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silence is golden?

I think I grew out of giving people the silent treatment when I was about 16 years old. I’ve always been more inclined to fight it out and make an arse of myself, even if it’s a losing situation. I have big mouth syndrome, if I were to try and bite my tongue in an argument I’d probably chew right through it. Of course there are times in our lives when we must sit back, observe and keep our opinions to ourselves and I have forced myself to sit squirming in my seat, white knuckled on more than one occasion but generally, if there’s an opinion to be had, I’ll have it.

I have a friend who is the complete opposite of me in this regard, if I say something she doesn’t like or if she feels I’ve let her down in some way, she will employ her favourite tactic, knowing it’s the most cruel and frustrating way she can get back at me, she will ignore me. I know I’ve said or done something to upset her because she will go AWOL from texting and Facebook, when otherwise I would hear from her through one of those mediums multiple times a day.

This latest incident, which we are in the midst of at the moment, made me wonder, in this age of online friendships and virtual interaction, have we grown so uncomfortable with confrontation that it’s easier to just ‘log off’?silent treatment

I suppose the real life equivalent would be her storming from the room and slamming her bedroom door closed on me and not answering when I knock. She’s sitting there on her bed in a huff, refusing to let me in or talk to me, with her headphones in pretending she doesn’t hear me at the door.

After a few days there will be the cryptic status updates like, “why am I the only one who cares” and “I’m always the one making the effort”, which will make no sense to anybody but me. At least when we were younger she would have written me a letter, folded it in our secret “pull here” style and had another friend pass it to me in English. So even though someone would be sitting in between us in class, at least we were still communicating directly with each other.

These days, social media is that other friend sitting in between us at school. She’ll whinge to Facebook about how mean I am and be supported with the feedback she needs from her online friends, “oh no, that’s terrible babe” and “don’t worry chick, it will be ok”. Eventually our old friend Facebook will be there when we make up and the 3 of us will all be talking and laughing and sharing our friendship through check ins and photos and status updates again.

Have you realised that these days you’re more likely to send an email or text to an old friend rather than picking up the phone and calling them? Try and think about the last time you actually had a real conversation with someone face to face.

Sad isn’t it, that with all the online networking, facebooking , tweeting and blogging we do up there in the cloud, down here on earth there is still so much silence?

the best things in life aren’t free

Image courtesy of Google

Image courtesy of Google

I need to lose weight, at least 4 kgs, more if I can. I have actually managed to GAIN weight since my son was born. I know why. I didn’t have any weight to lose and took it for granted. I lost nearly 10kgs early in my pregnancy because I was so sick. The day after my son was born I was actually 8kgs lighter than when I got pregnant. Add to that a little thing called depression to get through and I didn’t gain anything for a few months after the birth either.

It’s like anything in life. When you don’t work for something it can be very hard to properly appreciate it. The song is a lie, the best things in life are not free, you have to work at them, appreciate them and recognise them every day… or they will leave you!

I have a terrible habit of giving out wonderful advice but never taking any of it myself. I am good at glossing over my problems and coming across like a well put together woman who has her shit sorted. Most of my friends were shocked to read my article last week admitting I had been suffering with post natal depression. Only a few very close to us knew the struggle I was having in the early months of my son’s life. Everyone else thought we were going along just fine. I’ve always been good at putting on a brave face.

People are also surprised to learn that I am painfully shy. One workmate once said to me, you are the farthest thing from shy there is. He didn’t know the half of it. But that’s another story for another day.

This time I’m not going to hide. Be it ever so trivial and unoriginal, I am going to share my weight loss journey with you. It’s the only way I can keep myself accountable. I’ll keep you up to date through Facebook so you aren’t bombarded with updates in your mail box. Follow me at https://www.facebook.com/groups/losewithme/ if you want to see how I’m going or if you want to join in the challenge yourself!

my name is Ebby and I have postnatal depression

Image courtesy of Google

Image courtesy of Google

From the moment I conceived I lived in fear of developing depression and as my pregnancy wore on in sickness and pain I felt it creeping in as each day passed. I tried to put it down to hormones and baby blues but when my baby boy was put in my arms for the first time I knew it was more than that. I looked down on this tiny, helpless life in my hands and felt… nothing.

 

My baby was born by caesarean and with breathing difficulties he was rushed away from me in to the special care nursery. I didn’t see him for 36 hours. I lay in my hospital bed looking down on my once bulging belly and it was gone, but where was my son? I have no doubt that those first hours intensified the already overwhelming emotions of my pregnancy and labour. By the time the nurse handed him to me the first time I was already so disconnected from the baby, he might as well have been a stranger’s child placed in my arms. I wanted to love and protect him, I wanted to feel like a mum, but there was nothing. I was already lost in a haze of overwhelming fear and panic.

 

I was so lucky, I had so much help. An understanding husband, grandparents who were happy to give up their time to babysit and the finances to hire nannies to help me through the sleepless nights when I was at my worst. But nothing helped. I would hear my baby crying and even if he was right beside me, it felt like I was so far away, like it was someone else’s life I was watching from a distance. I felt like I was in a suspended reality. Life stopped. I was treading water with weighted legs and my head was starting to go under.

 

Just before Christmas I finally got the courage to see my Doctor. Maybe it was the voice of an outsider or the way she said it, but I left her office that day feeling as though I wasn’t useless, that I was doing my best and there was no shame in admitting I couldn’t cope.

 

By the time the New Year rang in the fog had started to lift. With a clearer mind I started to realise, no other job on earth is as hard as parenthood. In no industry in any office around the world are you expected to work such long hours under such emotional and physical strain, with little to no rest between shifts. And in those early weeks before the smiles or giggles and cuddles, there really is no thanks, no appreciation for all your hard work. You are the slave and your little bundle of not so much joy is the master.

 

mum and bugDays slowly passed and with each week my little man grew and changed. I barely remember those early days and looking back at photos of him then, so little and fragile, feels like someone else’s life. These days when I go to him, he smiles and ties himself in knots with excitement that I’m close. He reaches out to touch me when I sit beside him. He laughs when I’m silly. He looks at me like he knows I’m mummy and I’m doing my best. We’re a team.

 

To the mummies still stuck in the darkness, I promise it gets easier. One day you will wake up and the sun will be shining and you’ll wonder how you ever lived without this drooling, pooping, screaming little person attached to you all day. Enjoy the quiet moments when you can and when there are none just remember that one day too soon our babies will be all grown up and asking us to drop them around the corner from school so their friends don’t see us. Until then, hold them close, life will get back to normal soon. An entirely new, wonderful kind of normal.

For more information about postnatal depression please visit Beyond Blue and if you need help talk to your Doctor or Community Nurse.

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