s just you.

When I slip from happiness into despair, I look for my lights at the end of the tunnel, my shining stars leading me home to happiness, their names are Oli, Leo and Alex. My boys. my world, my pillars of joy and my happy place, I love them and, without even trying, they always help me get back to where I want to be.

world mental health day

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Writing and sharing for World Mental Health Day 2018

If you are having suicidal thoughts, please call The Samaritans on 116 123 for support.

If you feel like you may be suffering with post natal depression here is a list of resources and charities that can help and support you.

For my honest experience of post natal depression and articles all about maternal mental health, please visit the mental health section of my blog.

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23 Comments

  1. With Love From P
    October 11, 2018 / 7:33 am

    This post really touch me in so many ways. I have two boys, the youngest being 6 months old and honestly he’s not settling at the moment! So I can totally relate! You’re doing amazing lovely! Beautiful post ❤️

  2. October 11, 2018 / 7:41 am

    This is so very honest and well written, I’ve just written a post about my own experiences with mental health. I know how hard it must have been to share this x

  3. October 11, 2018 / 7:49 am

    Those thoughts and feelings are very familiar to me and I find are often a hundred times worse when I am sleep deprived. My children don’t sleep through the night and we are always up by 5am, it is relentless and causes the fog to worsen for sure. Keep going mama. You’ve got this xx

  4. October 11, 2018 / 2:38 pm

    I do love reading other peoples stories. There are some amazing strong people out there #coolmumclub

  5. October 11, 2018 / 5:09 pm

    Lack of sleep always makes everything seem a billion times worse doesn’t it. I’m so sorry to hear you were brought back to that difficult place, but so glad that you could see your way through. Remembering events are temporary and will change can help get you away from focusing too much on current sticky situations. Well done mama! So beautifully written xx

  6. October 11, 2018 / 5:35 pm

    It always amazes me how brave you and others are to share your story with others who may think they’re alone in their suffering. You’re an inspiration. It’s a shame you fell and had those dark thoughts but so good that you won’t let them beat you. I have full admiration for you sharing your story x

  7. October 11, 2018 / 6:31 pm

    Well done for writing this and being so honest with your readers, Wendy. This could help so many other parents. The lack of sleep is always terrible. I hope things improve soon. #coolmumclub
    Sophie recently posted…Mum Guilt: 5 Top Tips To Banish Your Guilt!My Profile

  8. October 11, 2018 / 6:53 pm

    This must have taken so much courage to write and you have been so honest. I too need my evenings and get so cross (not their fault) when they start encroaching on them so I can’t even not be mum for an hour

  9. October 12, 2018 / 7:52 am

    A beautifully honest post. Jasmine is fully waking from midnight until 4am the last few nights, no amount of rocking or feeding settles her. It’s so hard and our tired minds think terrible, desperate thoughts. Sending love from one sleep deprived mum to another.
    Marie Blake recently posted…The things they don’t tell you about breastfeeding…My Profile

  10. October 12, 2018 / 9:34 am

    So honest and beautifully expressed … so terrible the way those nagging voices attack us when we are tired and so demanded of … but we do get through it. Nice one #BlogCrush

  11. October 12, 2018 / 11:35 am

    An emotional read for sure. Honest, frank and a bold account of feelings and emotions and is a fab World Mental Health day tribute xx

  12. October 12, 2018 / 12:59 pm

    Those dark holes that we slip in seem like caverns with no escape sometimes. But it’s always worth finding a way out, no matter how bad we feel life is. Lack of sleep is a killer, but the days do pass, the kids do sleep and life does change, it’s forever changing and that’s why it’s worth carrying on.
    #blogcrush

  13. October 12, 2018 / 5:27 pm

    Oh Wendy, I think so many of us can relate to what a horrendous situation you were in, with or without the added difficulty of those anxious and depressive thoughts creeping in. I read so many positive messages about mental health this week, thank you for sharing another one.
    Take care Wendy x x
    Thank you for linking to #CoolMumClub
    MMT recently posted…How to throw the perfect Baby ShowerMy Profile

  14. October 12, 2018 / 10:03 pm

    Our boys sound very similar. My 2 year old is like a tornado at bedtime. They’re rarely asleep before 9pm. Not having an evening to unwind is really difficult, I know exactly how you feel. I’m so glad you know what your light and can see it on those dark days xxx

  15. October 13, 2018 / 3:51 pm

    You are so right! I think so many of us have thoughts like this and we suffer for it. I know I do, we all try and hide our little insecurities and traits but when you talk about them with others we often find that many have been there x

  16. October 15, 2018 / 9:55 am

    I’ve been there many times… it is so hard when you have little ones who are constantly demanding your time and attention! Sending hugs, so glad you managed to find the light x
    Sonia recently posted…#Project365 – Week FortyMy Profile

  17. October 15, 2018 / 2:18 pm

    Thanks for sharing such a raw, honest account of what the dark days feel like. Mental health is too often swept under the carpet and posts like yours really make a difference. x

  18. October 15, 2018 / 9:57 pm

    Gosh that was a tough read so I bet it was tough to write. Very honestly and beautifully written though. It’s so important to talk about how we feel and mental health. Good on you.

  19. October 16, 2018 / 8:14 am

    What a brilliant and honest post. I suffered with postpartum psychosis after having my son. I’m generally ok now but definitely still have my low days and its hard to admit. Thank you.

  20. October 16, 2018 / 7:02 pm

    It’s amazing how hard it is to believe we can get through the tough times whilst we’re in them. Yet we do. This is such a great post , you write so well about mental health #blogcrush

  21. October 17, 2018 / 8:09 am

    What a wonderfully written post, this must have been hard to share. Thank you for being so honest and open about mental health!

    Katie xoxo

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