Friday, July 6, 2012
Sometimes writing seems like the least important, most self-obsessed job in the world. And then it can turn around to seem like the best thing you could ever be doing.
This week I had an article I'd written on post-natal depression published on Essential Baby. I started writing one for them about prevention, but when I did the research I was hit with the knowledge of how close to home it really was. How bad I'd really been - and so I wrote down all the excuses I'd had for not acknowledging it before, and how my research had proved them all wrong.
I tweeted a link to it during the week. And then spent hours reading replies from women sharing their experiences.
Some said it took them several years to be diagnosed, others said I had described exactly how they had felt or do feel. Some know the feeling of the fog lifting, others are still in it. A few said they'd call their GPs the next day, because they now know what it is they're feeling. They know it's real.
When I wrote the piece, it was confronting. I cried - a lot. I talked about it to people around me - a lot. But I knew there was a bigger reason for pushing through it and getting it out there.
Because I'm warped, it reminds me of an old Jimeoin joke (insert funny Irish accent here). It's something like: "When you say you feel like crap, people always say, 'Yeah, it's going around'. But what if they didn't? What if they said, 'Oh. Well, you're the only one.'" From memory, he even had a song about it.
Sometimes it's like that when you share something like this - you think others might relate, but really, what if this time they just shrug and say, 'You're the only one.' (Although years of blogging have shown me that's rare, it still plays on my mind sometimes.)
The reaction this week showed, I'm far from alone. I felt overwhelmed by that, I felt sad that so many of us 'have to' go through it, and I felt proud for having spoken my reality. Most of all, I was amazed that I could use my voice to help other people - that's a real privilege.
As for preventing it all happening again - well, I consider it a challenge. And I'm sure not going to lose.
Posted at 6:11 PM