Welcoming a little one into the world is one of the greatest times in your life – supposedly.
Which is why it’s so hard for women who suffer from postnatal anxiety and depression – one in ten in the UK, in fact – to talk about it.
But not Kristen Hewitt, a journalist and blogger, who recently took to Facebook to remind other women who experience postnatal anxiety that they aren’t alone.
Reminding her fans that real life is “messy” and “hard” as a opposed to what we see on TV and the internet, the post has clearly struck a chord with other women after gaining more than 1,000 reactions and hundreds of shares.
“Today has been a rough day,” she wrote.
“I’ve been feeling well lately, taking care of myself, and been relatively calm. But today anxiety won.”
“Today anxiety told me I couldn’t leave my kids to go on vacation with my husband because the plane might crash.
“Today anxiety brought me to my knees in tears that wouldn’t stop for hours.
“Today anxiety had me hiding in my room, afraid for my kids to see me so upset.
“Today anxiety made me believe I wasn’t good enough.
“Since suffering from a traumatic birth, PTSD, peri-menopause and postpartum anxiety disorder I’ve never talked about this emotion. I was afraid others would think I was weak. I was afraid people would know I’m broken.
“But I’m not, just a little banged up.
“Just as it came in a monstrous wave taking over my being, it’s once again gone. An emotion fuelled by my thoughts. And it’s time for us all talk about this.
“Women – we change after having kids. Sometimes it’s depression, sometimes anxiety, sometimes both. But we need to confide in others and get help. Process what’s happening. Find the root and try to heal.
“Sometimes I feel better meditating, or writing. And like today I just needed to be held, to be reminded I wasn’t alone. I needed to journal and remember to find my own divine light and love that’s always inside.
“What we see on TV, the internet, the news, it’s not real. Every person you know has something. We show our best on social media, carefully curating the content we want the world to see. Hoping not to soil our ‘reputations’.
“But this is real life. It’s messy, it’s hard, it sometimes is too much to handle, but even at its worst it’s still beautiful.
“My hope in sharing this is to let anyone who may suffer from depression or anxiety, or some other illness know – you are not alone. You are not broken. You are LOVE.
“And so am I.”
Hewitt most certainly isn’t alone as the post has been flooded with positive comments including women recalling similar experiences.
“As someone who has suffered (and still does) from anxiety, I can relate to all of this,” one commenter replied.
“It can be debilitating even with self-care, but facing it head on lessons its grip. Thank you for being so open about this.”
And another said: “I get it. I’m super anxious.
“I don’t talk about it much but I think it helps to let people in and help them understand what it’s like to have these feelings.”
Others had their own words of wisdom to share:
“We need to build each other up, and not just during the ‘bent times’,” one person wrote.
“Thank you for sharing your thoughts, your feelings. Such raw emotion. We tend to forget ourselves because we look after others for so long.
“We place such an insignificance on us that we bend a little more every time the wind blows. We need to be branches for each other.”
Read Hewitt’s full blog post here.
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