Meet the Mums behind the Letters
In our “Meet the Mums Behind the Letters” series we introduce the incredible women who have put pen to paper to help support a fellow mum. We share their Maternal Mental Health story and what being involved in The Letters of Light Project has meant to them. In this article, we hear from Fiona in her own words as she bravely shares her own story and personal reasons for joining the project.
My daughter was born in September 2018 – I was very lucky, everything about my pregnancy and elective section went wonderfully. For the first month everything was a dream, my daughter fed quickly and painlessly, we were glowing. Then slowly my mental health deteriorated. At the time, I wasn’t aware. I thought this was normal, but my anxiety levels were through the roof. I was in a state of panic at all times, and with that came a sense of hopelessness, worthlessness and depression. I believed my daughter would be better off with my husband, so I should leave. I believed when she cried it was my fault. It took a full year before I eventually accepted the help I needed, despite reaching out a number of times.
Why did you want to get involved in The Letters of Light Project?
I wanted to get involved because, having experienced the crushing realities of maternal mental health struggles, I wanted to try and help other women. Fortunately, or unfortunately, no one around me had experience of PND, and therefore found it hard to relate, so I wanted to lend my experiences to someone who was suffering. I wanted to be able to say to them, having been there, it will not always be like this. Because that was my overriding fear, that I would always feel as bad as I did at that time.
How did you find writing your letter and how did it make you feel?
It took me two attempts to write my letter; it brought back a lot of emotions which I had to deal with. However, completing and sending it to the Letters of Light project was one of my happiest days in MMH journey.
Have you found writing your letter beneficial to your own mental health?
I definitely think writing the letter has helped me, in terms of my own mental health. It gave me a positive source through which to channel my emotions and makes me feel like there is a good to come out of my struggles.
If there’s a mum reading this and contemplating registering to receive a letter what would you tell them?
I would say, please register. Please. You are not alone, I have felt how you are feeling, and I promise you, receiving a letter from one of the wonderful women who are writing the Letters of Light will give you a desperately needed connection.
What is the one message you would like to tell other mums who are struggling through difficult times at the moment?
It will not always be like this. It will end. You will feel better again. You are not alone. You. Are. Amazing.