Over the lockdown I have been watching some old DVDs of family moments.
I’ve gone back to being pregnant with my eldest (age 19, 15 years ago) and through his baby days and beyond.
Looking back at the times when he was a baby/toddler I felt a pang of sadness. I wanted to scoop me up and tell me it would all be OK!
It took about 6 months to fully hit but I suffered from deep depression and anxiety for a good while after. Even watching his first Christmas video I feel the anxiety coursing through as if I was back there. She’s still me, the 20yr old new mum is still part of me and she always will be. She has shaped who I am today, I doubt Snowdrop would exist had I not gone through those times.
These old memories have been very much present in my mind and body when watching those times. Those memories shape things I do today too, I can feel anxious in certain situations and will react in ways I remember doing then, the feeling of dread making me want to run. Sometimes I do, and that’s ok.. I’ve had a lot of therapy over the years and continue with these feelings coming up (even therapists have their own stuff to deal with).
Watching these films have shown me that I have come along way and also acknowledge just how ill I was.
I say I want to scoop her up but then what would I actually say?
I know “it’ll all be ok” wouldn’t mean much to 20yr old me. She’d scoff.
What would I say?
I had zero confidence or self worth then. So maybe id need to hear, “you’ve got this.”
What would you say to a younger you if you could? Hard isn’t it.
I think holding or simply a hand on shoulder would be enough. Knowing it’s ok to cry, be angry etc.
Those old feelings have definitely risen during lockdown. I think because I’m those times 15years ago my illness made me lockdown. Walking out the front door would give me an actual panic attack and now I’m forced in to some extent.
Supporting new mothers going through similar situations I am aware of similarities and also the vast differences we can experience. I suppose I’d want to be more kind to myself as many mothers I support find helps. Just being there and riding the waves.
I can now see those black moments do not last. There may be fleeting moments but they do not last and the black days can become fewer and manageable.
Watching these DVDs has shown me (reminded me), that people can go through some tough times and grow amazingly and that hindsight is a wonderful thing.
Reminds me of this quote,
“Forgive yourself for not having the foresight to know now what seems so obvious in hindsight.”