Post-Partum Depression: Part I
As mentioned in my previous blog post, Mental Health is an important aspect of our lives. Life can take over and overshadow our health. Acknowledging that you are not in a stable mindset can prevent the domino effect of many mental illnesses.
It has been a long time coming and trying to find the courage to publish this post seemed almost impossible. I know that telling my story will help others with what they are going through in their life. I only wish to encourage and to share my experience to let the reader know they are not alone in this situation. Here we go.
Looking back at the last year or so I was not sure where I would be today or how I would manage to overcome the obstacles placed in front of me. I read my old tweets, from August 2018 and on, and I get goosebumps because I can clearly see where I was falling off the ledge. So many things going through my mind, so many hormones imbalanced, so much going on in my daily life. I got through it all but not on my own. I relied so much upon my loved one and my midwife.
Oh No, Not Me
Everyone needs to understand that they are not made of steel. What happens to others may happen to you. Judging others for not doing the “right thing,” based on the situation that is portrayed, is not ok. We do not know what is going on in their life, all we can do is try to put ourselves in their shoes. I was bad at this. I watched Teen Mom OG judging the mothers on the show. Saying, “Oh no, that would not be me.” Or, “How can they possibly do that.” So I bit my tongue with that one.
Say It Already
Here we go (just breathe). I suffered post-partum depression with my last child. I was not sure what I was going through but I knew that something was not right. Now that I have overcome it I see everything much clearer. However, during my diagnosis, I could not see anything past what I was doing wrong. Actually I felt anything and everything I did was not enough and not done right. I did not know this illness was consuming me until the day I realized I was not “me” anymore.
This will be a three part series. I cannot explain myself without telling my whole story in detail. Needless to say, I realized that everything we see in movies, TV shows, and read in books is real. I suffered post-partum depression and I am extremely grateful that I survived it.
Scary does not begin to describe how it was. Not knowing the outcome was terrifying for me and for my husband.
My posts clearly explain what my life was like after my son was born. It was hectic. They can paint a precise picture of how overwhelmed I was since the day he was born.
I thought I was made of steel, I never asked for help unless helped was offered. I wanted to be at every appointment because I wanted to know everything that was going on with my son. At one point I took all 3 of my kids for an appointment he had. A nurse escorted us to my car after the appointment was over. She even buckled up my daughter in her car seat. Yes, I was going crazy but I did not see it.
Before diving into specifics I just want to say that you don’t have to suffer alone. Listen to that inner voice. When your gut tells you, “something is not right,” it is because something is not right. Go with your instincts.
I had warning signs and I chose to ignore all of it, because I did not have time to deal with myself. I had so much to do that resting was the least of my worries. This is when God told me, “stop!” This is when my husband stepped in and said, “you need professional help, because my help is not good enough.” I love this man!
I am mentally stable today. I take care of my mental health through writing and prayer. I let go and I let God. I am aware of the warning signs and I can stop myself from falling of the ledge again. I chose not to go the pharmacological route, I’ll explain why later. Although I was convinced by my Midwife that it would help, I chose to go against her medical advice.
First step is to realize something is wrong, the second step is to ask for help, third is seeking professional care.
To some the first step is good enough. To me it was not. I had to physically step into a clinic, cry my eyes out and say, “I can’t live like this. I need help because I am not the same.” All while thinking that I was an unfit parent and not worthy of my husband and children.
To the reader: you are not alone. I have walked in your shoes and I know what you went through. It is not easy and all your emotions are valid. If you feel like no one understands, it is because they don’t. That is the truth. The end of it is not far, you just need a little push into the right direction. This will pass and you will learn from it.