As I write this, it's the eve of my third Mother's Day. This time last year I was on a different planet, in another galaxy, light years away from the reality I reside in now. I was a completely different person. I hadn't smiled for weeks. I hadn't slept properly for months. I was in the depths of my second cruel bout of postnatal depression... and the memories I have of my Mother's Day are all of a sudden very clear.
It was my first Mother's Day as a mother of two and my first without my Grandma, my mum's mum. Bitter sweet. I spent the day with my family, who I adore, at my mum's house. The kids had fun, we all ate yummy food, nothing 'went wrong'. But I was miserable. Something I probably didn't share with anyone on the day - I can't remember. But I was miserable.
I asked myself what the hell was wrong with me. I had no reason to feel the way I did. I was surrounded by people who loved me, had a gorgeous brand new baby boy, was being treated to a delicious lunch, being told to "Put your feet up!" and "Relax!"... so why was it such a hard day?
I just couldn't be happy. It's almost like I had forgotten how. I was stressed, my anxiety was through the roof... every time my baby cried every muscle in my body tensed up and my heart rate increased. I couldn't enjoy the company. I couldn't enjoy the food. I was miserable.
I remember trying to hide it. I didn't want to ruin anyone else's day. I also didn't want to admit to myself that I was feeling as bad as I was. So I think I blocked it out from my mind at the time... and it's only now, on the eve of my next Mother's Day, that the memories have begun to resurface.
But they're not coming back in a way that upsets me. Quite the opposite in fact. My memories are somehow empowering me, giving me hope, making me feel accomplished and positive. It's because this Mother's Day will be different. This Mother's Day, I am well.
I have recovered from post natal depression. Yes, it can be done. This Mother's Day I am really looking forward to because this year, depression won't be stealing it from me - it's all mine! I will smile, I will laugh, I will relax and I will enjoy myself. I'll also take a minute to remind myself that I am the best mum I can be.
If you happen to be in the place I was a year ago, I understand. Tomorrow will not be a happy day for a lot of mums for a lot of reasons. Depression can take so much away from us, my only hope is that it doesn't talk you into believing you aren't worthy. You're a mum, which automatically gives you every right to be happy on Mother's Day.
My thoughts are with any mums who have lost their children, anyone whose mum has passed away and any woman who longs to be a mum but can't.
Happy Mother's Day to you, Happy Mums and to all the fabulous and wonderful women in your life.