The smell of Johnson’s baby wipes will always remind me of the first night I spent alone with my newborn son. It was during the middle of the night and he needed a nappy change. I was so far out of my depth, I was drowning in my new role as a mother. That was the beginning of my experience with postnatal depression and although I got through it, the smell of those baby wipes will always stay with me. 

The sound of a helicopter still makes me sick to my stomach, particularly if I am laying in bed at night. The thought of why a helicopter is circling the sky above brings back memories I’d rather forget. The dull hum takes me back to the night when I was living my worst nightmare. It makes me retrace every single step I took that night. 

Tick, tock, tick tock. Even writing it down can begin to irritate me. A ticking clock in a quiet room if I am feeling particularly anxious has the ability to put me on edge-even to this day. A knot begins to form in the pit of my stomach and my heart begins to race in anticipation of what would always happen when I’d hear that clock.

The smell of hospitals and every emotion they evoke inside of me. Worry, pain, anger, frustration, helplessness, sadness, guilt, hurt, upset, distress, unsettled, numb, anxious, depressed- the list could go on. I’m sure very few people would say they actually enjoy the smell of a hospital but for me it’s the emotions synonymous with my experiences of one that impact me most.

My coping mechanism when these hit me out of the blue? I’ve been known to quite literally shake my head in the hope they fall out of my mind and at times they do. If they decide to linger a little longer then I tell myself that they are reminders of the things I’ve overcome. 

The things I should be proud of.

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