On August 19, 2015 I finally made it public on Facebook that I had been suffering from postpartum depression and anxiety since the birth of my beautiful daughter. Here was my post:
About a year ago I finally got help for my postpartum depression. It has been such a journey for me to learn how to be ok with who I am. Since I can remember I have always suffered from depression and for the first time I feel like the person I’ve always pretended to be. I am fun, smart, beautiful, and a little sassy. Thank you to my amazing hubby, Jeff, and both our families for helping me. I would not have gotten through this with out you.”
When I wrote this post I wasn’t looking for attention and didn’t care how many ‘likes’ I got. I simply wanted to take my dark depression blanket off and allow people to see the real me. I never wanted to let people see that I was suffering. In today’s world moms are expected to do everything and to do it all flawlessly. I’ve always been an outgoing person and suddenly I found myself crying at the thought of leaving the house. I felt like my entire world was crumbling around me, like I was screaming and no one could hear me, and yet I had to pull myself together and pretend to everyone that I could “do it all.”
What helped me through this time in my life was the support system of all the women I had surrounded myself with. Though my anxiety was suffocating me, I forced myself to workout twice a week. It was the group of women I worked out with that unknowingly saved me. They were, and are, the most positive and most real women I know. We are all there to support each other, and when one of us is down we’re all there to pitch in and pick the other one up.
I’m just one of many moms who suffers from postpartum depression. Some of us don’t even feel it until our second or third child, when life gets even more busy. If you or someone you know is struggling, be open and honest with them. Let them know your personal struggles with motherhood. Get her out of the house for coffee, shopping, or even a little walk around the block. Get her to realize that she is doing a great job. Lastly, make sure she seeks help. For me, my husband encouraged me to see my doctor and she prescribed me with some medicine to help my chemical balance and highly recommended I see a counselor. Having a person outside of my family and circle of friends that I could confide in was the biggest game changer.
I now know that life is good. I feel strong and confident and that it’s important to take life day by day. When things get hard I am always reminded by a motto we have among my group of women – I am A MOM, I can do ANYTHING!