Well today seems as good of a day as any to start. I mean, I thought about starting when I returned to some kind of regular Internet reception, but hey, the 27th of December is a great date. My husband, 5-month old and I are enjoying warm weathered, post-Christmas camping in our recently acquired caravan in regional New South Wales.
The 27th of December was the day that, a year ago, I was pregnant with our first child (sex unknown), and my new husband Mr. A and I were camping and four-wheel driving our way around Tasmania on our honeymoon amidst my bouts of morning/day/evening sickness and unmedicated, but diagnosed depression.
According to my Facebook memories, three years ago on the 27th of December I was travelling along the Murray River west from Yarrawonga to Mildura with my partner, Mr. A and our dog, Punk. Facebook also reminds me that it was five years ago that I was enjoying this time with my family in the same regional town we are currently camping at, during a break from my residential address in a remote Aboriginal desert community in Australia; an address that until 5 months ago, I staunchly believed that I would return to within in the next five years with my new family.
I can say without a doubt that five years ago, two years and not even one year ago would I have considered that I would feel like I do today with postpartum psychosis or severe postnatal depression as it i known in Australia. On this day, I feel as though I have lived multiple years during the last 14 months since the conception of our son, Master X; that this current life is day number three of the antipsychotic Risperidone for my recovery from postpartum psychotic episode, a development of postnatal depression which is not really depression, but that is not really discussed in the perinatal education of conceiving, pregnant, post natal education of women, partners, family, nor it seems, within the community of workers who are supporting these families.
The impact of this day is the realisation that my world has been irrevocably changed from my experience as a new parent, that the experience has not merely shifted, but rather shattered my previous values and that today, I am open, wounded, bleeding and confused about who or what I am supposed to do.
I do not feel that this is caused by the birth of my precious, beautiful, heart-stopping, life-changing Master X., but rather the trauma of a system of community and society that is not conducive to a safe and supported entry into family-hood for those who are mentally-ill.
If you or someone you know is experiencing thoughts of suicide please contact Lifeline immediately 13 11 14