Lets talk about mental illness!


Although we have come along way, there is still a lot of stigma and shame around admitting struggles with mental illness. I think people are far more willing to show and complain about physical illnesses. I often see people posting on Facebook about how hard it is to be a parent when you are feeling sick or pictures of soup on Instagram when people are trying to recover from colds and flu’s. Yet there is still a silence around people struggling with mental illnesses such as depression and anxiety. I also think a lot of people want to focus on the happy things, not showing their struggles both because that feels more comfortable, but also because they feel a sense of duty to have it together when other people have it worse. 

I’m going to talk a bit about my story and my struggles because this blog is about grief and pain and the hard times. Not all just cute pictures of my happy family, although there’s still a lot of that. Another thing about this story is that it’s not a bad things happen, I got sick and sad, I worked through it and now I’m stronger and fixed and everything’s wonderful. It isn’t inspirational it’s really and it is still happening and I imagine that it will always be happening. I think there will be ups and downs forever. 

I have depression and PTSD (post traumatic stress disorder). These have both been triggered by the recent loss of my beautiful daughter Elodie. This isn’t the first time I have struggled with Depression though. I have had depression once previously, before I had both my children and at that time there was no specific trigger it was just something that hit me suddenly and ended after a few months of hard work and therapy. This recent bout of depression has been far more severe though. 

I have days when I can’t get out of bed. I have times when the only thoughts going through my head are that I’m a horrible person, a horrible mother and that everyone including my family would be better of if I was dead. I’m broken and I’m hurting and I’m trying and I’m failing. It feels dark and exhausting and I think it’s never going to end. Sometimes I feel like it’s just me like I don’t have depression I just am depression. I’m just a bad person. The guilt is never ending. It’s always there in my head telling me all the things I should’ve done differently. 

It’s frustrating for my family, my daughter doesn’t understand when I don’t have the energy to play and it’s hard for my fiancĂ© to have all this extra pressure on him. I am grateful but not always kind. Sometime’s I’m ungrateful; sometime’s I just wish everyone would give up on me so I’m not obligated to keep living. I know these thoughts aren’t really me though. That’s why I’m seeking help, it’s not something I can just keep hidden or push to the side, and if I did that I have no doubt it would destroy me and my family. 

There’s no shame in mental illness just as there is no shame in seeking help. I see a psychiatrist at least once a week, I take pills to function, pills to get to sleep. Even with the pills I still can’t always be okay, I still wake up from horrific nightmares, reliving my daughters death. I’ve had hallucinations from the strength of my sleeping pills. I’ve spent time in a psych ward and it doesn’t bother me at all sharing this story, even in person. 

People often tell me I’m strong or brave to be revealing this stuff to them but I’m not at all, if anything I’m weak and fragile. I just don’t care, there are worse things in the world than people knowing your weaknesses. People may judge you and they defiantly won’t understand your struggles because they haven’t gone through the same as you. Yet it really doesn’t change anything, in fact not having it as some deep dark secret I think makes things easier. 

Sometimes it is easier not to share, like when the cashier asks “How are you today?”. It is much easier to respond with fine thanks, because it Isn’t easy to explain in a quick exchange. that you feel like your suffocating and you can’t eat and you can’t sleep and you just wish everything would stop. Still here on my blog I have such a great opportunity to share with everyone. 

There are good things that come from sharing too. Sometimes people tell you that they too have struggled, mental illnesses are increasingly common and if you haven’t struggled, I’m betting someone close to you has at some time in their life. Together we can be there for each other especially when we feel alone. 

I’d love to hear you comments or stories and if you or any of your friends and family have had struggles with mental illness?

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fun times at the lake





Today Brett, Tilly and I had a great time enjoying the sunshine at a local lake. Tilly absolutely loved the calm water and there were lots of fish to spot. 
 
You may have noticed that I'm in the process of giving my blog a new look. Writing and taking pictures is something I really enjoy so I plan to start using this space more regularly.
 

2014


I tried to go out last night. I only made it till 9 o clock but I was still proud of myself. It was only the second time I had left the house but I think I’m realising I can’t stay in bed forever. 

It was strange seeing people I knew. I felt like everything in my life had changed yet nothing had changed to anyone else. No one really said anything too, which was strange. I guess no one wanted to upset me by bringing anything up but it was still strange. 


I like hearing Elodie’s name. It’s weird when people don’t say it. I know people mean well but sometimes when they say there thinking of Brett and Tilly and I while we’re going through this loss, I want to scream. She wasn’t just a loss. She was a person. A perfect little girl named Elodie. No one is ever going to get the chance to know her and that crushes me. 


I’m still alive though and the worlds still spinning and that mean something too. I feel like I can survive anything now. 


It’s weird because I have bad anxiety but at the same time I’m not really afraid of anything. The worst thing happened to me. It was so much worse than anything I’d ever worried about before. That’s why I feel like if I survive this then I can survive anything else. 


I was just with my friends at the beginning of the evening but as soon as I met up with Brett, I knew I just needed to go home. There were so many people and it was so loud. Everyone was filled with hope and excitement and partying. It was way too much for me and I started feeling ill.


We started walking home just as the fireworks started going off. It also started raining. It was a nice moment though, walking home together with the rain and the fireworks. It made me realise that there still is love in life. 


One day there will be hope again too. 


I was afraid to say goodbye to 2013 in a way as although it was the most painful year of my life it is also the only year I will get to spend time with my little girl. 


Elodie is still with us though in our hearts and she will always be part of the family. I hope I make her proud of me. I got to live while she died. That will never be right but hopefully I can live in a way that honours her. 


I think that is the one real resolution I have going into 2014 to make her proud.

not a merry christmas











We tried to make Christmas as special as we could manage for Talilla's sake. She helped her daddy decorate the tree and I do think she had a good day. She definitely got spoiled by Santa and her extended family. We had a very small day as we couldn't cope with doing too much. She smiled lots and was very tired come bed time. 

Elodie never left our thoughts and I don't think she ever will. There were lots of tears. I hope one day we can think about her in just a happy way. 


We should have a two week old today. Instead we have paperwork and funeral decisions to make. 


It's kind of strange looking at the pictures above because they make it look like such a happy time. Just goes to show how misleading pictures can be. 


Hope everyone else had a very Merry Christmas!

i killed my daughter


The sleeping pills don’t help me to get any sleep. The painkillers aren’t doing anything to keep the pain away. The Valium isn’t doing anything to calm my racing thoughts. I think I’m in a fog, a fog that won’t let me process everything at once. A fog that makes me believe that just maybe this isn’t really happening to me. It’s been eleven days but it feels like it is still happening. 

There are some moments seared in my memory that no matter how I try to distract myself, I still feel them. I keep hearing the doctor say, “there is no heartbeat” I hear it over and over and over again in my mind. My throat still hurts from how much I screamed. It was a different kind of screaming than I’d ever done before, I was screaming from something far far worse than any sort of physical pain. 

Why? 
There are no answers. I may never get answers. I spend all my time obsessing over medical journals and finding all these statistics. Such as having high thyroid antibodies triples your risk of placental abruption – why was I never told this? I read that folic acid plays an important part in healthy placentas and wonder if it is because I took my pre natal vitamins too irregularly. She was never an active baby and I wonder why I didn’t act any earlier. 

I killed my daughter. 
I killed my daughter. 
I killed my daughter. 

I repeat it again and again in my mind. How do I live with myself knowing that she is dead. I think back to one week before her birth. We had a scan and she was perfectly healthy, the radiographer even mentioned that she was measuring exactly right for her due date. She told me the reason I hadn’t felt many kicks was because my placenta was in front of the baby. I asked her if that was normal and she said that my placenta looked perfect and was in a good position. How could things deteriorate so much in one week?How could there not have been any warning signs?

I was never one of those stressed pregnant ladies. I was calm and excited. I wasn’t even the slightest bit fearful of birth just excited. I don’t understand how this happened to me. I don’t know how to understand. I don’t know how to be a good mum to my other daughter. I look at Talilla and I see her do all the things that Elodie will never get a chance too. I think about the amazingly close sisterly bond they missed out on. 

Elodie will never feel the sun on her face.
She’ll never get her first set of teeth.
I’ll never get to comfort her after she scrapes her knee.
She’s never going to take her first steps.
She’s never going to say I love you mama.
She’s never going to get to fall in love.
She never even got to take a breath. 

 How do I live the rest of my life knowing all of this.

i held you every second of your life



We had a beautiful daughter named Elodie. She was born sleeping on the 12th of the 12th at 4.12am. She weighed 2.35kg and was 45cm long. She has thick dark brown hair, dark blue eyes and is absolutely perfect. Brett and I couldn’t be more in love with her. She will always be a part of us and forever missed.

day at the park





We've been making the most of the summery weather lately, by spending lots of days at nearby parks. Tilly is always a million times happier when she gets to run around outside.