Through the eyes of a carer for someone with a mental illness

‘Look after yourself Sarah’


Sarah SmallI keep trying to do the right thing, that thing about looking after yourself? Yes that’s the one, it doesn’t always come naturally to me but I am getting a little sick of being told every few minutes that that is what I should be doing. To be honest at the moment I am finding life a huge struggle, and you might wonder why, why now? Well I wish I could tell you, but at the moment there isn’t really much I can say on the matter, it is just something else I have to deal with that is making what was already a dire situation so much more difficult to deal with. I could have happily kept plodding along as normal but this situation I have now found myself in, so unfamiliar and such a long and bumpy road ahead feels so alien and difficult for me.

So the other day I dragged myself to see my GP and speak to her about everything that had been happening and once again the same old topic of conversation came up again; antidepressants. I still have the same problems, I am still rubbish at remembering to look after myself so likelihood is I will only forget to take them anyway and taking them hit and miss will be more damaging than not taking them at all. Secondly, how I feel is more circumstantial than anything else, wouldn’t you feel pretty miserable if you had all this going on? Thirdly despite how ‘gross’ ‘disgusting’ or anything else you may find, I am still breastfeeding Cora, yes she is over one, yes she doesn’t need it anymore but NO I don’t want to stop and more importantly neither does she yet. Now I don’t care how many times someone is to tell me it is ok to take them while breastfeeding, I am effectively giving my 14month old anti depressants.. All be it a tiny weenie amount, and that, for me personally doesn’t sit right. I will take risks with myself but I will not risk Cora. So after accepting I will this time take the prescription and ‘think about it’ I left again.

Call me what you like but we all have choices in life and at the moment that is my choice, I am currently having counselling but I have come to the conclusion that I don’t find short term counselling helpful because I have a long term problem that isn’t just going to go away over night so I am in the process of looking into more longer term counselling. I have said it before and I will say it again, it is a terribly lonely place being a carer, not always all the time but the majority, and throw young children into the mix and it is even more so.

I was quite lucky that when I had finished crying to my GP, I came across one of the receptionists I know quite well who was locking up, I was trying sooo hard not to show my emotions, though my face was obviously flushed from crying and I was really quiet. She showed me out the back door, because she had just locked the front one and as I left she asked me if I was going to be ok, well that was it; never ask me if I am ok when already on the brink of tears. Bless her she didn’t let me just leave and instead invited me back in, where she listened for awhile and told me to remember where they are if I ever want to nip in for a brew and a chat. I actually really needed that chat and actually went home with less weight hanging above my shoulders.


Author: acarerseyes

I am a mum to four gorgeous girls, and a carer to my former partner of eight years, Chris who has a mental illness, BPD. I blog my experiences.. life is tough! We live in Greater Manchester, UK.

3 thoughts on “‘Look after yourself Sarah’

  1. Nothing wrong with breastfeeding over one – I went on for ages, and it was really important to me and the kids. It would have stopped me taking prescription drugs too.

    What a nice woman that receptionist was. Lots of people would have been in a hurry to get home.

  2. You should breastfeed until you feel ready to start your child on solid foods. Period. There are studies on some medications regarding their effects on breast milk, but I agree that you should take no unnecessary risks with your daughter. It sounds to me as if your doctor needs to reassure you that you have the right to make these decisions as a responsible mother; otherwise, the impression is left hanging that you should quit breastfeeding for the sake of antidepressants. Which is of course, nonsense. I wish it had been the doctor who made you the tea; now *that* would have been Good Medicine!

    • Thank you for your comment, it has been suggested more than once that I stop breastfeeding to go on anti depressants, but they cannot seem to grasp the fact that I am happy, she is happy and we will both stop when she drops her last couple of feeds, I do not want to force the issue. I feel that is my choice to make and no one elses. I have had a doctor make me a cup of tea and sit and chat for awhile before.

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