It’s been nearly a year since I took the step to join in #pndhour (run by PND and Me) Before I found the #pndfamily I was lost, I was alone and I felt that I was the only one going through this. Finding this wonderful community was for me, the turning point in my recovery and it has changed my life.
When I finally figured out in 2012 that it was postnatal depression I was suffering from I was relieved to have a name for it but I also felt so alone. Why was I experiencing this? How come no other mums around me were? In fact I had very little knowledge on the subject and it really took me by surprise.
I scoured the internet trying to find answers and find local mums to me who might be feeling the same way I was. I found nothing local, I couldn’t believe how there were so many baby groups in my area and yet there was nothing for mums who were struggling. So I carried on alone, I had started to slowly recover but I felt ashamed of what I was experiencing and angry that it seemed to be just me.
Then one day in 2014 I came across a Twitter account. Rosey ‘PND and Me’ – I wasn’t use to Twitter and I felt nervous following her…what if people I knew saw and then found out my secret? But I did follow her account, I watched the tweets, and the #pndhours. I wasn’t ready to join in the chat just yet and so many times I would write something only to delete it before hitting the ‘post’ button. But watching the chats and seeing a group of people who were experiencing what I was made me feel so much better and finally I wasn’t so alone.
I lurked in the background and watched for months, then at the turn of the new year in 2015 I decided I was ready. I was recovering well from my 3rd bout of PND and I felt I had started to find my voice again. I wasn’t ashamed anymore, seeing the inspirational posts from the #pndhour chats had helped my confidence grow. So that January I joined in my first #pndhour and it was great.
The #pndfamily community that Rosey has created is so welcoming and friendly. It was wonderful to finally be able to talk about what I had experienced and to people who understood and ‘got it’. I started to look forward to every Wednesday evening when I could log on and chat to everyone. It helped me process what I had gone through. It helped my confidence grow and my recovery seemed to come on leaps and bounds.
The community inspired me to start my own Postnatal Depression Blog which I had been wanting to do for some time but never had the confidence to do before. It has been therapeutic for me to write, and hopefully helped those going through this illness. It also gave me the confidence to contact my local children centres & perinatal mental health team and start my own support group, the first one in South East Essex. This would never have been possible without the help, support and guidance from Rosey and the other lovely ladies I’ve met through her.
I’ve spoken to so many incredible people, heard so many amazing stories all thanks to #pndhour. It gives so many mums hope & support, it educates and raises awareness. For mums like me who had no where to turn, it was a lifeline. What I felt I needed was other mums to talk to and I found that with #pndhour. I feel so lucky to have found this community, because it’s changed my life. It’s given me confidence to pursue my goals and helped me discover my passion for helping other mums experiencing perinatal mental illness. So thank you Rosey, because if it wasn’t for all your hard work in bringing everyone together none of this would have happened. I feel proud to be a part of this community and I can’t wait after a year of chatting to everyone to finally meet up in person in a couple of weeks at the PND and Me 2nd Birthday!
Xxx Sarah xxX
Follow Rosey’s blog at http://www.pndandme.co.uk
#pndhour is every Wednesday at 8pm (UK time) follow Rosey @pndandme
You can also follow me on Twitter @LotusPetalPND