Thursday, 3 September 2009

The Hole In The Meadow

Last night while trawling through 'reader' I read this amazing post by Vonnie. I have been reading Vonnie's blog for a while now as she is clever and funny and a real inspiration (and her children are very beautiful)! I was surprised by the post and really pleased that she felt she could share. I wanted to leave her a supportive comment and when I scrolled down the page of comments already there I found this amazing description/explaination of how she must be feeling;

"Imagine walking through a lovely meadow. The sun shining. Looking up at a beautiful sky. Bright blue, lots of fluffy white clouds drifting by. Butterflies fluttering amongst the buttercups and daisies. Your fingers brushing the tips of the long grass as you walk…..and then suddenly, you stumble.

You manage to catch yourself after faltering for a bit. You dust yourself down, and keep on walking, admiring the beautiful surroundings. You stumble again, this time falling into a deep, unmarked pit. You keep falling and falling, grabbing out and flailing wildly to try and get a grip on something, anything. After what seems like forever, you stop your slide downwards and hit rock bottom. You are exhausted from your sudden and unexpected decent into darkness.

Before you know where you are, and what has happened, you are at the bottom of a deep hole with no idea how you got there or how to get out. You can see a chink of light in the top, but its quite far away, and you cant trust that the chink of light is the only way out, but you claw towards it anyway, even though you are exhausted and bruised and battered from your fall.

Its a lonely time in this hole. Only you and the darkness. You couldnt see anyone else even if they were there, because of the darkness and coldness of your environment. But once you realise where you are, you know you have to clamber out and,` if you are lucky, someone will pass by and offer a hand of help to pull you out.

Despite being exhausted, and bruised and battered, you clamber you way to the top, and you finally make your way out of the hole. Yet you are still shocked and stunned by what happened. How could you miss such a big hole in front of you? Why couldnt you see it coming? How come no-one before you has fallen into this hole (you think) and not thought to block it up? Many people before you has managed to walk through the meadow without falling into this pit, why couldnt you have seen it coming, or prevented it, or just had a better journey?

You are stood, standing in this beautiful meadow, but all you can think about is the dark hole that you have just fallen into and clambered out of, how sore and aching your body is, and how tired you are. The beauty around you means nothing for a while. But you are grateful to be out, and you realise you should appreciate the beautiful surroundings.

You keep walking, but you find yourself no longer admiring the sky, the clouds, the butterflies, the flowers. You are busy looking at your feet. Concentrating hard, because, you dont want to fall into another pit, and waylaid by your aching bones and tired body.

You lose sight of all the beautiful things around you because you are continuing your journey looking only down at the ground, on alert for danger. You dont appreciate the sky, the clouds, the flowers, the butterflies, because you are too scared of falling down another hole, you still have the bruises from the last fall.

You are terrified that, if you take your eyes off terra firma for a moment, you could slip down that hole again and you wont find your way out so easily this time.

It is a long, lonely journey, spent staring at the ground, before you trust your surroundings, and your instincts enough again to appreciate your journey, and realise its beauty. To wander through the meadow staring at the beautiful blue sky and fluffy white clouds."

It had been left by Flamesparrow, her friend had written it online somewhere.

It is so TRUE.

I have a history of depression from my early teens (maybe even sooner) that comes and goes at good and bad times in my life. I fell into a hole just like that after the brith of one of my children and it took me a good year to climb back out again. My husband was supportive and caring but didn't really understand. Neither did I. As a rational being I found it very hard to think and feel the things I did about my children and myself at that time. I did climb out, I did see the sky and all it's beauty again but the memory of the hole is still so vivid and scary.

I think maybe we should share more about how this is. It happens to thousands of women everyday but we still feel a huge amount of guilt and shame (I do). We won't stop women falling into holes, people will always fall into holes. But maybe if we all shared a little more we could stop women hitting the bottom and help them to climb out faster and hold their hands so they can look at the sky sooner.

I know that with the arrival soon of our new baby it is something that Simon worries about. Me too. This time I feel easier, I won't be alone. Neither is Vonnie.

Daisie xxx


Anonymous said...

What a liberating, uplifting and brave post.I know exactly how you feel, I suffered with postnatal depression after my first baby and 3 children later, you never forget it.But like you say blue sky does exsist!! xox

Vonnie said...


Gina said...

A lovely piece of writing, thank you for sharing this. I fell in that hole after the birth of my third baby so know how terrifying it can be.

jennyflower said...

I will be watching, gently from here, and if you feel yourself stumble I will do my best to help you up. Sometimes though I realise you don't even know you have really been in the hole until you are out. xxxxx

Swirlyarts said...

It's so true!! I fell into a hole like that after I had Anya and it took me 14 months to admit to it to my doctor and many more months to get out of it. Luckily I knew what was happening when it happened after Tara was born so I was able to get help straight away. I'm only a few miles away if you ever need help - remember that :)

willow81 said...

That's a lovely post, thanks for sharing. It is so important that women speak about their experiences of PND. I'm fortunate not to have suffered but have a good friend who had an awful time and thankfully got the right help in the end. Hope you're not suffering too much with pre-labour pains xx

twiggypeasticks said...

I hear you Daisie, I've been there both post baby and many many years before and it is something that is always at the back of my mind.
My silver lining is that my creativity sprung forth from my first bout of depression. It was a very dark time.
Take care.
Twiggy x