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Grace's story

I was having the time of my life; I’d finished college, I’d left a bad relationship, I had a job with amazing friends and I had met someone who I really connected with. I was loving partying and feeling free and frivolous and I was completely head over heels in love.

It all came to an abrupt end when I found out I was expecting a baby. In the space of a few months I lost my boyfriend, my job and I also had to move area to be closer to my family for support.  During this time I also experienced the death of loved ones and was unable to truly connect with my pregnancy. I went through a battle of head over heart when my ex threatened suicide, because I wouldn’t terminate my pregnancy. It was him or the baby. I even booked 3 abortions, but never attended any of them, because I knew it would be the worst thing I could ever do to myself.

Throughout my pregnancy I felt lost, abandoned, unsupported and incredibly confused.

How could my life have changed so much in so little time? How was I to be a good mother, when I didn’t feel ready? Why didn’t he want me?

Upon giving birth (accompanied by my mum and sister) I stared, desperately trying to focus through the intense gas and air fog within me, at the baby looking up at me in the pool.

I felt nothing.

She looked exactly like the woman who had accused me of many terrible things and who made no secret of the fact that she despised me: my daughter’s paternal grandmother. I had to be prompted to pick her up; I had no desire to hold her. Then upon being discharged from hospital I couldn’t even travel in the same vehicle as my daughter.

This was not what I had envisaged happening when I had babies. I wanted that rush of love and the feeling of completeness that so many people had spoken about.

As the weeks went by, I went about performing the menial practical tasks of feeding, changing, winding etc. I was alone. I became so emotionally changed that I had to stand outside sometimes while she cried, for fear of hurting her when she wouldn’t be quiet.

I was put on antidepressants and things improved a little. Eventually my daughter began to look more like me, which helped with my trying to bond with her. I didn’t speak to anyone about how I was really feeling, because I was worried someone would call social services, because I felt totally incompetent.

I never harmed my daughter, but I did harm myself. Finally I was put in contact with the right people and my medication was gradually increased.

Bluebell has helped me feel that, while I haven’t beaten my depression, I have a knowledge of various methods that genuinely do help. I no longer feel alone and hopeless. My daughter is beautiful and she is thriving and I’ve done that! I have hope for the future and I feel supported and far far more confident. I feel proud of myself.

Depression can happen to anyone and it is important to talk openly about one’s feelings so that someone can help. People are not meant to do it all alone; we need each other.

My thanks to close friends and family.