A Letter To The Ghost of PND – by Leigh Watters (PND Nerves)

I still feel you.  You’re like the Elephant in the room.  The black dog in the corner. A cloud hanging over me.  Quite frankly a bad smell.

Leigh Blog

I gave you almost of 2 years of my life. You stole the early days of my eldest son’s life from me. You made me question my ability as a mother, made me push my husband away at what should have been one of the happiest times our lives.  You pushed me to the limits of my sanity and had the potential to cost me my marriage and my baby.

We’d struggled you know, TTC for a number of years, had the tests, sought the help and finally after months of fighting for hospital referrals, weeks of tests (some of them invasive),  and after what felt like forever we got our BFP!  We were overjoyed! I wasn’t great at being pregnant.  The sickness lasted much longer than I’d anticipated and I lost 2 stone in the first trimester.  By the middle of the 2nd trimester I had developed SPD and come DD I was finding it difficult to walk.

Eventually after 40 weeks and 3 days I delivered a healthy, beautiful little boy and almost immediately there you were.  It was like you were the Grim Reaper lurking in the corner of the delivery room just waiting to kill off our joy before we’d ever really had time to feel it.  Granted it is well documented that I chose not to admit you were there until 6 months later, but nonetheless there you were.

Minute by minute, hour after hour, every day, week after long week.  Sucking the life out of me.  Making it impossible for me to love my boy, crushing the soul out of me, stopping me from taking any pleasure in anything.  You did those things, not me.  You turned me into a monster I never dreamed it was possible could exist.

But I beat you.  It took medication and a lot of talking.  Talking to family, friends, my work colleagues and a counsellor; but bit by bit I banished you. I drove you further and further back until one day I couldn’t feel you any more.

I found me again, I loved my boy, I loved my husband and we talked about the possibility of making my beautiful little boy a big brother.  I was nervous.  I still am.  What if you came charging back into our lives and stole me away from another baby?  It was a difficult decision.  It took us months to weigh up the pros of having another baby to complete our family against the cons of you and the possibility of me not being able to beat you a second time.

You know what though?  I have. I think I will always be a bit nervous about you lurking.  I spent a few months of my youngest’s life worrying that every bad mood was a sign of you taking over.  Every cross word an indication that I was slipping down the rabbit hole again. Then I realised that if I worried about it too much I could worry you back to life in a horror story like self-fulfilling prophecy.

So I refuse! I refuse to let you come any further into our lives.  Lurk there in the corner if you like but the corner is as far as you’ll get. My happiness is not yours to take.  My enjoyment of motherhood is not yours to spoil.  My marriage is not yours to chip away at the foundation of.

It’s my life.  You made me a ghost once but it won’t happen again.  I don’t believe in ghost stories anymore.

Signed PND Nerves..


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