This is my story…

Author:  Emmay Day  (for PNDA Awareness Week) This is the face of postnatal depression and anxiety. Well, one of them. It’s the face of crippling self-doubt, relentless self-hatred. It’s the face of throbbing guilt and constant, constant failure. I know, because it’s my face. This picture was taken during the most difficult time of my life. But you wouldn’t know, would you? Like a lot of parents with postnatal depression and anxiety, I was very good at hiding it. After all, here I was holding this beautiful, healthy, thriving baby – my very own “bundle of joy”. What right did I have to feel miserable? What was wrong with me? It’s a question I spent a lot of time considering, because as far as I could see, I was the source of the problem. Parenting was not supposed to be like this. Just look at all those mums out at cafes, beautifully dressed, their babies sleeping in the pram beside them or gurgling happily over a toy. They were managing. They were able to get their babies to sleep. Their babies weren’t screaming all the time. Surely that’s what motherhood was supposed to be like. It’s roughly what I expected. Sure, I’d heard a few comments about how life changes. I knew I wouldn’t be getting much sleep, but until you experience it, I don’t think anybody really understands the bone-aching exhaustion that comes from having your sleep constantly interrupted, night after night. I was no different. I heard “you’ll be lucky to get out of your pyjamas before lunchtime.” That didn’t sound too different to the odd lazy...