PND : I’ve lost me.
I won’t forget the overwhelming sadness and sense of guilt that I had about feeling that I’d totally lost myself after the birth of my baby. I wanted my old life back. My pre-baby life. A life where I was in control. I had no responsibility and total freedom. I felt bound by this new human to give him everything I had. I couldn’t just leave the house when I wanted. It was now a time in my life that I had to put someone else’s needs first, at every choice I made.
Then stream of negative thoughts began.
Why am I not happy? Every other parent is happy? I must be selfish. I just want to go back in time. I want to be alone.
Then the guilt starts.
I must be a bad parent if I just want my old life back. I should be thinking of my baby, not myself. My baby needs me, why can’t I think about him first.
Becoming a parent is massive, there is no denying it. It’s actually okay and totally normal to want your old life back. It takes time to adjust, just as it takes time to get used to a new workplace or moving to a new city. Be kind to yourself and take note of what a massive change you have gone through.
It’s normal to grieve your old life. It’s normal to cry. I think it’s all part of the process and healthy to allow yourself to grieve what you have lost. This grief may hit you straight away or it may take longer but there is bound to be a period when you just want to go back in time.
I don’t think I can over emphasize that this is a totally natural reaction to having such a massive change in your life. It’s ok to feel this and it’s also ok to talk about it – to your friends, your partner, your health care provider. You might see that they also feel this way or understand how you are feeling. Let’s try and open up to others and be honest that parenthood is not all smiles.