This time last year I was still suffering with postnatal depression. But since my wife and I were celebrating our paper anniversary together, I decided to write her a letter. Of course, at the time, I didn’t have this blog. So I had absolutely no intention of anyone ever seeing what I wrote. But since I’m quite public with a lot of my thoughts and feelings, I thought I’d share this. I’m mainly doing it to give you a little bit of an insight into my mindset when Isabelle was roughly 10 weeks old. This is virtually unedited to what I wrote last July. I’ve literally just taken out the odd bit of personal information. Well, here’s the letter to my wife:
So, it’s been a year. Somehow it’s been an entire year since we got married, and here I am writing from the same pack of paper I bought for the wedding.
One year later and so much has changed that I don’t think a single year will ever contain as much change as this one.
Firstly, we have Isabelle, finally! And not only do we have her, but she’s 2 and a half months old! I know I’ve mostly been a terrible father, it’s ok to agree with me, but I’m getting there. I’m incredibly proud of you as a mother though. I know if anything happened to me she would be fine. Heck, quite a few times I thought she’d be better off with just you. I’ve just been good for money. At times, I often thought if I could trade myself in for £100,000 then I would.
Luckily I don’t often feel that way now. I’m mostly OK. I think we both know I’m never going to be fully OK, but when I feel good and I’m with all of you (dogs and rabbits included) the bad days are totally worth it.
It’s almost like my brain can’t handle that level of happiness and just panics and shuts off. But I’ll get there.
Then there’s you. Perfect you. I know we have our moments, and sometimes you feel like you’re not good enough, or something silly like that, but please shut up (in a nice way). You are, and most certainly have been, the ONLY thing that keeps me alive. I hope one day that Isabelle shares that honour with you, but at this moment it’s just you. And I’m totally not worth it. But for some reason you’re still here, and for that I owe you my life.
I know I’m not as bad now, mentally, as I was before, but I still need you. Sometimes more than ever, actually. On a few occasions I’ve felt like my purpose has been served. I’ve made a child and I’m a horrible father who most of the time never loves his child. I’m not really needed anymore, but I’ll stick around if you want me to.
Basically what I’m trying to say is you’re too good for me and you deserve a better husband, and father of your child than I can ever be. I’ll get better at all this. I try. Every day when I sit down and mediate or do yoga or anything I need to do to keep myself level, I picture you two. Nothing else. Not even the dogs (sorry guys). Because it’s you two who need me sane. Well, I don’t know if you need me, but I’m certainly no good depressed.
But it’s so hard. Just trying to stay level takes so much out of me and makes me a worse father and husband than I should be. F**k, you deserve better than this and I’m so, so sorry that I’m like this. I hate myself for not being able to be better. Just remind me that you actually want me here.
I know I don’t really know anything about love, but I have to think that I love you. That’s nice, isn’t it? So romantic. See what I mean. You have a husband who is simply guessing that he loves you. I mean I do love you, just whatever love is. I think if you’d kill yourself without someone I dare say that means you love them, right?
I should probably finish this, I’ve been up here for two hours or so wrapping and writing, yet again being a bad father and husband? Maybe. Well, I love you. In my special Ross way, which was part of my vows so I’m well within my verbal contract from last year.
I hope I can be better, God knows you deserve it. The two of you do! Sorry for being shit, but I’m getting there. Here’s to another year, what’s the next one? Hang on… F**k sake. It’s only paper in the US! So I guess it’s cotton next year? So some sort of jumper? Sorted. Anyway, enjoy your paper.