One of the most common things to emerge after I recently started to speak more openly about my struggle with severe postpartum mental illness (postpartum psychosis) was the amount of people who told me that they had no idea. Many expressed their surprise at the extent of what we, as a family, were going through and some hadn’t picked up on it at all. “But you always look so happy and together,” is something I heard repeatedly. This most recent reaction reminded me of the very early days of my illness when I “came out” to some of the women in my mothers’ group. No one saw it coming. I hid it well. Continue reading
I sit on the edge of my bed, in the psychiatric ward. My hand is lost inside my husband’s.
A psychiatrist asks questions with practiced kindness. I rattle off answers I know by heart. Sleep, appetite, mood, meds.
And then there’s a test. Part of admission. And I don’t know the answers. I can’t do the sums. Can’t draw the object. Can’t spell the word. My brain is mud.
My husband’s poker face slips. I can hear his concern in the silence. He squeezes my hand gently as I swat away tears. I’ve never felt more broken.
Or more loved.