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Wednesday, 3 August 2011

Warrior Mom in Training

I just added a new badge to my site and I’m feeling a bit kick-ass about it.   

Here’s why:

A couple of weeks ago, I spent my Saturday morning exploring Postpartum Progress, a site that is quite new to me but it always reminds me that I’m not alone and, what’s more, each article I read leaves me feeling empowered and determined.

Feeling like spreading the word about this resource, I scrolled through the badges sections, looking to find an appropriate one I could add to my own blog.  The various “I Survived…” logos are definitely not me. 

Survivor.  That word is for those who have been through a battle with unspeakable illnesses, been up against horrible people, or have been stranded somewhere in the elements and managed to find their way out again.  Survivors are amazingly strong.  I devour survivors’ stories with every part of my being.  These people are the people I look up to, where I draw my inspiration from.  To call myself a survivor, to claim to be in the same league as them, would be to belittle their amazing feats. 

I am not a survivor.  Of that I am certain.

Then the next one:


I was crying.  An absolute mess.  From a badge.  I sat in front of the computer and sobbed big loud, chest heaving, animal sounding, sobs.  I turned the computer off and walked away but my mind hasn’t stopped turning this phrase over and over in my head. 

I am surviving.

The thoughts (or the demons as I’ve come to refer to them) have flooded in, trying to drown this phrase out but somehow, a little tiny whisper of hope has been answering back.

It’s so hard to even get out of bed.
“I’ve managed to get up each and every day.”
I cry so much and just can’t seem to stay happy.
                “Months ago I was struggling to feel.  Sadness is progress.”
Sometimes I still wonder if I should be a mom. 
“My little girl’s face lights up every time she sees me.”
Surely they are better off without me.
“I know our family unit is at its strongest when we’re all together.”  
I can’t handle anymore. I want to give up.
                “I’ve made it this far.” 

As you can imagine, the list goes on, but now the whisper is there.
Surviving has been a horrifically ugly affair.  While I’ve actually had long periods of okay days and several stretches of good days, I know my battle to beat this illness is far from over.  I struggle almost every day.  Things have been especially tough lately as I realise I haven’t recovered and I work to face it so I can get better.  If I look back at where I started from, I know I’m getting better.  Slowly.  I’m beginning to accept that nothing I do will speed up the process of recovery.  The light at the end of the tunnel is still not in my sights.  I am trying instead to focus on making it through each day, to continue to provide a loving environment for my daughter, to mend and maintain the connection with my husband. 

I am trying to keep my goals small.  Once an over-achiever, I am trying to find little things that might make me feel good, if only for a few moments, and be okay with that.

I wanted to tell you all that after placing that badge on my site, I felt proud to call myself a warrior mom but I don’t feel like I’m quite there yet.  But I’m working on it. 

One shaky foot in front of the other. One day at a time. 

I am surviving.


Almost bedtime said...

hi sandy

i was just trying to send you a more private message through my blog but i had to join my own blog and i couldn't figure it out so i clicked on to your blog page and you had just posted this message - i have very little experience with PND but it sounds like you are tackling it head-on and i was very impressed by the frank way in which you talk about it - i am a huge believer in talking things through - i think that you immediately feel better about things that are bothering you once you say them out loud - anyway i was just going to say hi and thanks for joining my blog and let you know that i saw you lived in bristol - i went to university there in 1989-92 and i loved it - in fact i chose the university because i loved the city so much - i used to live just off Whiteladies Road in Redland - i have to go my little guy is fussing - but keep writing

Almost bedtime

The Boy and Me said...

I'm so glad that there's a whisper! You deserve to be feeling all of this. Keep it up!

Sandra Sutherland said...

Thank you. I'm glad the whisper is there too. It is a breath of fresh air and a new found source of strength. I do feel better once I've written though it isn't always easy to hit that publish button!

Andrea said...

I am lucky nit to have had ppd. But I know people who have. What you are doing here does make u a survivor too as this is an inspiration to others. Keep it up. I look forward to reading more.

learnedhappiness said...

By just surviving, you ARE a warrior mom. <3 Keep surviving. Stay hopeful.

Sandra Sutherland said...

Thank you. I am's my new mantra.

Thefamilyfridgedoor said...

It's only when you glance back you see how far you've come. 4 yrs on and with each reflection I see the illness for what it was, keep on your journey it will pass, good luck!

Sandy Sutherland said...

Thanks. x

1978rebecca said...

Brilliant post! That badge made me feel really emotional too. I guess it's knowing other people feel the same.