I wrote the blog below during a period of postpartum depression. It was for a writing job I applied to. It was a very difficult time in my life, and I honestly didn’t see how I could make it out. A lot has happened since those days, but here I sit at my computer listening to my little, who is just over two years old, feeling positive and hopeful, two words I would have never thought would be applied to my story ever again. I wanted to share because it can be a part of a mother’s journey, so to all who are struggling or who have struggled, here you go, you are never alone!
For those who may not understand postpartum depression, try to imagine what should be the most beautiful moment in your life, add a traumatic birth story and a hormonal imbalance so disruptive that you don’t recognize yourself. Pair that with a support system that is just as confused as you, and a paranoid and misunderstood set of feelings so severe that you cannot reach out for fear of rejection and loss. This leads to the ultimate challenge of everything you once believed this experience of birth and motherhood to be. The feelings are so real that they feel fake, and because of that you can often fall deeper into despair. This is where I have been, but this will NOT be where I settle.
I’m reaching for a spiritual connection. I keep screaming at God, asking him why I have these challenges. Did he give them to me? Some people think God only allows what you can handle, but I don’t feel like I am handling anything well at all! I feel like a big FAT failure: failing at motherhood, failing as a wife, failing at my “career”, failing at just being me. I want to feel good again. I want to laugh more often than I cry. I want to smile. I want to wake to the sound of my children’s voices and rejoice, be grateful, and feel blessed. Instead, I feel tired, pain, resentment, and anger. When I am thinking positively I can see this is just a bridge leading to change. I have starting using essential oils, signed up for the gym, reached out to others, and transformed my kitchen to allow for clean eating, but I keep getting lost and having to start over. I know why it is so difficult and uncomfortable to be here, because I am not supposed to be. I am like the coalmine canary and I am being forced to change because my body and mind won’t allow anything other than harmony. I often become overwhelmed by the negativity; I have to keep reminding myself that one exists because of the other. I believe we couldn’t understand the two experiences so deeply if we did not have both, but am I making excuses for my negative behavior? People often say you have to choose to be positive, but sometimes I don’t feel like I have a choice. In those moments I have to try desperately to reconnect to other people, the environment, and myself.
I won’t give up! I want to give my husband and my boys back the wife and mother they deserve: the healthy women, the one that is always singing, smiling and laughing. She is patient and kind, and she is all of that because she takes care of herself and values her existence. She puts herself first, not in a selfish way, but in a way to allow herself to care for and nurture her family. This will be my journey back, a natural and clean journey where I have to dig deep and find love for myself when I feel like I am the most unlovable that I have ever been.