May is Mental Health Awareness Month. At the beginning of May, I posted on my Facebook page that I would talk a little more about my struggle with postpartum depression. And I decided it was also time to talk about the real reason I write about it so often.
First off, I 100% believe that my Postpartum Depression made me a better mom to my little boys. It was such a dark, scary time in my life. But I came out on the other end. Thank goodness. And living in that black space made me realize how lucky I really am day-in and day-out.
It’s so scary to me that there are nearly 3 million cases of Postpartum Depression among women a year. And I bet the actual number is so many more. Because so many women are suffering in silence. They could be surrounded by the best family and friends in the world, but they will plaster on a fake smile and play the part of the doting mom and wife because they are too embarrassed to admit they have a problem.
Those are the people I am writing this post for. The millions of women that are suffering in silence. Because that was me. I did that. I have been where you are. And it is okay to ask for help. You HAVE to ask for help. Because if you don’t, it could all catch up with you.
New moms that that seemed completely happy have committed suicide because of Postpartum Depression. It literally breaks my heart into a million pieces. Because they thought they were experiencing the “baby blues” everyone talks about. Or they got a, “It will pass. It’s just your hormones.” And they couldn’t take it any longer.
That has to stop. There can’t be a stigma around this any longer. No one judges you for getting the flu. No one tells you to suck it up if you have pneumonia. They help.
There aren’t many people that write about Postpartum Depression in an open way. Truly stating how terrifying it is. And it has only been recently that women have really started talking about it.
When I first started writing about PPD, I was worried. I was worried that I would be judged. I was worried that people would think I was crazy. I was scared that I would alienate people.
And you know what, some people did judge me. Some people read my blog and called me absolutely insane for telling the world about my depression. And I alienated people.
But you know what? I got so many more positive messages than negative ones. And that is what made me realize I had to keep talking about it. Because people were paying attention. When the first post I ever wrote about my PPD experience was picked up by the Huffington Post it really hit me that writing about this was helping people. So I didn’t stop. And I won’t, no matter how many people tell me not to air my dirty laundry to the world.
I don’t consider it dirty laundry though. I consider it life. And in the words of one of my favorite people, sometimes life just sucks. And you can say that it is all in God’s plan. And I do believe that. But sometimes that plan has some scary twists and turns and it just plain sucks.
I can be honest and say that my PPD is a time in my life that I’ve kind of blocked from my mind. I just remember crying and sadness. Then being told that someone was coming over and cleaning myself up and plastering on my fakest smile. I would continuously tell people that, “Oh yes, I was completely exhausted, but it’s worth it for my baby.” Because I was too scared to cry out that I was lost and confused and overwhelmed and wanted to crawl back into my warm bed so I could try and sleep away the sadness.
The the visitors would leave, and I would crawl back into bed. And that went on for quite a long time. Until I finally asked for help. And my husband realized that this was much worse than the “baby blues” they warned about in the hospital.
So if you are reading this and think, “Oh shit, maybe I should call my doctor,” then do it. Or talk to someone. Please. It might just save your life.
Until Next Time,