Postpartum depression/anxiety does not discriminate. It does not prey on the weak and take down the willing. It can happen to anyone. 1 in 7 women will experience postpartum depression/anxiety. Chances are you know someone who has had or has it now. Maybe that woman is you.
Listen up: It is not a sign of weakness or failure. No one experiences it the same. Most importantly it is not your fault!
I can’t speak for everyone but here are a few things I have learned from my own experience:
1. We can have good days. We laugh, put make up on and even get out of the house. In fact most women will try extra hard to hide the fact that they are secretly fighting an inner demon. But truthfully not all days are bad. There are some pretty good ones. But on the bad days it can take every ounce of motivation to get out of bed and parent. Those days suck.
2. We constantly worry, even on the good days. It is in the back of our heads, every move we make, life’s what if’s, analyzing our words before we speak them, you name it and we worry about it.
3. If you ask us how we are doing we will most likely say…GREAT! There are a few reasons for this:
A.We don’t want to make you feel uncomfortable. We know when the word “Postpartum” is uttered it suddenly changes the mood, you have no idea how to respond and we are now the Debbie Downer. (sorry to all the Debbie’s out there)
B. We feel embarrassed because aren’t happy-happy-joy-joy and we should be…shouldn’t we? I mean we just had a baby and women out there are dealing with real issues like infertility, miscarriage and more. It wouldn’t be fair of us to burden you with our problems. Atleast thats how we feel.
C. No one wants to admit defeat and say they are struggling. We are scared to open up and say it to you because then you might think we are crazy, take away our kids, have us locked up and throw away the keys.
Read between the lines and ask different questions that doesn’t make us feel the need to say GREAT! Sometimes we just need a non-judgemental sounding board, a hug and a good cup of coffee to turn our day around.
4. We don’t all have thoughts of hurting our kids or ourselves. Unfortunately this is not the case for some women and to you I am truly sorry you are going through this. But it is not your fault! I repeat NOT YOUR FAULT! YOUR HORMONES ARE ASSHOLES THAT NEED TO GET IN CHECK!
5. It can happen to dads too. Having a baby is life changing for everyone. So pay attention to the men in your life and show them love and support. Men need encouragement too.
6. Most importantly you will get through this and it is way easier with help. Weather it is talking about it, getting on medication, exercise, or whatever floats your boat. Just don’t fight this alone. I can honestly say that your bad days will become less and less until finally they are just a distant memory. You will get back to feeling like “you” again!
So remember you are a beautiful strong momma and woman! This does not define you.
We need to end the silence and start sharing our experiences so we can fight this together instead of alone in our houses covered in spit up.
If my story helps even one person then all this was worth it!
Don’t you dare forget to share