My first depression diagnoses, post-natal depression to be specific, was in 2009. I think depression was present in my life prior to this, but this was the first time that I had the "label" and could start to think about what that meant. At the time I was struggling. I struggled with pregnancy, I struggled giving birth, I struggled to recover from birth and I really struggled with a newborn. Sadly, I was not graced with the maternal instinct that it seemed to me, everyone else naturally had. My instincts pushed me to learn everything I needed to know, to cover the basics, but I always felt like I was failing and not doing things well enough. I had a lot of guilt about not really knowing what to do as a Mother. I had a lot of peoples' opinions, often differing opinions, flying at me constantly which added to my stress. I found my self-doubt often creeping in and it was hard for me to work out what was right or wrong and I ended up second-guessing my every decision which caused a lot of confusion and conflicted feelings in my mind. My confidence was near zero. Unless of course, it came to things I was passionately decided about like safety and health. I would not budge when it came to "safety first", no matter what type of pressure other people would put on me to "go with the flow" if I thought there was an element of danger, I wasn't having a bar of it. I was also always very staunch in my views around healthy foods, nothing processed or high in sugar was the way I wanted my little girl to start off life, and develop healthy habits. This wasn't met with approval by all, but I made my views very clear and this made me feel a little in control.
Do I even care if people like me or not? In theory, the answer should be no. In reality, the answer is definitely yes, I do care if you like me, I care even more if you don't like me. I have no idea what type of conditioning causes these feelings but I place the opinions others have of me in a very high place. When I think about it logically, it's bizarre. Allowing people, even people who don't know me to somehow make a judgement call on my worthiness. Yet it has been something I have always felt deeply.