Almost every day is confusing. There are enormous ups and disastrous downs. Sometimes it feels that there is no end in sight. In the worst moments, the hopelessness overwhelms you. Your children are just being children, and you, you are struggling to be their mama.
This is postpartum depression.
A silent beast that invades your most precious memories. If you’ve been one in five women in the United States that will fall victim to this condition, you may be able to relate heavily. If you’ve experienced it, then you know it all too well.
Depression, in general, is detrimental to live with. It affects your overall health and well-being, your eating habits, your physical activity, your self-image, and your relationships. When your mind enters a state in which everything around you seems out of touch to you, self-pity arises. It’s a condition that feels false, overreacted, almost like an excuse for the hard times. But it is far from that. It is a reality for the person living it, and it’s often a reality that happens from very personal experiences – personal experiences that can often be the most important parts of your life.
Becoming a mother is one of those personal experiences.
Depression in the postpartum phase is becoming more prevalent now because more women are speaking up. Despite women speaking up about their circumstances, there are still a multitude of mamas out there that lay alone with this. They become deep in their emotions and they stay silent because mamas are strong! We are meant to be nurturers, sympathizers, and the one who kisses boo-boos no matter how big or small. When you’ve succumbed to a condition like postpartum depression, nurturing anything feels impossible, feeling empathy is a lost cause, and your boo-boos become too big to kiss anyone else’s away. “Strong like a mother,” they say, and I learned that “they” are right…
Regardless of what you’ve endured as a mother – postpartum mental illnesses or just your common, everyday mom struggles- you are strong like a mother should be. Deep within you, you have what it takes to own this role and love your little humans. Deep within you, someone has called you into this position – to raise up your children the way you are meant to do. Each of us will parent differently. Each of us will experience motherhood differently. Each of us will struggle and succeed differently. The takeaway from my own personal experience with this condition is that underneath the blanket of depression that covered me, there was worth hiding beneath. Worth that overpowered mental illness and made me capable of smiling at my children and mean it.
They deserve you at your best. And you deserve you at your best.
If you are currently suffering, don’t stay silent. Connect with a professional or someone you trust. These emotions steal you from your life and intervening before it gets too bad can make all the difference in how you recover. Trust that you will overcome.