Wednesday, May 23, 2012

You're not alone

Depression, just because it's an illness that can't be physically seen, doesn't make it any less real.  The scars it leaves are just as real as physical ones that can be seen.

I pride myself on being real and honest on my blog.  I don't like divulging too much in my personal life, but sometimes I think writing something to which someone else could possibly relate is important. 

So that's why I chose to write a post today about depression.  More specifically, post partum depression.  It's something that is out there, you hear about it, but it's not always understood or taken seriously.  I was one of those people.  I didn't think it would happen to me.  That is, until I experienced it myself. 

I've always struggled with clinical depression and anxiety.  Show me an attorney who doesn't.  I have my own ways of treating this, which I will keep to myself, but it has always been something that has played into my daily life and how I react to certain things.  During my pregnancy, it was something that was monitored, with the extra hormones, as well as the intense stress I had with all of my health complications, the doctors were concerned that I would regress into the depression.  They were even more concerned about what would happen when the baby arrived.  I brushed it off, assuring everyone that I would be just fine.  Once Baby Aubrey was here and the stress of the pregnancy was past, I would be doing so much better. 

I would like to say that was the case and that as soon as I had that little girl in my arms, I was happy all of the time.  I wasn't.  I felt so guilty that I wasn't.  I couldn't stop the tears forming at my eyes.  I couldn't stop that empty feeling that would come and go throughout the day.  I would be happy one moment, looking into her eyes thinking I was the luckiest person in the world.  Five seconds later, I would be in tears thinking I was the most inadequate mother out there, thinking there was no way I'd handle this.  Who was this little person I brought into this world?  Was I even worthy to be her mother?  I would have extreme anxiety at night wondering if I would be able to even let her get some sleep.  My heart would race as the night came closer and closer.  It got to the point where I simply dreaded evenings. 

Those first few weeks, T was there with me.  I knew he felt so helpless, not sure what to say or do to make me feel better.  I know he was scared to leave me alone, and as his paternity leave came to a close, both he and I were nervous about it.  I would never in a million years do anything to harm my baby, but we were more scared about me just being sad all day.  I have a hard enough time being cooped up in a house as it is, so I was nervous about being restricted, compounded with the feelings I was experiencing. 

Days were hard.  It was even harder because I chose to keep it to myself.  I didn't share this with even my closest friends.  I'm sure some of them reading this blog right now are shocked all of this was even going on.  But it was, and I had no idea why I couldn't handle it.  I handled nine and a half months of constant fear and worrying.  Why couldn't I just be happy?  I was so blessed.  I felt so guilty about the sadness that consumed me on a daily basis.  I was being ungrateful, selfish.  I should have been floating around on a cloud of happiness.  Instead I felt like I was falling deeper and deeper into this hole and couldn't get out. 

I started to withdraw from the things I loved, including blogging.  I felt if I had nothing happy or positive to contribute, then I probably shouldn't write at all.  It might not have been the best thing at the moment, but I didn't want to drag others down with me.  And I certainly didn't want anyone to know that I wasn't handling everything. 

I am happy to say that I am getting out of that hole.  It hasn't been easy.  And it's taken quite some time.  I couldn't have done it without treatment and the support of the man I love.  I relapse some days, but things are getting easier.  And I'm happier.  I'm getting back to doing those things I love.  I'm getting back to me. 

So many new moms out there experience the same thing I experienced.  And so many of them carrying around that guilt about what they are feeling and keep it all inside.  You may not see it, but they are suffering inside.  Suffering silently. 

I appreciate all of you for letting me be so open and honest on my blog.  I know it's not a positive and happy blog today, but I hope that my letting you all in can perhaps touch at least someone out there who is struggling with the same sadness.  And let them know that you're not alone.  And it will get better.


  1. I'm so sorry you are going through this. It's terribly common which is good in the sense that YOU are not alone either. I just read Dooce's book "It Sucked and Then I Cried: How I Had a Baby, a Breakdown, and a Much Needed Margarita" That was a pretty good read, you should check it out. Hope you are totally back to normal and feeling better in no time!

  2. I was really worried about postpartum depressions with both of my boys. After Turbo, it crept up on me and I didn't really realize it until Nick told me he wondered why I wasn't happy anymore. Mine was a mild case, but still not easy to shake. With Bruiser we were more aware of it and worked hard to get through it.
    I'm really glad you got help. If mine had been any worse, I'd have gotten help too.

  3. Thank you so much for sharing. This is definitely a difficult topic to handle, and even more difficult to share. YOU are not alone either, and I think all of your readers are glad you are getting help and pulling out of it.

  4. Thank you for sharing this! I was blessed with a doctor who understood what PPD was and they didn't have a diagnostic name for it then. He was a DO so he delivered my girl and was her doctor and mine. At her check ups he always spent time talking to me. It was hard but I was honest with him. One thing he said to me was that our hormones had 9 months to change because of baby, but after birth they crashed and it would take time to readjust physically and mentally. That made sense to me. He also told me to make sure I had at least one trusted friend or family member, besides my husband...that was hard because society was telling me to be happy and be super-woman. Thankfully I took his advice and was honest with my mother, who checked up on me daily!

    For some of us, the PPD settles and goes away after a few weeks or months. For others, it can literally take years. So again, thank you for writing this. It is a reminder to reach out to women who have had a baby, even if that baby is 5 years old, and not judge her because she is sad, withdrawn, or angry. Keep reaching out with love and support and only a little advice. (If someone is suicidal or seems like they may hurt the baby or someone else, get expert help). The main advice I would give to a woman who is postpartum today is, find a counselor to talk out your feelings and talk to your doctor, med's aren't a sign of weakness, sometimes they are the only thing that is going to pull us out!

    Again, thank you for sharing this!

    Lily-Thinking Thoughts

  5. So glad you were able to reach out & are getting out of it. It took me years before I spoke up (I was going through ppocd & ppa). Thank you for sharing this. Finding blogs & this amazing community has really helped in my recovery. We are definitely NOT alone! :)

  6. Love it when people open up and share. Bravo! This's is so common and we all need to know we're not alone.


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