A Dear Heart Letter from Emma Cottam, Isabella and Us

Dear Heart,
The past two years have been incredibly tough but somehow you’ve survived through all the pain and ache. You’ve come out of the other side stronger than ever with more love to give to those who make your life full.
Over 18 months ago you found yourself in the depths of PND, struggling to bond with your baby and living each day in a grey cloud. You felt empty, numb and alone but you made the decision to fight, so that you could be the mum you wanted to be to your little girl.
And after getting the help you so needed, the bond slowly grew, you worked on those things that triggered you, you took time for yourself. But most importantly you took it slow, knowing that with each day the sunlight was starting to break through the dark grey clouds.
And now as your baby turns two you can look back and know that although the times have been incredibly difficult and at times you weren’t sure if you would make it through, you did. You made it through, and you made it through much stronger than you ever could of imagined.
You’ve found yourself surrounded by genuine people who love you for you, they support you, cheer you on and know that on the bad days they can pick you up with a simple ‘I’m here’. You’ve come so far and you have so much love to give!
Remember that through all the bad months there are many more good months to come!
So keep going, keep pushing and know that you are wanted, needed and that you are doing some good with what happened to you.
Love Mind
Emma Cottam
Founder of Isabella and Us.
Editor of Positive Wellbeing Zine for Mums
Host of Positive Wellbeing Podcast for Mums
You can find more about Emma and Isabella and Us at www.isabellaandus.com and also on instagram.

A journey out of darkness

Hopelessness floods my heart…

I feel the pull like a powerful magnet pulling me in, although it’s far off I feel it’s strength. I have learnt to become more aware of that sensation because if I don’t put blocks in place to cut off the force pulling me in at this point, it sucks me in too fast.

Without the blocks of gratitude and worship I find myself spiralling downwards no longer having the strength to turn around and say no to the darkness. I grapple to hold onto something, anything, but it’s harder to see the darker it gets and before I know it I’m lost in the bleak nothingness. I’m starting to lose a sense of who I am and where I am and what I’m even here for.

I notice the occasional flicker of light which I run towards, sometimes I catch it and sometimes I don’t. I feel nothing. No longer wanting to be here but also not wanting to leave, I’m losing the strength to peel back the darkness or to chase the light anymore. I’m stuck. Hopelessness floods my heart and as each day goes by I die a little inside.

I can’t escape…

Hands are thrusting through the darkness, they reach around and try to grab me. I reach back and sometimes catch hold. I feel myself being pulled upwards, feeling lighter as I go but then they let go or I lose my grip and I’m alone again. Sometimes I’m high enough and strong enough to pull myself away from that unending downward pull, I  can make out handholds on the wall. Sometimes I’m too tired to try and I slowly start to sink back down into the abyss.

This is not how I want to live my life but I don’t feel I have a choice, I can’t escape as much as I try, I feel alone and misunderstood. People try to fix me and explain away my feelings but it hurts all the more.

Hope is revived…

There is only one person who has been strong enough to join me in the darkness, his name is Jesus. He sits with me, expecting nothing, but being everything. His love and patience gives me the strength I need to stand. He says nothing but he gives me a foothold to start climbing. He knows I can’t process words yet, I just need to feel loved.

The loneliness slowly begins to fade. I climb alongside my companion who blocks the magnetic pull. My strength grows and he begins to whisper truth to my heart. Hope is revived and I begin to see colour again. As the feelings come back, I feel overwhelmed by emotion but he never leaves through the tears, anger and frustration he doesn’t reject me. He holds me and allows me to feel, in a safe space, there is no judgement in his arms. I feel myself being lifted higher and higher out of the pit of despair and I have my fight back, my determination not to be sucked back down.

I have been rescued.