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January 01, 2013 

New Year 2013

This new year has felt like the end of a very very long year indeed. There have been high points, but it has been a long road to December 31st this year. In the first few months I finally accepted that I have been suffering from Post Natal Depression. I won't talk in detail about this - it's too difficult for me to fully communicate in writing how hard it was and how much of a relief some of the recovery has been. I asked my GP for help and received it. I went to counseling and was feeling better, but after a few bad days I accepted that I would at least try anti-depressants. I cannot recommend these drugs highly enough! They have made me feel normal for the first time in a long time.

Because of the stigma associated with the drugs, in my mind taking them was admitting defeat, saying I couldn't beat this on my own. Of course I couldn't. I'd asked for help and why was I denying myself what was on offer? If I'd gone to the doctor and they had prescribed antibiotics I wouldn't have questioned it, so why was I questioning the anti-depressants. Mental health has a huge stigma associated with it, even in these so-called enlightened times and I let myself be sucked in by that. Therefore I talk about this when I can, because only by talking openly about what is happening can that stigma be removed. It's been amazing how many other people I know have been on, or are on, anti-depressants, and only talk about it when I say something.

So although my year has been long, I've learnt a lot, and I've made it to the end in much better shape than I started it in. I've had a wonderful trip back to the UK and was lucky to be at a beautiful wedding where Eamonn was catered for as well as any of the adults and the venue was perfect. I spent some time with my elderly grandparents, and some time with Eamonn's not elderly grandparents, and of course his aunties, uncles and cousins. I've watched my toddler become a little boy as his language has improved exponentially since August and his ability to think things through has grown. Although we have some epic tantrums, more often the days are full of trains and planes and automobile spotting, running through the house or the park, finding out about the world and last, but not least, numerous visits to the zoo to see giraffes, zebras, butterflies and tigers.

I can't help but feel that next year will be very different. There will certainly be a new job for Pete, and who knows what else will change. Eamonn will grow, and I will continue to be astounded by how fast that happens. I have realised that new years resolutions are pointless, but my goals by the end of next year are:

- to be fitter and thinner than I am now
- to stop taking anti-depressants
- for both of us to be happy in whatever work we choose to do

In the end, what I have learnt this year is that I love my little family how it is, and that we are resilient enough to cope with anything life throws at us, whatever and whenever it arrives.

I hope you all have a wonderful 2013, and maybe at some point I'll come back and visit this blog again!

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