Post Partum Depression: You Are Not Alone

Post Partum Depression
Sharing even a slight glimpse into my past struggle is terribly agonizing and very scary.
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Postpartum depression is so very real and raw and life-changing—and often misunderstood.

While understanding postpartum depression is finally gaining ground, unfortunately, many people may still view it as a cop-out and that you should just buck up, get over it—or at least that was how my postpartum depression was viewed by some family members. Spend a little time with social media, and you’ll have all the evidence one needs to see that we still have a quite a ways to go in the educating of our society. And the stigma and shame surrounding it is still rampant and real.

I know that firsthand.

And, though I hate to admit, by keeping my silence, I’ve helped perpetuate that stigma and shame. The stigma and shame that is and has long been associated with postpartum depression survivors.

Even 10 years later, I’d rather not look down deep into that wounded part of me that has stayed so hidden. Honestly, the last thing I want to do is share my story, even a little bit of it. My life is so good now. You’d think the horrible memories and terrible effects of postpartum depression would’ve faded by now—even be nonexistent.

But you’d be wrong.

You’d think looking back there wouldn’t hurt me so much or matter all that much anymore.

Oh, but it does.

Sharing even a slight glimpse into my past struggle is terribly agonizing and very scary. So why finally share my story? The answer is twofold, really.

There are still things that I haven’t worked through, even a decade later. I’m hopeful that by sharing my story that the part of my soul that has not been healed will finally be mended.

I don’t want my suffering to have been in vain. During my illness I felt so alone, like no one else could possibly understand what I was going through. And if I voiced my feelings, I ran the risk of being judged. Thus, my second reason for sharing is in hopes of helping others who are experiencing postpartum depression know that they’re not alone.

Someone out there needs to know that it is possible to come out of this and live a happy life.

Someone out there needs to know that someone else understands what they’re experiencing and how afraid they are; that someone else knows what the pain and shame are like. I know.

I know what it’s like to have your loved ones judge you and misunderstand you.

I know what it’s like to hear words and see faces that aren’t really there.

I know what it’s like to wait your whole life for something and be the only one unable to enjoy it—no matter how much you want to.

I know what it’s like to be lonely in a crowded room full of other moms with newborns.

I know what it’s like.

 

I know what it’s like to feel you’re only doing harm to those around you—that they’d be better off if you weren’t here.

I know what it’s like to be so exhausted you can’t even see straight but not be able to sleep.

I know what it’s like to resent your husband and the other lucky people of the world who get to live and work amongst the living.

I know what it’s like to be so angry that a demonic voice erupts, spewing forth words you’ll never get over saying and words they’ll never get over hearing.

I know what it’s like.

 

I know what it’s like to need to pray, faint, vomit, cry, run, hide, and scream—all at the same time.

I know what it’s like to be in the deepest of pain yet frozen and numb.

I know what it’s like to want to ask for help but not have the courage.

I know what it’s like to contemplate squeezing yourself between the cushions of your sofa because there’s really nowhere else safe.

I know what it’s like.

 

I know what it’s like to see your marriage crumbling in front of your eyes.

I know what it’s like to feel the guilt and shame.

I know what it’s like to be half-dressed, curled up in a far corner of your backyard, because it’s the farthest you can go without actually abandoning your baby.

I know what it’s like to write the letter that no one wants to read.

I know what it’s like.

 

I know what it’s like to finally be bold enough to get the help I need.

I know what it’s like to hear the words, “I understand. You’re not alone.”

I know what it’s like to work through the pain and be okay with it.

I know what it’s like to have hope that I can come out on the other side.

I know what it’s like.

 

I know what it’s like to crawl out of the grave, to come back from the dead.

I know what it’s like to put the pieces back together.

I know what it’s like to be thankful for the little things.

I know what it’s like to not sweat the small stuff anymore!

I know what it’s like.

 

I know what it’s like to stare evilness in its ugly eye and stand tall again.

I know what it’s like to find my long-lost smile.

I know what it’s like to sing praises to God more than ever.

I know what it’s like to hold my child and finally feel the long-awaited bond.

I know what it’s like.

 

I know what it’s like to truly live again.

I know what it’s like to realize my kid will be fine, and I’m actually a good mom!

I know what it’s like to be the center of one’s tiny world and like it.

I know what it’s like to share my painful story--

to give my God the glory.

I know what it’s like.

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