You love gifs, don't deny it.

A while ago, on a previous blog, I mentioned that I have bipolar disorder.

After a long time of thinking it was totes normal to hate on myself (for any reason possible) and draw emo things, it was a revelation to know that actually it's totally uncool and I shouldn't do it.

While it still sometimes sucks ( a little or a lot) most of the time my attitude about being bipolar is kind of like...

... you know. Whatevs - It's how I roll. 

This post isn't actually about being bipolar, it's about when I had kids, and about art, and about fears, and whatever else.

When I had the Angel I was terrified that I would get post natal depression, and when I instead got a placid baby who I liked pretty much straight away I was pretty pleased. Two years later when the Samurai showed up, I wasn't worried. I was going to have a baby, take a few days off and get back to art and looking after the Angel and studying medical terms and all sorts of 'not related to baby' type things.

I left the hospital the same day that he was born feeling all tough and womanly about my staunch reaction to child birth.

And then I got home and went to bed and fell into what I would deem to be a self inflicted depression.
I wasn't connected to this squishy little guy, I never managed to get everything done in the day that I wanted to do, he was always (always) hungry and feeding him was a painful trial...
I felt guilty for saying anything about it, and just stared at his little face hoping for some kind of revelation - before going to make dinner, or clean something, or sit on the computer, or do something else that would take me away from him.


I was distraught that he wasn't like the Angel, that I didn't love him the same, that I couldn't 'figure him out.'

Then I realised that I didn't know him. He was just new and hadn't been around for the two years I'd had his brother.
I slowed down, spent more time with him. Realised that he whinges because he LOVES being around people and chatting and laughing and staring into peoples faces. After the first few weeks he even started sleeping through the night (um way to become the favourite - jks!!)
He's awesome, and super cute and totally different to his brother which is fantastic. I love his guts.

The moral of the whole story, or perhaps a moral of this story is that while I may be able to shrug about how I deal with my mood swings and bipolarity, and while I know that I don't need to hate myself, I can still draw emo drawings.

Shunning sadness and irrational desires to cry has meant that I put away a lot of the things that I did at that time to cope for things that actually worked.

For example.

Listening to sad music while sad - not helpful
Complaining to equally depressed friends while depressed - not helpful
Cutting off all my hair and/or dying it yet another colour - not helpful
More earings? - NOT HELPFUL
Watching world movies - not helpful


So while I still love Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind, I'm hardly going to rely on it to help me manage my emotions. Rather I'll go for a run or better yet, call my husband for a whinge and then go have a sleep.

I stopped drawing my emotions around the same time that I was diagnosed, and I shouldn't have. Drawing allowed me to constructively express myself without wearing down my loved ones with constant complaining.

So this is what I did today.

Because sometimes I need reminders of things. I will always know that I love my son, but the story of how I figured that out contained important lessons for me, and those I might forget.


  1. Love it lady! Just gorgeous. I had a very similar experience with my 2 boys, was super hard to connect with him. I had to be induced with my second, and I cried and cried on my way to the hospital because I felt like I was cheating on Ollie (oldest). Love my Max now though, he's awesome sauce. Thanks for sharing & being so open x

  2. I thought this was a beautifully brave post Eleanor. Really thought provoking and insightful. Thank you for this. Also totally want to take you up on the book idea!

  3. Beautiful honest post Eleanor!! Amazingly, I can see all the emotions you spoke of in your picture. You are an incredibly talented woman! Don't ever stop drawing how you feel!

  4. Nice post Eleanor. I felt the same about my first, bad baby blues. Took me ages to connect but then the second I connected straight away and got severe PND. A friend once said to me, "Oh but I thought you loved your kids" when I told her I had PND. GRRR! Ignorance.
    I love mine both enormously, but still had a severe dose of it for over a year second time round. I loved waking up to my second, so cute and cuddly but my body/mind/emotions took a long time to re-jigg. A year after I had him I just all of a sudden felt myself again. (nothing to do with the psych visits, exercise and patching up relationships with close ones.... haha yes all of that too).
    My body caught up and my mind woke up.
    You're a bigger person than me for talking it out. It took me 8 months to quit faking the smiles.

  5. Awesome example of figuring yourself out and then acting on it! Love this post

  6. You still amaze me, lady friend. You are brave and cool.
    And I love the drawing, and the idea of becoming an illustrator for children's books!


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