Sally was the positive, energetic kind of person you’d never expect to suffer from depression. In fact she feels bad admitting it—but she used to think people with depression needed to “just get over it”.
So when Sally started to suffer postnatal depression herself, after her first baby, she had no idea where to turn.
“Hell on earth is how I described it,” she says now, looking back at that time. “I had always wanted to be a mum and I had hopes and dreams of what I’d be like as a mum, but it didn’t come as naturally as I though. I’m quite a control freak and there was nothing I could control about this baby.
“I was sleep deprived, and feeding wasn’t working, and all these things that I thought would be really easy, weren’t. Not a lot of my friends were having kids at that stage, and I just felt really lost and confused.
“[I had] four to six months of really bad postnatal depression that took me to the absolute pits of darkness, that you wouldn’t wish upon anybody.”
It was in the midst of her despair that Sally found the radio station Hope 103.2.
“First thing in the morning was when I would feel my absolute darkest,” she says. “It’d start at about 4am. I’d wake up and my brain would be racing. My friend said, ‘There’s a Christian radio station, put that on, so that you’re not lying there stuck in your own thoughts, just thinking ‘everything is too hard’.
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“So I started listening to Hope—all the time. In the car, at home, always. And the Lord spoke to me so clearly, words of encouragement, words of hope. “
Listening to Hope didn’t give her a quick fix, but a steady, constant voice, reminding her “you can have hope in God, just hold on”.
Overcoming depression is different for everyone, but what you think about and dwell on is a crucial factor, says Sally.
“I started listening… and the Lord spoke to me so clearly, words of encouragement, words of hope.“
“I don’t know why some people are healed sooner than others… but you’ve got to keep putting the right stuff in,” she said. “As the doctors say, you do have to exercise and try and eat well and don’t drink too much, and all those things. But you’ve also got to have the right internal voice going on. And I know if I had been left to what was going on in my head, with no help, I don’t know if I would be here.”
For Sally, supporting Hope 103.2 is her way of giving back, to help those in the community who are struggling in the same way she did: “There’s another mum in a kitchen somewhere, crying because she hasn’t slept and hasn’t had a shower in four days, and she needs to hear Hope.”