GET WELL SOON! HERE'S HOW:
Motherhood and mumlife is in itself isolating and lonely-making. And I should know, I had my baby on a tropical island far away from my family or anyone who spoke English. On my island there were/are no midwives, no counsellors or therapists you could talk to if you were feeling a bit prenatal. And I was. Very.
Noone to oversee weaning me off my antidepressants and anti-anxiety medication. Nobody to advise me on parenting basics like changing a nappy or how to bath a baby. I had no idea how ripped apart my body would get during pregnancy and how broken my mind would feel after birth. If any form of help or advice was available to me I would have leapt at it and made besties with it.
Instead I went cold turkey on the meds and launched an international magazine simultaneously. I would sweat bullets all night and puke my guts out all day. Based on my own experience, I do feel any stress you experience during pregnancy is amplified. We experience generalised heightened sensitivity to all things and our nerves feel frayed, raw, constantly. Whether it's financial stress, family drama, hormonal flux... the list of potential triggers is endless. All, equally valid reasons to seek help.
I was so lonely and afraid and scared and desperate. If only I could have picked up the phone or sent an email to someone who would listen and could help. I can't tell you how much I wished for therapy services readily available here. You don't know how lucky you are kiwi mamas. These services are a lifeline. Please use them, they are amazingly healing. Personally, I don't like meds or how they make me feel. I recognise that at times they are a necessity for me but I would rather try to talk it out first.
Some of you are feeling frantic because there is no food in the cupboards. Some of you are have such bad anxiety you can't leave the house. Most of us have very dark thoughts towards our children that scare the bejeezus of out of us and we are too ashamed to say these things out loud... Normal, normal, normal. Noone is going to take your children away or accuse you of bad parenting. You need a safe space to download and vent and cry just like everyone else. Mumlife is legit hard af.
You are not alone. In NZ, between the ages of 15-75 (ie. our entire lives) women proportionately measure higher than men for high levels of psychological distress. This causes a huge toll on you, your family, the wider community and our economy. You owe it to all of us to get well soon! See your GP about free counselling services in your area and if needed, feel no shame in taking meds. Please consider medicinal marijuana as a gentle and safe herbal therapy and request this through your GP if you feel it could be right for you. I am always available on Snapchat - wellfitmumnz to chat.
Here are a bunch of nationwide services that can help when you are screaming and crying on the daily, even if you are doing both on the inside:
Anxiety.org.nz: 0800 269 4389 (0800 ANXIETY)
Depression.org.nz: has a helpline 0800 111757 and text service 4202
Foodbank.co.nz: don't let your cupboards go bare - you have to eat too Mum!
Mental Health Crisis: if you have reached breaking point, go here for an urgent assessment
Rural- Support.org.nz: 0800 787 254 if you are physically isolated, reach support in your area
If you think you or some mum you know might be experiencing feelings of desperation, emotional distress or showing warning signs of depression or anxiety, please share this post with them. Alternatively, drop me a broken heart on my latest IG post to let me know it resonated with you. Sending love and hugs to you and your family right now <3 Katy xx