R U Ok?

September 09, 2021

R U Ok?

Today is RUOK? Day 2021 and I know for so many worldwide, it’s been a really tough year. 

It has now been around 18 months since Covid-19 hit our shores here in Australia and we are hearing the reports that Helplines, both locally and globally are trying to assist with such dramatic increases of calls for help. It’s heartbreaking.  There are so many people reaching out with their mental health being affected and many don’t know where to turn.

I personally opened up on RUOK Day 2020 to share my story in the hope of helping others who might be struggling with their mental health. 

My personal journey started 3 days after giving birth to my son in June, 2019.  Day 3 baby blues, which I was told about, kicked in and it just wouldn’t leave. I remember the moment when I heard about the Day 3 baby blues and I thought to myself then “I got this, it’s fine”, especially since I wasn’t really a crier or an emotional person pre giving birth.

I think that was what made things even harder for me to comprehend. When you are someone who is quite a controlled person and not “emotional”, to then be crying at the drop of a hat sometimes for no reason at all, it was confusing and made it worse as I couldn’t use my normal, analytical, problem-solving ways to work this out. That was how my brain had worked before, so why wasn’t it working the way I knew it to be able to.

For months, my husband walked around on eggshells, holding back from saying anything wrong in the fear of setting me off. He knew I was suffering post-natal depression very quickly but wasn’t sure how to address this with me. He was even stopping ads on the TV and rewinding them when I walked into the room in the hope that I would identify with the commercial, but at the time I didn’t even notice this.

It was November 2019 by the time I could no longer hide behind the façade I was using daily when I left the house to head to work or engagements we had to attend. That moment in the car when I finally blurted out “I hate my life I just want to die” still haunts and cuts deep to think about. It makes me sad that from where I was sitting mentally right then, I couldn’t see through the haze of this awful depression, at how wonderful my life was and how much I had to look forward to.

About 3 hours after this life changing moment in the car with Sal (my husband), I called a councillor and started attending regular sessions to start working on healing.  In conjunction with these sessions, I also began reading some of my favourite books all focused on mindset and got back into my daily affirmations and really started focussing on me (“You can heal your life” by Louise Hayes is my go-to book when I need that boost). I also started heading back to the gym and started to really take note of things that made me feel good.  Taking time for yourself is not selfish, it’s a form of mental health preservation and so important.

Some of the things I used to help me to get myself healing are:

  • Meditation
  • Exercising
  • Positive affirmations
  • Reading a good book
  • Watching a Comedy on TV
  • Focusing on healthy eating
  • Taking a relaxing bath when I could

I have had the pleasure of speaking with several amazing women who have reached out or come into my life since I shared my story. The power we have found collectively from even just sharing our experiences and talking together with someone who can really understand the struggles of post-natal depression has been empowering for us all.

I don’t think I ever considered how healing it would be when I decided to speak up and share my journey.  I am so grateful to you all for allowing me to use my platform to share this, and for all the amazing people who have supported me and reached out since the Vlog went live.

If you want to go back and see the original Vlog, click on the link here (link to original blog R U OK day 2020 insert)

I wanted to share this update to really highlight and share with you how far I have come. So, if you are struggling right now, you hopefully will find hope and inspiration in my journey, to speak up and reach out for the help you need.

I know how hard it is to take that first step, but I have been able to heal and move forward because I was brave enough to ask for help.  I truly believe you can be brave too. 

Sending you all the love 

Danielle xxx 

If you or someone you know is struggling with anxiety or depression, please reach out to one of the help lines below:

Beyond Blue: 1300 22 4636


Suicide Prevention Melbourne:  1300 651 251


Lifeline Australia: 13 11 14


Panda (Support for new or expecting parents): 1300 726 306


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