De ja vu. I have definitely been here before. Different baby, different sleep issues, different impact, but same exhausted mama who has taken a while to realise something is wrong.
This is the post I wrote two years ago on Time to Talk day. This morning I posted on facebook what an awful night I’d had, and how mad it makes me when people tell me to sleep when the baby sleeps. He doesn’t sleep. That is the problem. A friend responded to my post this morning to say it’s good to share as it helps other people who may feel the same but don’t feel they can say. If that’s true, you are welcome to hear this. It’s not much of a gift but at the moment it’s all I have.
I’m not having the same self deprecating thoughts this time, I’m a more confident me as a second time parent. But I am more irritable, and sometimes, inexplicably and disproportionately sad and/or angry at the world. I am disengaged from politics, from the news, from the world at large because my heart breaks when I watch or hear what is happening to people and places.
Until recently I have only really told my husband how bad things were. I would flit between thinking I had depression on bad days, to thinking it was hormones or “just” tiredness on better days. To be honest, I’m still not entirely sure what it is. What I am sure of, is that sleep deprivation is the most wicked thing that has ever happened to my mental health and so this week, I talked.
I told my parents, my GP, my friends, my parents in law, a health visitor. I have been offered practical support, company, solidarity, medication, counselling, childcare, sleep strategies (not for me!).
I know this is a phase, I know from experience that I will survive, but more importantly I also know that it’s ok to ask for help. Granted I’m a little late to the party on that one!
Tiredness is such an inadequate word for what I’m experiencing. But I do know I feel better now I’m not trying to work it out on my own.