Thursday, 7 July 2016

Who is that girl I see? - Losing myself to PND



This week I had somewhat of a breakdown. Whilst driving and listening to the usual sounds of the 'Now that's what I call Disney' album, one song made me sit up and listen. I can't tell you how many times i've heard it before but on that particular day, it really struck a chord. Perhaps it's because that day I was letting my PND win. I was having a bad day. I was sad, things weren't going well at home. It had been one bad thing after another. After fighting my anxiety off and deciding to try and attempt to turn the day around, I got the girls in the car and we headed out. Little did I know that Mulan and Christina Aguilera were about to send me to rock bottom but also show me too climb back out.

Reflection from Mulan began. I've heard it so many times before but on that day these particular words really resonated with me.

 'Everyday, it's as if I play a part,
 Now I see, 
If I wear a mask, 
I can fool the world,
 But I cannot fool my heart,

Who is that girl I see
Staring straight back at me?
When will my reflection show
Who I am inside?

Who is that girl I see
Staring straight back at me?
Why is my reflection 
Someone I don't know?
Must I pretend that I'm
Someone else for all time
When will my reflection show
Who I am inside,

There's a heart that must be
Free to fly
That burns with a need to know
The reason why,

Why must we all conceal
What we think, how we feel?
Must there be a secret me
I'm forced to hide?
I won't pretend that I'm
Someone else for all time
When will my reflection show
Who I am inside?

I pulled the car over and gazed at my reflection in the mirror and as the song suggests, I didn't recognise myself. It was such a pivotal moment in my life. I've known for a long time that I have changed. I question myself, my self worth, my actions, my thoughts on a daily basis but it was at this moment in time when all I could hear was this song that it dawned on me. I had lost myself to post natal depression. Who was this girl I see? I didn't recognise her at all. I cried some of the hardest tears I have ever cried. 

As I write this I am crying. This song sums up every thought I have had for the past 16 months. I have had to hide so many of my true feelings. I've had to pretend to be strong, confident and happy. I haven't been able to show what has been ripping little pieces of my personality apart. 

I can honestly say that every day I look at myself in the mirror and I ask why? Why me? Why would something strip me of everything I am, everything I am known for? Why have I allowed this darkness to overcome me? Why have I lost control of my life? Why have I changed? Why don't I recognise myself anymore?

I was always the life and soul. I was always a positive person that wore a smile with pride. I was always outgoing and confident. I laughed, I smiled, I loved. I was passionate and strong and always living life to the max. I was adventurous, fearless and unwilling to admit defeat. This person disappeared around March of 2015. I didn't know that my happiness would be short-lived and my personality stolen from beneath my eyes.

I quickly became withdrawn. I was lonely, sad and vulnerable. I became anxious, angry and irritable. I talked but nobody listened. I shouted but clearly not loud enough. Every time my voice wasn't heard, I felt a little piece of me break away. I began to lose interest in things and most importantly I lost interest in myself and admitted defeat.

I have good days but even on those days you will still find me looking at myself in the mirror and analysing who I have become. 

When I stared into the mirror of my car and listened to those lyrics, I felt a weight shift from my shoulders. I finally understood. That reflection wasn't me. The girl sat there in the plain black t-shirt with baggy trousers was not me. That girl crying was not me. I had completely lost myself to my PND but I was unwilling for it to take me forever.

I am not physically and mentally strong enough to gain my true reflection back straight away but I have made a huge step in realising I am not who I once was and that the old me is still there. I will wear a true smile on my face again. I will start laughing again. I will find my passions again. I will take pride in my appearance, I will read books, I will exercise and I will cook. This is who I was 15 months ago. I will be true to myself and I will not give up. One small step at a time and one day, hopefully soon, I will be able to look in that mirror and smile knowingly. Thank you Disney and Christina. 



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37 comments:

  1. Well done you for writing this, people need to be more aware, other people see you differently to how you see yourself, pain and sadness isn't always so obvious in someones face! ((hugs))

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  2. I've always loved that song (and in fact that film) - it's amazing the effect music can have on you isn't it. I hope you're able to get back to a place where you do see yourself clearly x

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  3. I can relate sometimes I look in the mirror don't recognise myself. I do hope u are able to get back to a place where u feel more like u again.

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  4. I wish that I had a blog when I was going through this, it took a long time to admit that I had a problem. Well done on speaking out and this is your first step on the road to recovery - it is not easy but wanting to change really helps xx

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  5. Sending you hugs lovely. Well done for writing this. I love that song. x

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  6. A very brave blog post. Good luck on your journey :)

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  7. Sounds like you are well on your way to getting back to the real you. Keep at it and be positive xx

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  8. Oh Kerry, what an emotional post. I'm so sorry you are feeling this way. There will be better days and not so good days, but it's so important to talk about how you are feeling and try to work through it. We are all here to support you. It's amazing how music can suddenly hit you - I had a similar experience last week with a song that I had heard hundreds of times but which suddenly resonated with me in a completely different way and set me off. Thinking of you xxxxxx

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  9. A very inspiring and heartfelt post Kerry and I really do empathise - I really struggled (and still do one somedays) after having both boys and it can feel like a real rollercoaster and I just hope you have the support and are able to talk as I found talking through things helped to some degree. Like you said small steps

    Laura x

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  10. *hug* Oh Kerry, I'm so sorry you are feeling this way and all I want to do is give you a hug. I hope you are ok. xx

    www.annanuttall.com

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  11. I remember that song when it came out. Sorry to hear you are feeling like this, you will get through it. With times like this it is always good to talk to someone about it x

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  12. Sending big hugs. I suffer with depression so I completely understand what you mean. Writing is a good outlet if you can't always talk. I know I find it easier to write down how I feel x

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  13. A very brave post to write - sending you lots of hugs!

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  14. Sending you virtual hugs. Hope your feeling better now. It comes and goes, doesn't it? I can relate. I do look at myself in the mirror too and wondered what happened to that other woman who was so confident with everything? And then the next wave come and I feel better again, though the confidence I'm afraid is gone... Btw, we just bought the "Now that's what I call Disney album" too :)

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  15. The fact that you've mustered the courage to write this shows that you've accepted your problems head on, and you're willing to work on them, since you can admit you don't want to be in this place forever. That's the first step!Writing brings me so mich joy and its a massive outlet for me, I hope that you feel lighter writing this! You're brave and youre beauiful!

    www.shewillneverlose.com

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  16. Sorry to hear you are feeling like this. Hope you are starting to feel more like you now? Remember you are doing great :)

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  17. Sending you lots of hugs. Sounds like a big breakthrough.

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  18. Such a brave post and I can't begin to understand what you are going through, but well done on that huge step and I hope that you can get the help and support that you need.

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  19. What a brave post for you to write, I hope it brings you the support that you obviously need for it. I only suffered with the 'baby blues' for a couple of weeks so I know nothing of actual PND. The baby blues were bad enough for me but thankfully my Health Visitor saw the signs and got me signed up to the local children's centre quickly and I made lots of new friends which put me on the right path. Keep talking and asking for help, it's the best way xxx

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  20. This is s very deep post. Well done for writing it.

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  21. It's really positive that you wrote this and I'm so pleased that you have found tools like music and writing to give you support at difficult times x

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  22. Huge hugs to you lovely lady - you are amazing, and don't ever forget it. You will get yourself back hun, this is the start for you. Kaz x x

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  23. Great post lovely and if that song has helped you deal with your thoughts and feelings then I am glad you found it, listened to it and even more glad you wrote this post so we can all hug you x

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  24. It's great that you've shared this as I think it will help so many who are also suffering! x

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  25. Sending hugs, hun. Depression is never easy. Only the sufferer knows the pain and heartache it beings. Stay strong and I hope you find your smile again. x

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  26. Not that you asked for advice but for what it's worth, don't be the old you. For sure do the things the 15mnths a go you loved, but be a better stronger version that's worth the effort everyday :) best of luck on your new adventure

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    1. Thank you. That is good advice. I'm hoping to be a better, strong person. Xx

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  27. I want to come and give you a huge hug!! As horrible as it must have been, and of course it won't go away just like that, having a revelation like this is such a good step forward! And doing it along to Disney certainly can't hurt ;) you're heading in the right direction and we're here to support you through the worse days and celebrate your good days!! Big hugs xxx

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  28. Ive never heard this song but I can totally see why it struck a cord and after reading the words it kinda did the same for me too!

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  29. What a brave and emotional post. I bet you don't feel very brave though do you? The first thing you have to remember is that depression is an illness and if you treat it as so you can get better. One day you will look in the mirror and know that it's you. I wish you the very best in your recovery x

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  30. I love that song (and basically anything Disney!). Well done on writing such an honest and emotional post. Best of luck in making those small steps and I hope you'll be feeling yourself again.

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  31. I am so sorry you are feeling like this, but as a mother who suffered PND I can completely relate. This too shall pass and one day you will be yourself again. I hope you've spoken with your doctor or health visitor about how you are feeling? Maybe they can suggest some local support groups. xx

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  32. Sending you lots of hugs and hoping you're getting the support you need. In the pit of depression you sometimes get a rare moment of clarity that shows you exactly where you want to be, I have no doubt that you'll get there xx

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