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That Mother Nature; she is one clever lady!

Pregnancy and motherhood is the most natural and wonderful life changing events a woman will go through.  When you are pregnant for the first time there is a blissful ignorance of what is about to come. It's the most beautiful, romantic time and it's all hope and happiness.  You can't quite imagine what it's going to be like, but you know it's going to be beautiful! You feel your baby move and your heart is filled with love and excitement and you haven't even met them yet but you already know that you are carrying your world with you. It is not coincidence we all feel this way; it is by design.  Right from the word go their is a powerful force responsible; she is called Mother Nature.
When your baby arrives, and let's face it ladies, labour is one hell of an eye-opener! It's nothing that you could have imagined and it's hard to describe. Mother nature makes it so you can just about cope, you can bear it, so that you will be so filled with relief an…

Psychosis Happened to Me

I have bipolar, I have suffered with it since I was a teenager.  Like many I wasn't diagnosed until I was in my twenties.  By the time I was diagnosed my life had effectively stopped.  I couldn't leave the house, I was frightened of everyone and everything.  It started out with a bit of paranoia, that the person across the street was looking at me, that everyone was judging me, that people were talking about me.  It grew and grew into something that was out of control.  I started to think people were bugging my house; listening to me, recording my conversations, that there were people following me, watching my every move, they wanted to hurt me.  Looking at it now with the knowledge about mental health that I know have I can see that my anxiety was causing my mind to have these glitches, moments of irrational fear,  But at the time it was so overpowering and I was so alone that it just kept growing until I could hear and see things other people couldn't, I could hear a computer hard drive whirring in my room; the one they were using to listen to me,  I started to see outlines of figures, they would glow in bright lights and at some point I began to believe these were angels and demons; there forms grew into more detailed figures, I don't know why I believed that they were either an angel or a Demon but it is a belief I still battle today.  Totally irrational but as time went on it became a core belief; one that is difficult to redefine now.

In time I got help, medication, talking therapy and knowledge and things improved.  These beliefs were shaken a little and reality set back in to a kind of normality.  These experiences lessened and the even stopped for a long time.  But I am not free; when I am tired and anxious I am most at risk and once every blue moon I still see these 'Demons'.  Their glowing red eyes, and snarling features, they skulk in the dark and the shadows, intimidating, threatening, their whole existence is purely to punish the weakness they feed on in my mind. Creating fear, because it is the fear that they thrive on as it is fear that causes irrational thought - just as it does with spiders,flying, or heights.  As I become frightened my mind becomes more irrational, more certain there is something there.  It has only really started again in the last 12 months because I came off my medication to get pregnant and as life has a a habit of doing it became difficult to manage, I got stressed out and lost my job.  The biploar mood swings began to accelerate and they began to become more severe and as I struggled to settle into a new job, I finally got pregnant.  Only to suffer with Hyperemesis which can bring the mentally strong to their knees.  It was during this time my anxiety grew again and due to sickness I became isolated and housebound for weeks and weeks which allowed the paranoia to creep its way in and then they came again.  Those nasty visions that torment me when I am at my lowest point.  When they arrive the fear I feel is real, the total terror of seeing them is real, the need to be protected and to protect those I love is real; and yet they are not real.  They are a product of a weary mind, a mind that is so plagued with anxiety the neural pathways have short circuited. Causing a momentary malfunction, a glich in the system.

I cry, I shake, I may panic and shout out.  I beg my husband to help me, to be rid of them.  And as swiftly as they come, they are gone.  Leaving me shaken to the core, beside myself with fear and feeling angry at myself for letting this happen again.

It is hard to manage and stay well as a new mum.  I am obviously weary with 5 months of sleep deprivation and anxieties around the well being of my son and those normal first time mum nerves.  These things naturally make me vulnerable, I also have worries about returning to work, child care, money etc like all other new parents.  My biggest protection is my medication, but that is limited at the moment.  I can't take the full dose I need as I breastfeed my son and they have a sedative side effect which makes me feel zombie like during the night; so I reduced the dose enough to keep me on an even keel but not enough to protect me completely when all the factors align (stress, anxiety, tiredness).  Last night was the first time I experienced it as a new mum.  My fear was heightened because I wanted to protect my son, I sent my husband to pick him up and make him safe; which he did to reassure me.  It was after he was in my arms I looked at his little sleeping face and saw how peaceful he was.  I then realised I had let them back in and I needed to get a grip again - those thoughts, I gave them credit when none was needed, I validated them and I can banish them again.  Those Demons only exist because I allow them too.  It is not that simple in reality just to make them go away and never return because my brain has an input that I cannot control but I will strive harder to manage the risk factors - take a rest when I can, practice mindfulness, take a moment to relax and talk about my anxieties and fears without letting them dominate.  When I no longer breastfeed I will re-evaluate the medication.  But right now I need to be kinder to myself, 99.9% of the time I am just like everyone else and I am happy and well; that 0.1% does not define me. This is a blip, nothing more and nothing less.


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