Here’s My Truth About Post Partum Depression
I debated writing (talking) about this for a really long time simply because I didn’t have the capacity to write it down in a way that wouldn’t freak new moms or moms-to-be out. Also, I just didn’t have to words to speak about it to myself because like with so many other things about motherhood, I was filled with a lot of doubt and worry about what people would think. The more I thought about it, the more I realised it was something that other women like me needed to hear. So here we are.
About 3 months ago, I was diagnosed with post-partum depression (PPD). It was one of those things I knew I was battling with but having someone actually point to it and say, ‘Here’s the thing you have’ was intense and cathartic. While I only sought treatment when the tot was about 5 months it was definitely something I had been struggling with from the beginning. When she came, I was a bundle of happy hormones. After a week or so however, I was a hot mess. I convinced myself it was just baby blues and they would eventually go away. The truth of the matter is (and any mom will tell you how difficult it is to admit this) that I felt nothing for my child. She was an extension of me with a million and one needs – none of which I felt equipped to provide. I was floating about in this new motherhood space where everyone was cooing at my child and I was just ‘meh’ to all of it. I shut down completely and stopped being fully present for my child.
Someone asked me how on earth I could have PPD when I had an amazing support system. My nanny is heaven sent, my husband was present and my mum dropped everything to be withe me. But still, I was just unbelievably depressed. One morning, it was physically impossible for me to get out of bed and go to work. It was that day that I knew I had to get help and I had to talk to someone who didn’t know me.
Now, the point of this isn’t so we can have a pity party for me. As it is, I’m actually doing rather well. I’m on medication and I still see my therapist. I can say without a doubt, I am not the woman I was a few months ago. I say this because I know there is a mom out there struggling in silence because she is ashamed it means she’s not a good enough mom. The biggest thing for me in the darkness was the feeling of weakness. So many women had passed through the first year of their child’s life, with worse circumstances and didn’t break a sweat. Why was I such a cry baby? I was convinced that I was a bad mom. I had no business bringing a child into this world and with each passing day, I regretted my child. These are not the kind of things you can say out loud especially not in this society where moms are supposed to be tough. How do you admit you have failed where so many others have gone before you?
My biggest lesson was that everyone’s journey is different. Even with PPD, it looks different for everyone. None of us is built the same and playing the comparison game will steal your joy.
Stop listening to the voice that is telling you you’re not doing a good enough job. Stop listening to the voice that is telling you to suck it up and move on. I guarantee you that once you open up about it, you will realise just how many of us are out there. When I did, so many women around me opened up about their experiences to which I was totally clueless. Their bottom line was simple – your kids are a blessing but by God everyone needs a break from their blessing sometime! And it gets easier. It really does. I could go on about this all day but all you need to remember is that you are not alone and you will get through this. Trust me.
Because sometimes it’s easier to talk to a stranger than someone you know, my judgement free inbox is always available to you – firstname.lastname@example.org. Day or night – reach out to me and I will do my best to walk with you. You know why people without kids get so tired of moms? It’s because we’re a tribe of warriors and when warriors get together, they like to talk about their battles and show each other their scars. So reach out to me and let’s laugh, cry and have a fat bottle of wine because one day you will look back on this period of your life and say, ‘Would you look at that? I fucking did it.’