Sunday, 5 April 2015

A Sneakysnoo of Hope…

Usually, at this time of year, everyone is getting around in a mad panic organising everything for Easter time.
Not me.  Not this year.
This year, the year 2015, I am spending Easter in a mental institution.
Yes. That’s right, in a mental health facility, a Nuthouse - and I have been going strong here for the last seven months. I came here when my baby was just three weeks old, a tiny, precious, innocent and perfect newborn.
I am staying at a great place – a mother and baby unit, where they provide treatment for mothers who are suffering from Post Natal Depression – one of my current diagnoses. Whilst I’m still trying to pretend that it is a luxury hotel in some exotic, faraway location – the stark walls, bland food and blank stares remind me all too quickly of where I am, what I am, and what I’ve got.

Days here can be long, recovery is slow and at times arduous, and the stigma surrounding PND is still fierce.  I have encountered harsh judgment at just about every corner, people who whisper loudly ‘she doesn’t love her baby’ or ‘she couldn’t handle her kids’. It stings a little – because even though I understand logically that their judgment is based solely on ignorance - I am desperate to be a good Mum to my kids and it still hurts to know there are random people out there judging my ability to parent.  Knowing they are judging me when in fact my admission has very little to do with my baby, and more to do with a lifetime of hurt that has gone untreated.
There isn’t much to do here.  They encourage two things very strongly - exercise, and talking – both of which I seem to be highly allergic to. Consequently, I spend a bit of time in my room where I write, read, cry and make promises to myself that I will not overspend on the next Lacey Lane release.
In my wardrobe here, I have three drawers. There is no hanging space – for obvious reasons in a facility such as this - so everything gets squeezed into the drawers. I have one for my clothes, one for Frankie’s (who is my little 8 month old baby boy) and the third drawer has been allocated for all of the Lacey Lane I have purchased since being in here, for my daughter Daisy, who is three and staying at home with her Dad. I have always purchased from Lacey Lane, but in here, I have literally lived for it.
Perhaps the cruelest thing about depression is the way it convinces you that there is nothing to look forward to. That tomorrow will be just as shitty as today, and let me tell you – depression can be pretty damn persuasive.  It lies to you and tells you that there is nothing good in this world for you – that you are different.  Damaged stock. Non-refundable.
I know my obsession with LL makes many people think I am crazy.  I know, I know, I shouldn’t be throwing the C word around, especially considering where I am and what I’m in for, but I guess because I am considered crazy, I have some license to use the term.
The drawer in here that is full of clothes for my darling daughter just keeps expanding.  Every release in the last several months has provided a little bit of hope – and for me that has been key in fighting depression.  Finding hope, in even the darkest of places is so, so very important for people like me, and I can proudly admit that Lacey Lane, the gorgeous items of clothing, has given that to me.  Something to look forward to.
For every Monroe Suspender skirt, or Nora playsuit, I have once again remembered what it is like to feel.  Anything. Something.
Excitement.  Anticipation.  Hope.  Happiness.  Satisfaction. Possibility.
Whenever the colour had just about drained completely from my canvas, a new parcel would appear, or a ‘sneakysnoo’ would be released, and as silly as it sounds to some, a little flicker of hope was ignited inside of me.
And I’ve learned that sometimes, that is all you need.  That is enough.  Something to remind you that there are better days ahead.  Something to distract you from life’s monotony.  Something which, above all else, reminds you to simply keep trying, and that it is worth it.  Every Mother, at some stage, feels like running away and never looking back.  I have learned that feeling this way does not make you a bad Mum, it just makes you an honest one.
And that is what we should all be striving for – to be honest and real about parenting. We all say things we don’t mean, speak a little too loudly and do things that we are not proud of during this parenting gig. Despite these moments – we have to hold on to hope, in whatever form it comes.  Whether it be chatting to a friend, having an Offspring marathon, eating four cupcakes in a row, doing laps around your kitchen bench, or in my case, purchasing Lacey Lane, there is hope, and it is well worth holding on to. That drawer full of Lacey Lane serves as my reminder, that tomorrow something good or even something beautiful might happen.
And sometimes, it does.
Happy Easter Laners.

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