Crazy Curly Mum

It’s taken a while for me to pluck up the courage to post this. I didn’t start this blog to talk about my mental health. If it had been, then perhaps I would have been not-quite-sure-of-herself mum, or at worst downright-crazy mum. This blog was really meant as a place for me to natter about my experiences as a parent raising my mixed race children, and a little about me and my hobbies too. After stumbling upon the #groovingmums blog-hop it became about my (re?)discovery of myself as a woman as well. So it feels now as if it’s just about me, all round. A big part of me at the moment is my mental health, so I think I should talk about it. I think more people should talk about mental health.

My mental health at the moment isn’t very good. I spend a lot of my time thinking and worrying about how I’m not coping. Naturally this makes me more unable to cope, but I can’t help worrying about it. I am very sad a lot of the time, and I cry a lot. When I cry, I feel stupid because I don’t really have anything to cry about. I don’t have much money, but I do have a caring partner and three beautiful daughters, and we get by and manage to treat ourselves sometimes. I feel guilty for being so sad all the time, because I know it makes my partner feel like he doesn’t make me happy, which isn’t true. I also tend to snap or shout at him over silly things. Things that aren’t even things.

I find it hard to find my get-up-and-go most days. A lot of the time I don’t know what I want to do with my time. There is plenty of stuff to be getting on with, but I find myself making excuses or just pretending it’s not there waiting for me to do it. When it comes to things that actually need to be done, I just feel very anxious. I dread doing the school run and I don’t really know why. It’s not particularly fun, waiting for the bus in the cold, but really it’s not that bad – so why do I feel so on edge for half an hour before I’m due to leave? Things like that are the worst, I think. I feel like a failure of a person because I find it so hard to do such simple tasks.

Of course, when the simple things seem like mammoth tasks, the things that take a bit more effort barely get a look in. I don’t do nearly enough with my children. My flat is in desperate need of a clear out, especially as we’re supposed to be moving next month. Sometimes I make plans to change this, but they never quite happen. I can’t find the motivation. I see other people just getting on with their lives, and I wish I could do the same. I just end up putting on a show a lot of the time. Other times I just avoid people altogether.

I’ve come to the point now, with the help of my partner, where I can see that I’m not a failure as a person, I’m ILL and I need help. Now it’s just a case of getting it. I went to the doctor but she didn’t seem to take me seriously in the slightest. She was the same doctor I saw three weeks after Baby Turtle was born with my concerns about PND, who tried to put me back on anti-depressants before I loudly informed her that I couldn’t take them while breastfeeding, and who then gave me a therapy referral form but said it was unlikely anybody would see me any time soon because it ‘wasn’t that bad’. She denied saying that this time. She said I must have misunderstood. I think not. That meeting with her before is etched into my brain and it upsets me still now to think about it. I never filled out that referral form. She gave me another this time around, when I was done crying in her office, and this time I filled it out before I left the surgery. I don’t know if or when I’ll hear anything back about it. Until then I just have to cope. Just keep going, keep busy and hope.

Perhaps the worst thing about all of this is that I know I’m not the only one that suffers this way, struggling with life and doubting my own mind. I know I’m far from the only one who can’t get the help they need, which is a sad and scary thought.


26 thoughts on “Crazy Curly Mum”

  1. Reading this post my heart goes out to. I’ve suffered with depression on and off for 8 years now. You make reference in your post to anti-depressants, are you currently taking them now you aren’t breast feeding? Because from one sufferer to another they will really help.
    The common misconception about depression and antidepressants is that they make you feel happy. They don’t. But depression isn’t just about feeling ‘depressed’. It’s being so tired you feel like a lead weight all day and wake at 5am in the morning not knowing why, it’s not being motivated to leave the house, get dressed, do anything at all. You are suffering from an illness and I’m so pleased you recognise that and don’t just think your ‘crazy’. You aren’t, your ill. It’s an illness with a cure, or should I say ‘something that can help cure you’.
    Other than recommending antidepressants (because TRUST me they will get rid of the lack of motivation, the anxiety which will have more of a profound affect than you can imagine on your mood) I suggest you see another GP. Your’s sounds lousy (no offence) you need someone who doesn’t make oyu feel like that, support with depression is key. If you ever want to emal someone who’s been there and sadly ends up back there from time to time then please visit my blog and find my details under the contact section. The best thing I can recommend is talking to someone who understands. Good luck xx

    1. Thanks for taking the time to leave such a great comment. I was on antidepressants for a short while a couple of years ago and they helped me get a lot better. They sort of lifted the cloud in my head, if that makes sense? Allowed me to be myself again. When I first went to see the GP after the birth of Baby L, she wanted to put me back on thesame meds but because I breast feed, couldn’t. She says there are no meds that are safe until I stop breast feeding, which I am not prepared to do, because it’s one of the few things about myself that I am truly proud of. I’m going to see if I can get a second opinion about all that, or at least talk to somebody who’ll take me more seriously. Thank you again for taking the time to comment and offer your support.

  2. dont worry about other people, you sound like you have a supportive, caring and loving partner and along with saying it out loud is half the battle won already. Go see another doctor, speak with your health visitor, search the internet for local support groups in your area and tweet me anytime you need to off load or a pick me up….x x x

    1. Thanks for your support! It’s lovely to receive such caring comments. I will keep trying to get help until somebody listens. I think I owe it to myself and my family. Thank you again.

  3. Firstly (((((hugs)))))

    And secondly…..well done honey! It’s so brave of you to talk so openly about how you feel :o) That must have been very hard to write.

    I wish I had some inspiring words of wisdom for you (or a magic wand) but, what I will say is keep talking, keep writing about how you feel, don’t bottle it up.

    Are you coming to the meet in Maidstone on Friday? Hope to see you there.


    1. Thanks for your support. It’s hard to talk about, but it does help, and the responses I’ve had on here have been lovely too.

      Yes, I’ll be at Maidstone on Friday too. See you then!

  4. Hi Beccah, I’m SpongeBob . Sorry of this is full of spelling errors, my iPad won’t let me see what I’m putting!

    I could have written that post. I’m welling up reading it because I admire your strength to come forwards and say you’re I’ll. And that’s what you are – ill. Not a failure, despite knowing that feeling too well. I’m here for you. I now take medication, but mine was not PND as originally thought, but an more deep rooted depression that came to light when Squash came into my life. Lots of lovexxxxx

    1. Thank you for this lovely, supportive comment. I think because it’s a mental issue it’s harder to realise and admit that it’s an illness, but I’m getting there now. Just need to keep asking for help until I get it. Best of luck with your recovery.

  5. Hi Curly Mum. Just putting this into words, and as you say, accepting you are ill, is a massive step. One great piece of advice I was once given when I wasn’t getting anywhere with discussing my health issues was ‘seek a second opinion’. So, if your Doctor doesn’t come through, don’t be afraid to change doctors or ask to see someone else.

    Also don’t be afraid to ask those around you for help. Three young girls would be a handful for any mum, even one feeling at the top of her game – so make sure you try and reach out to family/ friends and get some extra help and support if you can. x

    1. Thank you for your advice and support. I think I will be seeking a second opinion from the health visitor. I remember the mental health support for pregnant women around here is good, so hopefully there will be some for mums too.
      Asking for help is something I find hard though. My partner is brilliant, but I haven’t spoken to the rest of my family about my issues, despite us being quite close as a family. I don’t know quite what’s stopping me as some of them have spoken to me about their own issues so I should just tell them really. Silly really, but there’s still a bit of stigma around mental health, isn’t there?

  6. Hi Curly mum

    Some great advice above – and I really think that you should get another doctor, as there are some terrible doctors out there and yours does not sound good. This is totally within your rights, you do not need to say why. If you ask your friends you might find some great good doctors out there.

    One thing that concerns me is – whilst you say that you have a very supportive partner, and I am sure that you do – what are they doing to practically help you deal with 3 kids? It seems you are taking all the responsibilities (e.g. the school run; the cleaning out your flat – and I am sure much more besides) on yourself. Surely, this is not just down to you, as you both have 3 kids? It is not just you who needs to care for them and to tidy and clean up and do domestic work. Surely it is not just about supporting you in doing these tasks, but someone else also actually doing them. Taking them off your hands so that all the chores are not on your back all the time. The focus very much of your perspective seems to be on you being supported in doing all this and then feeling guilty that you are not doing it all. Isn’t there a case for sharing the chores, the boring stuff out between you much more fairly?

    Too much, the focus is on the mum, and she feels that she has to do everything then gets angry and depressed when she cannot, feeling that her partner is doing their but by working and supporting her (but not actually taking on this huge burden enough to allow her to get her head above water and have a break and feel that it is all manageable).

    I think that if the focus came off you, and off this huge role of the Mother, and spread to the joint role of 2 parents, that you would feel much much better about all of this, less guilty and happier, very quickly. After all, you are in a partnership, and it is up to both of you to feel happy and to make each other happy in all ways, and not to take things personally or assume tasks are “mine” or “yours” but to actually practically both take on the burden. Would talking to your other half about this and about what he could practically do to help you, be a good next step? Probably. Will it be tough? Do you feel you are somehow unfairly asking him or giving him tasks that are “not his job” – probably. But afterwards, you will both feel better for it.

    Good luck, I hope to see you share the burden and feel happier soon! Christina

    1. Thank you for taking the time to write this comment! I think possibly the way I write down my thoughts makes my partner seem less supportive than he is. While I do most of the child care duties, he does a lot of the cleaning and tidying and we split the cooking. I do tend to take things on myself a lot though. If something goes wrong, it’s me that I blame, and if something needs doing, I will begin to feel guilty if I’m not doing it. So I think that you’re right, I do need to talk to him about this rather than just feeling guilty that I’m not coping. I don’t want to put too much on him, but I do need help, particularly to get myself started off doing things. Perhaps I’ll talk to him about getting things done together. Things feel less daunting when two people are working together. Thanks again for your comment – it’s given me some things to think about.

  7. The hardest part about dealing with mental illness is admiting to yourself you need to admit you’re ill: Well done for taking that huge leap and I hope you get the support from professionals. Until then, keep sharing – a network of ‘strangers’ can sometimes offer a more real, beneficial outlet than in-real-life friends. Good luck and remember there are many of us walking the same path who understand why shoes hurt x

    1. Thank you for taking the time to leave a comment. Yes, I must keep sharing. Just writing all of my thoughts out has been surprisingly therapeutic, and the wonderful comments have really helped me feel like I CAN get better.

  8. I can understand so many of these thoughts and feelings. Both myself, mum and dad struggle daily with even the most simple of tasks and I have to fight with myself before doing most tasks to get up and get them done. We try to share things around, whoever feels ‘ok’ does the task. Today i’ve spent most of the day at their house. I dropped my daughter off at nursery, my dad picked her up. I took the dog for her walk, boiled the tatties and prepared the other veg for supper. My dad cooked it and served it up. I’ve felt pretty good most of the day though am knackered now and nerves are sticking up on end, my dads not been great and my mums been in and out of bed. It’s how we cope and get through the lows. It’s a brave thing to talk about it, I’m trying to do the same with my blog, writing really does help. You are right that mental health does need to be talked about more, it should not be a taboo subject and doctors, well… dont get me started there!! xx

    1. It’s nice to hear of you and your parents all supporting each other. This is sort of what my partner and I have to do, although it’s tough if we are both feeling down at the same time as nothing gets done and we can’t really help each other. I’m so overjoyed by the response this post has received. I’m glad that I posted it now and that people are relating to it and I hope it helps towards getting people to talk more about mental health.

  9. Hi Curlymum! I discovered your blog via R2BC. I empathise with how you are feeling. I’m pretty much in that place. I’ve been since my son was born he’s now 15mths. I finally saw my health visitor about it last week and we now have an action plan. That said he have recently moved home and just as I thought I was coping somewhat I’m been thrown back months to feeling as when my son was born. If you have not already done so, consider speaking to your doctor but rest assured that many moms question how they are coping from time to time, even if the don’t have any mental health concerns.

    Don’t be too hard on yourself and I wish you all the best getting back to where you where.

    1. Thank you. In our new area I think the care is better, so hopefully I’ll manage to get some help and feel myself again. I know it won’t be easy, but even feeling like I might get better is a good start.

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