It’s been a few days, a week actually I think since I blogged and the reason being I have been so, so busy and subsequently tired but here I am.
Wednesday morning rolled around, just like I knew it would. I checked my phone and there it was, blaring at me on screen, “missed call (4)“. Yup, my midwife had tried ringing four times and each time left a voice mail.
She is persistent, I will give her that.. The last time me and the midwife had spoken she had asked me to fill out a form, on which was a scale dedicated to measuring depression, so I guess let’s start there…
The form and a pen were put before me and Marta (Midwife) whisked a now-screaming Eryn away to give me time. I stared down at the form and blinked, the words began to jump around the page and my cheeks got very hot. “She thinks you’re depressed.. That you are probably crazy, she’s going to take the baby, and Eddie..” the voices began and without introducing themselves, but I recognised paranoia and anxiety very well.
I refocused on the paper. Questions jumped out at me ranging from; ‘Do you find happiness or satisfaction in the same things as you did before? ‘ to ‘Do you have suicidal or self harming thoughts?’. I held the pen and took in a deep breath, here we go.
I filled in the form the best I could and when I resurfaced from concentrating, I heard Eryn take a huge mouthful of air and begin to scream outside the door before Marta tentatively reappeared.
Panic began to set in as she handed me back my baby, who instantly silenced in my arms. I looked down at the ground, revising the answers I had circled and I felt the sweating, the shaking as my body began to lose it. I was not at all surprised when Martha finished looking and squeezed my leg. I was depressed.
I hadn’t been able to laugh as much lately, even the silly YouTube go-to videos me and Patrick loved just didn’t do it. I suddenly couldn’t remember the last time I really laughed and I felt overwhelmingly sad. If I wasn’t laughing then Eddie and Eryn weren’t seeing me laugh, or smile, and I so wanted them to. I knew then something had to change.
Martha sat back in her wheely chair and I tried to explain why I thought I felt the way I do. I went into detail about my relationship with my husband suffering at the hand of my mother in law, and how I felt isolated and worried that I would never get back to England as Eryns passport just seems so impossible to obtain.
We talked for the best part of an hour and it concluded with positivity. I was lonely, I am lonely, but by acknowledging it I gained the power to try and change it. I wanted to make my life here enjoyable, I wanted to get better, so now it was time to try.
I rejected ideas of medication to ease my symptoms of anxiety and sadness, and instead focused on what behavioural and/or habitual changes I could make that would positively enhance my experience of Sweden and motherhood.
Martha suggested, well, insisted that if I wasn’t going to accept medication I must make a change; and her baby massage group on Wednesday each week was a good place to start!
I left the appointment with mixed feelings. I felt foremost very vulnerable, Martha now knew my secrets, she knew of my loneliness.. Would she laugh? Was it stupid? No of course not, I worked hard to reassure myself. I also left feeling relieved, sure she knew my secrets and fears but now someone else knew it, the burden was much lighter, I felt someone understood.
I popped Eryn back in the sling and we met Patrick for lunch . I had pizza, and I enjoyed every mouthful. I felt relief slide over me in my seat. Relief that I had finally broken my silence to someone, that I could stop screaming inwardly to my shattered conscience about how I was feeling, I wasn’t alone.
Depression is not something you wake up and choose to be enveloped in, it is not an exclusive ticket or membership of some celebrated or glorified club, it is scary and it is real. I can attest to that now, but I can get through this and I will grow.
Over and out until next time,