Adele is praising her best friend Laura Dockrill for her "intimate, witty, heartbreaking and articulate" account of her struggle with postpartum psychosis.
The singer has been friends with Dockrill, a writer and illustrator, for years. In February, Dockrill gave birth to her first baby, a boy who is Adele's godson. The pregnancy was easy, she said, and she had no history of mental illness, so there were no indications that after the birth she would suffer from postpartum psychosis.
"It's not easy to admit that the worst time of your life was when your baby was born," Dockrill wrote in an Instagram post about her decision to open up. "I wanted to unlock some doors and be honest - I've been somewhere I can't unsee - in case there is anybody out there struggling."
I used to hate this photograph of me and had it hidden away with all the other baby stuff I didn't want to look at but now I love it because it shows I survived. This week my baby turns 6 months old and I feel like it's an achievement in more ways than one. I don't usually do oversharing on social media (I've covered over my boobies here rather professionally as you can see for my dignity- not that I have much of that dignity stuff left anyway after the last 6 months and YES my nail varnish is chipped but if you had to change 15 nappies a day and have your arms elbow deep in washing up liquid your nails would be pretty chipped too and who gets a chance to paint their nails with a baby splodging around the place anyway?) but the more I've spoken about this experience AKA the WORST TIME OF MY ACTUAL LIFE the more I've realised the urgency of writing about it. More women and their partners have opened up with their own experiences that have just felt too ashamed or embarrassed to talk about it. It's not easy to admit that the worst time of your life was when your baby was born. Social media gives a very shiny exterior of life to be frank and it's not the full picture, so I wanted to unlock some doors and be honest- I've been somewhere I can't unsee and- in case there is anybody out there struggling - to open up a dialogue and say it's ok. You are not broken... Alrighty... I'm gonna be brave...so here we go... I have teamed up with @clemmie_telford to share my story (link in bio) There are a few thank yous I have to do to those starting with my true love @hugowhitenoise, my one and only spirit sister @adele, my baby love E.T @daisymaydock, my amazing parents and their partners, my partners family, my brother @hdurkle @sioby11 @pennygabriel @victoriabuzzington @el_matthews_ @annekaharry @thesabrinagrant @ssoufian @robertemmsactor @wesleygoode and my publishers @jennyjacoby @tinamories Love you all so much. You saved my life.
She wrote about her experience for the British parenting blog Mother of All Lists. In the piece, she details her traumatic birth experience and the confusion that followed. She didn't think it was postpartum depression, but she remembers being suicidal, begging her mother to let her die. "I didn't recognise myself and I felt like an intruder in my own life," she writes.
It got worse, to the point where she constantly felt scared and confused. Her partner Hugo would have to send her pictures of herself with family and friends to remind her who she was, she said. She eventually became paranoid, and accused Hugo of trying to kidnap their baby.
"My personal compass had gone, my maternal instinct had vanished," she writes. "I was an insecure self hating soulless shell with no confidence, I lost all faith in myself. I felt like I had done something terrible in my past and I was being punished for it."
Dockrill now sees a psychiatrist and takes medication, and she says that talking about the experience has been an important part of her recovery. "I was so full with shame and guilt because there is a huge expectation on women to be perfect beautiful glowing mama queens that are all encompassing wonderbeasts that can manage anything and hold it all together whilst wearing one of those hippy wrap around slings, in cool Nike trainers and red lipstick but it is HARD and FALSE."
Adele is full of praise for her best friend, and is taking to social media to encourage people to read the piece.
This is my best friend. We have been friends for more of our lives than we haven't. She had my beautiful godson 6 months ago and it was the biggest challenge of her life in more ways than one. She has written the most intimate, witty, heartbreaking and articulate piece about her experience of becoming a new mum and being diagnosed with postpartum psychosis. Mamas talk about how you're feeling because in some cases it could save yours or someone else's life x Link in my bio to Laura's story.
"Mamas talk about how you're feeling because in some cases it could save yours or someone else's life," she said. Dockrill says Adele was one of the friends who spotted her symptoms and encouraged her to get help.
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