…no, with a literal bump. We’re having a baby! I’m currently 14 weeks gone, and feeling like a manatee already. I know there’s only one baby in there – we made the midwife check several times.
With this news, it seemed like perfect timing to open up this pretty-neglected blog of mine and start writing again. Having BPD is one thing… having BPD and being pregnant, oh boy. Plus, November is just around the corner, and for National Novel Writing Month I have decided to finally put my BPD story down on paper – because having a month to write 50,000 words is a good kick up the arse, right?
I’ve been thinking a lot about writing here again. For months I was in a very solid (and boring) state of recovery. I’m kidding about the boring bit, it was nice to have some peace and stability for the first time in a long time – if ever, actually. Therapy has done me a lot of good, especially with having to put a lot of the work I did into practice since becoming pregnant. I am still on venlafaxine, but lamotrigine isn’t good for the baby; so at 7 weeks pregnant I came off it cold turkey. I’m going to save that story for a separate post, as I feel it’s very important that other mentally-ill expectant mums have a whole picture of what it might be like to withdraw off psychiatric medication. In short, it was a Pretty Rough Time.
Oh, PIP update: I STILL DON’T HAVE IT. They rejected my claim for a second time not long after my last blog entry, so I escalated it to go to a tribunal. Of course, the DWP wrote to the tribunal services and stated that they don’t believe my case should be looked at, but luckily for me the decision is out of their fat, greedy hands. I got a copy of all the correspondence between me and them since 2014, and the amount of hypocrisy is astounding. I don’t want to go into too much detail, as it is still confidential information, but there was one statement made that still resonates loudly;
“We are not questioning that Mrs Stephenson has the conditions stated, rather, we do not agree with her claim for benefit.”
So apparently, being disabled doesn’t actually qualify you for disability benefits according to the Department of Work and Pensions. If someone could tell me how exactly that makes sense, feel free to leave a comment.
I’ve been able to support myself somewhat with my freelance art work. I did stall for a few months due to a horrendous first trimester – morning sickness is no laughing matter – but I’m trying to pick it back up now I’m into my second trimester and feeling a bit more like myself again. It’s not much, but considering even without the pregnancy I couldn’t work thanks to the BPD, it’s better than nothing.
Does this mean that my blog is going to become a Mommy Blog? Urgh. No. But I think it could do no harm to tell the world what life is like when you’re expecting a baby and you suffer from mental illness. I’ve always been open and honest about my struggles, and I think that talking about being ill and pregnant – and eventually, being a mum – might do some good.
While I’m here, a friend of mine has recently started a blog about his mental health, particularly his struggles with anxiety and working in a high pressure environment. Go and give Freddie’s blog a read – Corporate Survivalist!
People in general need to talk more openly about men and mental health. Male suicide rates have been higher than women’s for quite some time, and given the tragic death of Chester Bennington only three months ago (something I will write about at a later date), the stigma needs to be addressed now more than ever. It could save lives.