Searching for… me…: Have you ever sat... - Action on Postpar...

Action on Postpartum Psychosis

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Searching for… me…

Ally2303 profile image
12 Replies

Have you ever sat in a room of all your favourite people engrossed in a conversation, but somehow you feel like a stranger? Not able to participate in conversation because your mind is already full of everything (but nothingness). I’m sitting on the sidelines waiting for my turn but all I can do is observe.

I’m waiting patiently for that day when my mind is ready to let me enjoy life again. But for now it’s fake smiles and laughs until my mind has healed. I’m still hopeful that one day I will feel that enthusiasm for life again.

I want to love life again. I want to be me again.

I miss me…

💜

12 Replies
NanaJudith_APP_Vol profile image
NanaJudith_APP_VolVolunteer

Dear Ally2303,

so glad you are writing and trusting everyone here, you will find sympathy and support from lovely Mums who will know almost exactly how you feel. You have done so well, I think and come so far if you feel well enough to go out with friends. Well done and without diminishing your rightful disappointment and distress at not yet feeling like old ‘you’, try not to be too hard on yourself, you can get better. I did not suffer the awful illness of Postpartum Psychosis, my daughter did, she is well now but I do remember her distress at not being able, at first, to do the things she had previously taken for granted. Everyone is different and sadly recovery can take time and be up and down but you can get there. If you can try more so to think how far you have come and think one day at a time, take care of yourself. I hope you have loving, understanding family and friends and good medical support, confide in them when you can. Just a suggestion but perhaps you could find some activities with friends/family and babies that don’t involve too much exhausting conversation while you build up your confidence. I remember my daughter took part in a baby massage class.

Write here any time. Be kind to yourself.

Best wishes with a hug

Judith x

Ellie_at_APP profile image
Ellie_at_APPPartner

Hi Ally2303

It's Ellie here. I'm one of APP's peer support coordinators and had postpartum psychosis in 2011 after the birth of my son.

I'm so sorry you've experienced this illness too. I honestly could have written your post while I was recovering. You have written the feelings so accurately... For quite a while afterwards I felt I'd completely lost all my social skills, I felt empty, like I had nothing to share or say.

I remember too feeling very lonely and isolated, in my own mind / thoughts, that felt empty, even with my closest family and friends. I remember crying some days, just wanting to be better and myself again.

I am here now, fully recovered, fully myself. I hope that this will give you hope that you really will find yourself, and be fully yourself again.

I'm so glad you've found us, and reached out. We offer lots of different peer support, and opportunities to connect with others who have 'been there', not just this forum, if you are interested:

app-network.org/peer-support/

Take care, Ellie

The_Wes_Anderson_Fan profile image
The_Wes_Anderson_FanVolunteer in reply to Ellie_at_APP

After PP, I felt like I had nothing to say too, Ellie. Fortunately, I started to slowly recover the skills of social interaction, but they certainly disappeared for quite a while.

Rachel_at_APP profile image
Rachel_at_APPPartner

Hello Ally2303,

I’m Rachel. I had PP in 2016, after the birth of my son and I’m now part of the national team providing Peer Support with Action on Postpartum Psychosis.

My goodness, I am sending all my heartfelt support and wishes to you that this feeling will go for you soon. I could never describe it exactly in the way you have as I was living it myself. I could never find the words. I just felt lost. So to put into words the feeling so well, as you have this evening, just reading it put tears in my eyes.

What you’ve described was absolutely how I felt too when I was poorly and recovering from PP. I’m so very sorry you’re feeling as you are.

It’s horrible 😢 . And I know that I felt very isolated because of it. With hindsight I think I was sufferering with a horrible depression after the PP. But I was in denial about it at the time, and I didn’t get the help I should have.

I did, in time, get better. And the loss, isolation and vacant spectator feeling I’d experienced passed. I’ve often reflected on that. And wish I could tell you exactly how / when it passed. But in truth it was a gradual feeling of getting better. Little by little.

Spending time in small tasks with my baby, I say tasks, as whilst I didn’t want to feel like they were “jobs” to be completed with him, that’s how it felt. Motherhood felt like a list that I was just vacantly ticking my way through.

But in those moments, of tasks, I was slowly rebuilding. And I’m sure that you will be too. Try not to put too much pressure on yourself. You’ve been through such a lot. It’ll naturally take some time to heal well. Be kind to yourself. Maybe meeting in smaller groups might help. Maybe walking with close friends/family might help? There isn’t so much pressure to talk when you walk I find.

Thinking of you, and sending my best wishes. I can see that Ellie has shared the APP website about accessing peer support. I’m really glad you’ve found this forum. You’ll find lots of mums and families who can relate and I hope that might bring some comfort, even if just in a small way. It did for me, in trying to make sense of what happened.

Take care, Rachel x

The_Wes_Anderson_Fan profile image
The_Wes_Anderson_FanVolunteer

Yes, completely.For me, the anti psychotic drugs healed me by slowing down my brain.

It took quite a while for my confidence and personality to come back, but it will. I live life to the full now.

Unfortunately it isn't as fast as you would like, but you will eventually be an even better version of yourself after all this x

hope2929 profile image
hope2929

I miss me too. I miss who I was before the psychosis. You are not alone.

The_Wes_Anderson_Fan profile image
The_Wes_Anderson_FanVolunteer in reply to hope2929

It takes time but you will be back to yourself eventually. I have had psychosis twice but I did get back to the old me. X

ColibriGirl profile image
ColibriGirl

Hi Ally, I had PP in 2019 and it felt like it was taking forever to get back to myself. The recovery was slow, especially in the first year, and I wasn't sure I'd ever be the same as before. After a year things had improved a lot and I was able to socialise. Now 3 years on things are so much better.

You can do this & you are healing even though it can feel like you're stuck sometimes. I hope you find plenty of support along the way. Something which really helped me was learning self compassion from the Compassionate Mind Approach to Postnatal Depression by Michelle Cree so if you find you would like to focus on a book, I'd really recommend that one. I also had a few appointments with a psychologist during the first year. I found APP's peer support incredibly helpful too

It's such a tough time and my heart goes out to you. Best wishes for your recovery xx

Bumblebeeee profile image
Bumblebeeee

your mind is just piecing itself back together. You will get there. Just remember every day is one day closer to recovery. I remember writing that on the wall of the mbu. It’s always stuck in my head. Jusr take it one day at a time x

The_Wes_Anderson_Fan profile image
The_Wes_Anderson_FanVolunteer

I have been reflecting on this, Ally2303Once I recovered from psychosis/it was under control - my mind was quite blank.

I practiced the hairdresser techniques, like:

"Are you going on holiday this year?"

"What are you doing at the weekend?"

The more I asked people open questions, slowly I felt a bit like my old self.

I have since been blessed to be able to manage my mental health for many years. Once I recovered and got my personality back, my experience of recovering from psychosis has given me far more compassion and empathy for people than I ever had before experiencing psychosis.

Some of your friends will understand and some of them won't, but they are all friends in different ways.

Lots of love

Ally2303 profile image
Ally2303

Thank you all for your kind comments.

If I’ve learn anything, it’s that becoming a mother changes you. Whether your resistant to it or open it with welcome arms, it’s impossible to remain the same person after bringing a tiny person into the world. You experience a new high, a tidal wave of uncontrollable love that you never knew existed within you. Then within a split second your exposed to complete vulnerability; everyday life overwhelming your complete existence.  There is no balance your either up or down.

It’s not about waiting for the sunshine, I’m slowly learning to dance in the rain ☔️

💜 

DM_110 profile image
DM_110

Hi Ally2303

I can completely relate to your feeling. I had pp in Feb 2021. While I was healing my psychiatrist had said I’m going to have “a new baseline”. Basically I think she meant to say I’m not going to be the same person that I was before.

After weaning off the antipsychotic I could feel emotions again and at that point I truly felt that I’m healing. At this time I can say that I’ve completely healed and in fact doing better than I was before the pp. I’m more assertive in a good way, managing stress better, making bolder decisions and overall I think I’m better than I was before. As traumatizing as PP was, the healing and recovery from it brought forth a lot of new realizations and made me better in my self growth journey.

I hope that you start to build yourself slowly and connect with yourself better than you previously did :)

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