It’s the time of year where a lot of us start reflecting on the past year and what we want to achieve in the new year. A lot of us have big plans for the upcoming year – new year, new me – and a heap of us just want it to be better than the year we’ve just gone through.
I usually look at the new year as a chance to start over but this year is different. 2018 has been one of the hardest years of my life and right now I’m just looking to get through each day, each week, as it comes. I can’t even think about making plans for the future other than the plans to get through each day.
2018 was both amazing and difficult. I gave birth to two healthy baby boys after a difficult pregnancy and overnight we went from a family of 3 to 5. We spent the next few months in a whirlwind of feeds, nappy changes and stealing sleep here and there. We were doing well, I was losing the baby weight, the boys were thriving and I felt like I’d skipped the post natal depression this time round.
I used to joke that I didn’t have time to be depressed. Turns out depression has no time restrictions.
Since the depression hit I’ve spent most of my time trapped inside my head and overeating. I get upset or lose the plot then eat to make up for it. Each crying session is followed quickly by a binge on chocolate or other unhealthy foods. The weight piles on, the guilt adds up and the cycle repeats.
I relive the moment, handing over 0.2mls of colostrum I’d painstakingly milked for Miles who was in NICU, crying to the nurse and telling her I wanted him to have it and feeling terrible that they’d given the supply I’d built up before the surgery to Mason as his blood sugar was low. The boys were hours old, both semi unwell and already I’d had to make a choice on who got more.
I remember every single time I’ve lost it this year. The unintelligible screams of anguish directed at the twins who just stared at me, or Raiden who would cry or comfort me, both actions breaking my heart, or at the wall, into a pillow, each scream promising to make me feel better, instead ploughing on the guilt.
I’ve apologized to Raiden so many times this year for losing it. To him and repeatedly in my head. For a while there I found him more work than the twins and I yelled a lot, my expectations of him too high. I felt relief when he was picked up for daycare and dread when it was time for him to come home. I feel truly blessed that I’m still his favourite person although I think our bond is stronger now as a result.
I’ve spent countless nights lying awake, miserable then spent the following day fobbing off the parenting to Zombie so I could sleep or doing the bare minimum to keep the boys going until Zombie got home. I went months barely playing with or interacting with any of the boys because it was just too hard and I didn’t want to. I also spent that time hating myself, my life, everything.
It hasn’t been all bad. I’ve recognized the struggle at almost every point and gotten help and taken steps to try and sort myself out. Together with my psychologist and nurse I’ve got an action plan for each day of the week and what to do when things get hard. It doesn’t always work in practice but it’s better than ignoring the situation.
I’ve developed a thicker skin too. I care a lot less about what people think and I’m finding I have almost zero patience for other people’s drama which is something I’d get all worked up about in the past, especially if it affected me even slightly. It’s been a bit of a turning point for me and hopefully I can stick to it.
I don’t know what the next year is going to hold. At the moment I’m trying to binge eat less, play with my sons more and work on feeling human again. I’ve had such an up and down few months and I just want to enjoy each happy moment as it comes and push through the hard ones until I’m strong enough to cope again. Hopefully soon I’ll be capable of working again then maybe I can finally start enjoying life again instead of struggling through each moment.
Smiles and Sunshine