Hello there! I’m Catherine. I’m the (wobbly) braun behind the PANDAS Guest Blog. It’s been suggested by our team that it would be interesting to have a regular feature, the tale of someone who’s been there, done that… and I volunteered!
I’m 30. I live in a town called Rugby. I play the cello and cross-stitch for money. I have a daughter, V, who is 2 years and 8 months old. I live with my fiance R. R has two children. L is 7 and M is 4 (nearly 5). L and M live with us part-time, 50/50. The rest of the time they live with their Mum who lives down the road. V’s Dad lives in a town called Tarlac with his wife and son, and we haven’t heard from him since January.
I was diagnosed with postnatal depression when V was about 6 months old. I was “spotted” by a Stop Smoking counsellor. I had started smoking, secretly, about two weeks after my daughter was born. Looking back, I now believe I was desperate to scrape back some of the life I had before. I remember hearing, so often, “Ooh, your life is turned upside down when you have a baby. Nothing will ever be the same.” I didn’t believe it until it happened. I started to miss small things like walking with my headphones in, music blaring. I missed smoking cigarettes and drinking red wine in my living room, listening to vinyls on my record player. I missed sleep. And then, before I knew it, there I was, standing outside in my dressing gown, baby sleeping in the kitchen, me with a fag in one hand and googling “New Mum helpline” on my phone with the other. How did this happen? How did I get here? Read More