Tuesday, July 14, 2015
What I Need the World to Understand About Postpartum Depression
Have you ever felt like you were outside of your body looking in? Have you ever been so disgusted with yourself that you thought you didn't deserve to even live? Have you ever tried to push everyone in your life away because you thought they were all better off without you in their lives? Have you ever held your newborn baby in your arms and felt absolutely nothing?
If you have felt any of those things at any time in your life. I'm truly sorry. I know how that feels.
If you have felt all of these things at once....no words cannot describe how connected I feel to you. And how much my heart breaks for you.
When I wrote the Intro post on this blog I touched a little bit on my Postpartum Depression when I had my son in 2010. Some of you may have read that and thought, Wow. This woman is ridiculous. How can you have a new baby and not feel love in your heart? How can you look in their sweet innocent face and not want to kiss or hug them?
Believe me. Nothing that you thought is something that didn't go through my own mind over and over. Every day.
Maybe you read my post and thought, Oh my gosh. This is me. This is my life. I felt the exact same thing. I had no idea this was a "thing". I thought it was just me.
If that's you, I'm writing for you. I am writing to spread awareness of mental illness in general. But Postpartum has a special place in my heart. It made me who I am today.
Some of you may think, is she crazy? There is no way that she is like she is now because of Postpartum Depression! That stuff is awful! It tears families apart. It separates mothers from their children. I mean, women actually kill their kids in some cases! And in SOME CASES, you would be right. It does do all of those things. Sometimes awful things do happen. But it is not one size fits all. Not every woman going through this is out to kill her children or herself. Did you know that there are actually AT LEAST 5 different ways that Postpartum can present itself. FIVE. Not just one. Do we feel like we want to run away? Like they would be better off without us in their lives? Do we feel guilty? Absolutely. But we aren't trying to hurt anyone. If anything, we are trying to protect them.
Please understand that if a you or a woman you know is going through this, they are not doing it on purpose. They are not doing it to get attention. Or to try to get out of their responsibilities. We want the exact opposite. Many women are hiding how they really feel every single day because of what it would look like to other people. I was criticized over and over during that time. Told that if I would just distract myself I would be able to turn it off. The anxiety that I had every single day would just disappear. I would get through it. You do what you have to do. And the worst, if I couldn't handle it then maybe I shouldn't have had another kid.
Even typing that still hurts my heart.
Please know that I didn't ask for any of this. Why God chose me to walk this journey, I will maybe never know. For right now, I'm going to say that it is to help as many other women as I possibly can to know that Postpartum Depression really is a "THING". It's real.
Please DO NOT compare it to the baby blues. Don't do it. I may punch you in your face. Don't get me wrong, the baby blues can really suck. I had that with my first son. It can feel like you are losing your mind. But Postpartum, that's a whole different beast.
Please don't assume that every woman with Postpartum Depression is trying to hurt/kill her child. If we were, we would have been diagnosed with Postpartum Psychosis!!!! Different things. Different treatment. Just different.
Please know that if you are going through this or have ever gone through this. There is help. Support groups in OUR area! Actually, some pretty great resources are available for you and I can help you find them!
And finally, PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE be easy on yourself or the person you know going through this time. I GUARANTEE that you/they are being much harder on your/themselves than anyone else ever could be. Know that this too shall pass. You have A LOT of fight left in you!!! Find your own Fight Song!
Be Kind. Always. Everyone is fighting a battle that we know nothing about.