I am "brave".
Well, at least that's how people described me after reading my last pregnancy piece.
“So brave, so honest," they said.
I’m not brave; at least I don’t think I am.
But I am honest and happen to believe the two can be mutually exclusive.
And that’s kind of the problem – most people think you need to be brave to be honest.
You don’t though, really.
Well, not in my case, at least. I just became a little exhausted, sick and tired of pretending that everything was ‘fine, just fine’, that pregnancy was ‘great’ and that my smile was real.
Why do we have to be brave to talk about how we really feel?
Talking about the thing that haunts you. The thing that sucks the saccharine out of your soul.
The depressive thing that bathes your world in darkness.
But as I've discovered, talking about that thing is what takes the sting out of the sadness.
It gives you ownership. It lets you reclaim that small-lost part of yourself, even for a moment.
Of course, not everyone thought being honest was a good idea.
“Are you sure this is something you want to talk about?”
“Aren’t you worried this could ruin your career?”
“Do you really want to become known as the depressed pregnant lady?”
I don’t really know.
I’ve started seeing a therapist at Gidget House. A little history: Gidget House is a nonprofit organisation that helps women suffering from pre-natal depression and anxiety. It’s a wonderful place and Australia needs more of them.
My husband comes with me and together, with my therapist, we talk openly about the Big Sad and the anxiety and the uncertainty of becoming a mother for the first time.
And when the session is all done, the bell jar feels just that bit looser. I can breathe again.
I’ve spoken about myself a lot, I know - for that I am sorry and for that I feel guilty.
But until my baby comes the only way I know I can actively make the world around her a better place is by changing the only thing I can: me.
Disclaimer: Natasha Lee is an employee with Yahoo7
If this post brings up issues for you, or you just need someone to talk to, please call Lifeline on 131 114.