What Makes Me Tick...

A Diagnosis I Did Not Want….

Sunday, 25th November 2012

A Diagnosis I Did Not Want….

Friday was a big day for me.

I faced something that I have been avoiding for the last 12months or maybe even more.

I took myself to a doctor and left with a diagnosis of Post Natal Depression.

Although the doctor has assured me that I am ‘depressed’ and it doesn’t really matter what is causing it, it’s in the Post Natal Phase so that’s the label I am getting.

I titled this post “The diagnosis I did not want” because I right now, in a way, I feel like I’ve let everyone down. The doctor also assures me that this feeling is fairly common too.

Apparently, I’ve had a lot on my plate for the last few years. I’ve never really stopped to look at it that way.

Life continues to throw me curve balls and I carry on dealing with them, the only way I know how.

This time, I could feel the depression creeping up.

Some day’s I could hardly summons the energy to get out of bed, let alone cope with the day. I would push through and force myself, petrified that if I let the ‘overwhelming’ get me, I’d never look up.

The exhaustion was getting worse and worse. I would sleep for 8 hours and feel like I’d been up all night.

As the day’s went by I began to feel more and more isolated. Half of me want’s to pour my heart out to my friends and family and the other half of me stops and says things like “They’ve got enough on their plate already”, “They wont understand” or “They’ll assume I’m unstable and incapable if I reach out”.

So until now, I really haven’t said much about anything at all.

I guess I have had a lot on my plate, whether I chose to see it like that or not.

I started my family with twins and only 12 months later, totally infatuated with parenthood, had a 3rd.

While I was pregnant with Zaf (#3) my mother suffered a large stroke and my pop passed away.

MonsterSquad Mum and Grandma

It took a long while for mum to be able to communicate with us, to talk, write, function and so on.

Mum went in for a fairly routine and common dental procedure and came out an entirely different person.

I would spend hours with mum and it felt like I was with a complete stranger. I was always super close with my mum and used to boast that I had ‘THE COOLEST’ mother ever.

After the stroke, it was like an actor had stepped in and taken on the role of mum. It looked and sounded like her, but her personality, and the way she behaved were that of someone else.

I know it is in no way my mum’s fault that any of this happened, and I am so grateful that she is here with us everyday. I guess I am just trying to say that it has been one of the biggest and greatest challenges of my life so far. Not a day goes by where I don’t wish that I could rewind, change what happened or simply have my old mum back.

I know it can’t be. I know she probably feels the same way. Life just sucks like that.

Then I lost my pop too.

A couple of day’s before pop passed away, he pulled me aside and told me that I had truly made him proud. Pop is the only man, well person really, that has ever said those words to me. And then he was gone.

I took it pretty hard really. But I had no time to grieve. I had to look after my babies and my mum and my belly, which was only a month off having Zaf.

Whilst all of this was happening, a week to the day before delivering baby Zafirah, my husband lost his job. They told him he was too unreliable.

He had to take a fair bit of time off work to help me. To help with the twins while I helped mum. To be there for us.

Unfortunately they didn’t care about that and this meant that we struggled financially.

We faced bankruptcy and worked our arses off to avoid it. We did everything and anything to keep afloat while my husband searched for work.

There were times when we didn’t know where our next meal was coming from.

But we survived. We got through and when worked popped up we slowly got back on our feet.

Before long I was pregnant with number 4 and life felt like it was finally headed in the right direction.

After having baby Veruca, we decided it might be time to get married.

So I spent the best part of 12 months organising and planning our special day.

My dad

Not long after our wedding my dad took ill.

It took a long time to work out what was going on, but he had cancer in his esophagus.

Dealing with Dad’s cancer was massive, and I will explain it in detail in a separate post.

Novemeber 30 will be 3 years since we lost him.

Levi was only 6months old. Elijah wasn’t even thought of. So much has changed since then, yet I still can’t cope with that last day.

Since Dad passed away I have been nursing an overwhelming sadness.

People tell me it gets easier and that it does get better, but so far, I just get sadder, angrier and more distraught that all of this had to happen.

Add on top of that load, an extra baby, a marriage that needs heaps of work, a house to keep, a weight problem, a failing support system, a lack of decent income and all the other things life throws at us and that’s where I am at now.

Brian and jac Nov 2012
{Slowly finding our happy again!}

Some days I don’t even know where to start. My brain cannot begin to process and those day’s are hard.

For the most part I am OK. I cry a lot, mostly to myself.

I don’t have thoughts of self harm or harming others.

When it’s bad, I just want to be left alone. Or held really tight. Neither of which happen in my world.

I’m doing things to help myself. I’m talking to people, I’m trying to let go of the fears and be sociable. (That too is a whole other post waiting to happen).

I have seen a doctor and he’s put me on some medication.

It’s a last resort for me. I have avoided it for so many years now. I have had all these preconceived ideas in my head about tablets and weight gain and drowsiness and a million other things.

Most of all I so desperately wanted Elijah and so desperately wanted to breastfeed him too.

Today, this morning, as I swallowed that tablet I cried again, knowing that my breastfeeding journey is officially over.

It’s for the greater good. And I gave it my very best shot.

It’s times like these that I am thankful for this blog.

The support that I receive in comments and on the Common Chaos Facebook page are always a great motivator. I am glad I have built up this little community.

While I have been doing a lot of sponsored and promotional work lately it’s because of 3 reasons.

The first being that those posts are allowing me to give my kids a Christmas, so please don’t get too upset with me.

I know some readers are wondering where the regular day to day chaos posts are and there have been a few, just not as many as normal, but the second reason for the lack of personal posts is that some days I sit down to write and I just cry.

Some days it’s just too hard.

I get a lot of emails and messages from people telling me how much I inspire them, how I have motivated them and helped them simply by blogging. That is the best payment anyone could ever give me.

I have replied and told these lovely people just how ‘normal’ I am.

Some days I just don’t want to inflict my negativity on you all. It’s not that I’m not being truthful, it’s just that I don’t have the words to describe it.

The 3rd reason is that I get so much out of my interactions with the readers on my blog that I like to give something back. Especially just before Christmas!

I will keep you all updated on my progress and let you know how I am going. Even just writing this post here has lifted a little weight off my shoulders.

There will be more personal posts and sponsored posts coming up.

Please bare with me while I find my feet again.


Jac xox








    Written by:

    1. Caroline

      I really don't have adequate words to respond to this post but I wanted to let you know I read it and my heart goes out to you. I hope the clouds start to lift soon for you and sunshine returns. :-)

    2. Trace

      Massive hugs and support to you honey. One step at a time - you would probably be surprised how much support you have (right before your eyes). Take care. xoxoxoxoxox

    3. Tammie

      Sending hugs your ways. You are brave to share it with us. Xxx

    4. You know how much we love you and are here for you, your plate is big, yes, but what a wonderful wife and mother you are, one day at a time and we will help you x

    5. Oh hun.... no words my sweet, no words. I hope you were able to find some courage and even solace, in all the PND posts floating about the blogosphere over the last week. Please know you're not alone. Sending you love and light - as always xxx

    6. It is funny, as I thought a couple of times lately whilst reading your FB statuses that you sounded a bit 'down' and wanted to say cheer up and are you OK? You are doing a great job and good on you for going and 'getting it sorted'. It will get better though, I know from experience. Much love xx :)

    7. Lisa

      Hi Jac, to be able to put all that in to words is a wonderful step. congrats on being strong enough to get it all out. I too am/was/are a sufferer of PND. i can relate to how you feel. Oh i can't talk to them they are so busy or they will think i suck as a mum, well chick as much as you might think that (as i did) not everyone has lots of their plate. My maternal health nurse put me in touch with a group of other mothers who were in the same boat as me. i found our regular catch ups a great motivator to get out of the house and talk about how i am feeling. Is that something you could look into? hang in there chick (although i don't personally know you i think about you and love readying your stories) Oxoxo Lisa

    8. you are definitely not alone my dear! I'm sorry you've had such a rough trot without enough support, that is so hard! Wishing you all the best as you tackle your PND and grow and become a new and more resilient you. I know that as we go through stuff, we become more empathetic to others in the same situations, but I can tell that you are such a caring person already! ((hugs))

    9. maryse bannon

      lm so sorry to hear about your post natal depression...lm sorry l have no wise words for you ,l battle every day and have done for years....all l can say is take one day at a time....hang in there....and know that people care that you feel like crap sometimes...l do at least!...praying for a speedy recovery for you ...much love xxx

    10. Big hugs, hun. As if six kids wasn't enough to put on your plate, there is all that other stuff that has been slowly eating away at you. Don't feel bad about being unwell. Understand that it's an illness like any other and you have taken the first steps to managing it. Depression sucks....

    11. I know from experience that taking that initial step to get help is so hard - but also such a relief once you have taken it. Hope you start to feel better soon babe. Thinking of you, and always at the end of the 'pooter or phone if you ever need a chat xxx

    12. Huge hugs. I had PND & AND with both my kids and in July was diagnosed with depression again & put back on medication. Did you talk with your doctor about breastfeeding & medication? I was able to breastfeed on meds with my kids - it was something I fought for. Don't be too hard on yourself. You've taken a HUGE step, go easy on yourself (easier said than done, I know!).

    13. Oh you poor thing. You have had such a rough time lately. I really hope you start feeling better soon and you find happiness, you deserve it. Rachel xx

    14. Much love to you Jac xx The endless days where everything keeps happening on top of all the hits you've already taken, they can be so damn hard. I'm glad you have done what you needed to get help, to step forward and find the end of the tunnel. Keep going sweety, I promise it gets better.

    15. Jill Gallo

      One day at a time.... I have lived by that motto for many, many years and just remember that you are doing the absolute best that you can. A bad day/week, whatever is simply that and it all change. Making people aware is the best thing you can do. Talking and sharing is good for the soul. Let the tears fall if they need to but remember.....tomorrow. There's always tomorrow. :)

    16. Marce

      Jac, as mothers we are 'supposed' to be able to do it all. All without complaining, getting sick, having sick days (what are they? lol). We are 'supposed' to get through each and every day with a smile on our face, a skip in our step and a purpose in our day. As mothers we are 'supposed' to know exactly what we are doing and cope with anything that comes our way, no matter what. So when we aren't coping, when we can't find the purpose in our day, when our smile hides pain and sadness, asking for help, and admitting you need it, is one of the hardest things to do. I too had PND after child number one, but this is your story, so I'll leave it at that. Please know that you are not alone, that you do an amazing job as a mother (I know this - your children are beautiful, funny and amazing!). If anything, it takes enormous strength to admit that you can't do it all, and I am so proud of you for asking for help. Also very proud of you for such honesty with this blog - you have no idea how many people you can help through the power of your words. It can be a long journey Jac, but I have every faith in your strength and determination to put the pieces back together (having said that, be kind to yourself too, and take your time with this journey). Take care Jac, thinking of you xoxo

    17. Renee F

      Oh honey I am so sorry you are going through this. Thank you so much for sharing. <3 I know from experience how hard it is to make that appointment, too. I have struggled with depression since I was a teen, but post pregnancy took it to a whole 'nother level! I am SO GLAD you went for help. There is nothing wrong with it, and you haven't failed anyone. Be kind to yourself, and do whatever you need to do, to get through this time. I'm happy, for you, that you continue with the blog and everything - things that I know are hard to do on top of your daily life - I'm glad you have that outlet, something that is yours. Also I firmly believe in sharing it and talking about it and letting women know that they aren't alone, and that it's okay to ask for help. It's been hidden far too long and women, and families, suffer for it. <3

    18. Just shows how hard it is to read people. I was thinking when I saw you on Thursday how sparkly and restful you seemed. Which frankly amazed me because with 3 kids I rarely feel that way. Well done on sharing and getting yourself help. Its a huge thing and you've done it :) Personally I tend to think the sleep deprivation that parenthood entails really reaps havoc and has a lot to answer for. With all you've coped with over the past years, along with the babies, I think you deserve a medal!!! Hope you can still get down for your lunch in early Dec - will be good to catch up again :)

    19. Jac...you know you can chat to us (yes it's not the same) if you need to just let it all out. I know how it feels to be diagnosed with that. It sucks. And I can see why you would have been diagnosed with that, with so much that has happened in your life and then to have to cope with all your kids, and other extra stuff. It's hard. You need time out - easier said than done. And the distance of where you're living also reduces the chance of you having some social support physically too. Do really wish you were closer so I could at least give you a hug. xx

    20. Getting the diagnosis is the hardest part but I believe this will be turning point for you. All my love and best wishes.

    21. Jo B

      hugs...that's all...just hugs xxx

    22. Kate

      Jac, what a beautiful post you have written. You are an amazing mum and your kids are absolutely adorable, you can see in the photos how much you love and care for them. You are doing a fantastic job. I loved this post, which sounds strange! but I'm so glad you are getting help. I find just talking to someone helps. Loving CCC, you are my fav blog, it's honest and real life especially as mums xxx

    23. Tina

      One day at a time, lovely. Hugs xx

    24. Glenne

      Nothing I can say will help so I won't really try...just want you to know that all we mums get it- our lives aren't the same but as mothers we all have something so much deeper in common....so we get it, we know what it must have taken for you to just write this, let alone to have coped with it all. Don't give up but also accept every bit of support, love and help that is offered to you. Finally don't let this silly season get on top of you- focus on nothing more than a lovely, happy family time - the rest is just stuff and won't matter by next Christmas. Sending love and prayers <3

    25. Wow..what a post. You are definitely an inspiration. Wishing you all the best life has to offer. Xx I've been their & it's not easy..

    26. Krystal

      All my love and huge hugs are going out to you Jac, and you're right, I did need a box of tissues to read this post :) So much has changed over the last nearly 10 years, but one thing hasn't, if you ever need someone to chat to or just a big hug, I'm always around and more than happy to share a box of tissues with you! xx K

    27. You DO have a lot on your plate, I can see that. My road to PND was eerily similar. I was the 'coper' of the family and after several years of lurching from one crisis to another it all finally took it's toll. I felt, as you do, that giving in to it was letting everyone down though, admitting I am NOT in fact as strong as they thought. I'm proud of you for going to the Doctor. That's such a hard step, and it took my husband and parents to make me do it the first time. I hope that you are on the road to feeling better, and to letting people help you. xxxx

    28. i feel like i don't have the right words to respond with.. but i wanted to let you know that i read it, am thinking of you and Personally am proud that you sought help, and was able to write this post. I felt like i was reading my diary in some parts so i understand completely. you have a wonderful support system in all us bloggers and i hope that things get better for you. xx

    29. Kirsty

      You are very brave to share your most personal of feelings, hopefully doing that and the support you receive from that will help you get that bit closer to being back to happy. Life is a challenge at the best of times but you have had alot thrown at you that nobody deserves and I pray that you have only good things happen for a while to make up for that. Thankyou for being the 'normal' person that you are and sharing that on a daily basis as it makes people like me and I'm sure alot of your other followers realise that we are not the only ones who go through these struggles. I know I get a laugh out of some of your adventures as it sometimes feels like dejavu! One step at a time with your depression. xx

    30. Lisa W

      Jac, you are very brave for sharing your story but its really one of the biggest steps!! I Have had PND for 4 years now after my last baby! I have 2 older kids but never got it with them. I was taking a medication that didn't affect my baby with BF, did your dr have any that you could have taken whilst BF? No matter if not because you have done an awesome job with your lil man and BF, especially with other kids in the house that also need your attention! Keep staying strong Jac but if you need help make sure you ask someone!!! Sending love and hugs xx

    31. You are incredibly brave Jac and I know you will get through it like you always do but knowing that all your readers support and understand what you are possible going through me makes it a little more bearable so my thoughts are with you xo

    32. Thinking of you Jac and I hope you are finding all the support you need right now.

    33. I'm so sorry - I too suffered from postpartum depression and it was a difficult pill for me to swallow (pardon the pun). I was never able to breastfeed my daughter, and she's perfectly perfect 5 years later. I know (from experience) that is sucks - big time - to not be able to give your baby that one thing that only you can...but you are not a lesser mother for not being able to. And you are definitely not a lesser mother for admitting you need help and seeking it from your doctor... in fact, I'd say that makes you one of the STRONGEST mothers out there. Admitting we need help is not something we (mothers) come by naturally. So bravo to you my dear... I hope you start feeling better soon and I look forward to reading more about your journey. -Alice

    34. Oh honey, you have done the best thing for yourself and your family. You have done your best to keep going through all of this but it has to come to a head at some stage. You just can't keep going with the motions. I hope the meds kick in soon and you get back to YOU. Here if you ever need to chat... I've been living with depression and anxiety for 20 years. xx Kellie

    35. Hi Jac, big hugs to you hon xoxo I have had depression for a long time and I put off going on meds for a long time as well, a lot longer than 12 months, but finally doing so saved my life, and my marriage. Well done for getting yourself off to the doctor and admitting you need help. The hardest part is over. Thank you for sharing this part of your journey with us all, the more we talk about it and share, the less stigma there is attached to any form of mental illness. I hope you start feeling better real soon (give yourself time to adjust to the meds, you may feel gross to start with but that feeling goes away as you settle into it). Heres to the road back to wellness, happiness and yourself, Cheers Jackie xoxo

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