Advice · Let's Get Personal

My Battle With Postpartum Depression

I don’t like being vulnerable. I don’t like putting my personal thoughts and feelings out there for others to not only know, but acknowledge.

I’m not sure why that is. I could dig deep into my past, how I’ve been treated overtime, and maybe I’d come across the answer to all my problems or maybe I’d just sadden myself.

But a huge part of me knows that I do not want to be judged.

Judged – past-tense – verb – something that you truly cannot avoid living in today’s society.

When someone hears the word, “depression” or “postpartum depression”, they often think of the extreme cases. I don’t blame them – some individuals have never suffered depression. They only know what they’ve read about in books, or seen in the movies, or experienced watching Netflix’s new series, “13 Reasons Why”. But I feared that judgment from others, I feared not knowing what they’d say or think.

I remember having to watch a video about postpartum depression before getting to leave the hospital. I thought to myself, “There’s no way I’m going to go through this. I’m so, so happy to have Finley here with me!” Little did I know, even though I could beΒ extremely happy to have him, my emotions and thoughts could take over.

And that’s what they did.

I wasn’t a serious case. At least that’s what I told myself, maybe it was to make myself feel better, or maybe it was because I truly did not know what others were going through inside their own brains. I couldn’t say my case is extreme when someone else’s may be so much more dreadful.

I wasn’t a mother who was dealing with having thoughts of hurting her child. I wasn’t a mother who was having regrets of becoming a parent. And I wasn’t a mother who longed for her old life back. I loved (and still do – duh) Finley with my whole entire heart. Once I became his mother, I knew there was nothing else on this world I was meant to be.

But I was depressed. I felt sluggish, almost stuck. I couldn’t even tell you why… and, well, that made me even more sad. It was a feeling that I couldn’t kick, a feeling that followed me around no matter where I was, who I was with, or what I was doing. But, I knew that my situation could have been worse, so I kept on mommying, keeping my thoughts to myself.

And you see, being humble about my postpartum depression, that was my first “mistake”. I thought, “it could be worse, I can get through this little hump.” Little did I know, it’s not a “little” hump. It’s a road block – a mental road block.

*side note: you’re probably wondering why I’m putting mistake in quotation marks. I’ve become so tired of viewing myself as the person who has made mistakes, the person who could do better, the person who could give more, the person who constantly takes all of the blame, all of the time. That’s what depression does to someone, it makes them truly think that they are the one to blame with all the issues surrounding their life – when really, it’s not. It’s not your fault, don’t let yourself tell you that you are the one who deserves to carry such a burden on your shoulders.*

If you know in your heart, and your mind, that you are dealing with mental health issues, no matter how small you make them seem, they aren’t small to the people who truly care about you.

There’s also those individuals who not only believe that depression is something someone can control, but something that doesn’t need to be taken lightly. Those people, yeah, they are the people who ruin it for everyone who truly do care. I’m speaking to all of you, it does need to be taken seriously. The worst thing someone can do to themselves is to criticize the things that they do not understand. The best thing someone can do for themselves is to become educated about a topic before you make someone feel bad for feeling down on themselves.

There you have found my second “mistake”. I’d never had to open up about these types of issues, I had no idea how to do it then. I had no idea how other’s would react to my sudden change of persona – I’ve always tried to hide my negative emotions, as I’ve said before. I’ve always aimed to have a smile on my face and not let my weakness show. What would others say? Would they think I was being over-dramatic? Would they say I’d be fine and push my thoughts to the side?

But, hey, I’m going to tell you now. You don’t have to put on an act. You don’t have to hide how you’re feeling inside. You may think that other’s may not believe you but, those who truly care will always trust you and put their opinion aside in order to help you. Always. There are no ifs, ands, or buts!

I fall into the category of the third group of individual’s I’d like to talk about. Those who view mental health issues as weakness. Now, wait a second! Before you jump on me and discriminate me for having this mindset, you have to understand how I felt inside. I saw my SO, Sam, totally kicking butt at life. He never let the hard days get to him. He could let a fight between us slide right off his shoulders. In my eyes, he was truly a man of steel. That is something that I longed to be too – minus the man part. I wanted to be strong like him. I wanted to not sweat the small stuff. I wanted to be able to put my emotions, sadness, and dread aside and view my life differently.

But what do you think depression had to say about that?

“Hold up, girl. You’re not strong. There’s way too many issues wrong with you, and your life, for you to ever be as strong as others. You’re weak, and there is no getting out of how you feel.”

Mistake number three. Letting my depression make me think I’m weak.

But, you see, the fact that I’ve continued on everyday, putting a roof over Finley’s head, blogging for not only reader’s to enjoy, but learn from, putting food on the table, working to support my family, and doing my absolute best to keep a smile on my face, THAT is strength. The fact that I was able to open up about my built up feelings inside, these negative, horrid feelings, THAT is strength.

You too are strong. You have been fighting like h e double hockey sticks to make a life for your little one.

They are so lucky to have someone who pushes through the hardest mental battle possible, in order to provide love, nourishment, and life.

Open up, don’t make the “mistakes” that I had made. They only held me back from viewing life my life with a different perspective. I can truly say I’m proud that I was finally able to embrace my postpartum depression as a battle, instead of something I couldn’t overcome.

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48 thoughts on “My Battle With Postpartum Depression

  1. Thanks for being vulnerable and sharing you story; it’s the best way to let other moms know they aren’t alone. I suffered silently through it with my first and had a support system through my second and third rounds and that made all the difference.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Opening up about your struggles is the best thing you can do for yourself – it took me a little while to realize that but I’m so happy I did, and that you did as well! πŸ’—

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  2. And again you make me love you more. πŸ‘ if there’s anything life teaches each and everyone of us so the ability to dwell in our vulnerabilities and to embrace it life has it’s own time.. riding it out is the best thing but also realizing that there’s more to us than just time trying to run it’s course. Mental illness is a serious topic and it isn’t for the faint of heart. Those who are struggling with it are strong people..just having to fight battles that are harder than what they think they can handle. It’s not always an ‘up’ kinda day and believe me..most of my days seem ‘down’ but people like you and I and the next who are heroes in their lives are more than strong, capable and worth it. Sending you love, sweety!

    P.s. share this post on Elizabeth’s series ➑️ http://www.bettysbattleground.com/off-fridays-wk1/

    xo, Maria | https://imommy.co

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I love you! You are so strong, Maria. I know you’ve been through some difficult times, and some of those mountains you’re still trying to conquer. But you are such a positive role model to look up to! You continue to smile, stay positive, and be the mother your children need. I’ll definitely check out Elizabeth’s series too. Thanks!

      Liked by 1 person

  3. You have done a beautiful job of articulating your feelings. Negative emotions are hard to even understand ourselves most of the time, let alone explain to someone else.
    I really hope that you are not feeling guilty about taking care of yourself, and I truly hope that you have received any help that you need – from loved ones, doctors, support groups, whatever that may be for you.
    Thank you for sharing and prayers for your family’s health and happiness. πŸ™‚

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I love your writing. I felt like I was right there in your head with you if that makes sense. I’m sorry you have to deal with PPD. Sharing your emotions and inner thoughts will help others who might be going through the same thing articulate what they feel and acknowledge they need help. Hope it gets better soon. Thanks for sharing.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you! I’m happy you enjoy my style of writing, that actually means a lot! And thank you for your kind words. You are too kind. πŸ’—

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  5. Thank you for opening up. In my experience dealing with PPD, sharing has taken away some of the self-inflicted isolation, and it helped me find a community of support online. I hope it does the same for you. Best of luck in your journey.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Opening up and being vulnerable takes a lot of guts! I’ve been lucky enough not to have PPD, however I do have fairly significant anxiety and have dealt with those same types of people – why don’t you just stop doing what makes you anxious? What do you even have to be anxious about? Stop thinking about it and it will go away…

    Yeah, not helpful. The more we all talk about these things and get them out there, the more exposure we can get to these mental illnesses and take some of the stigma away for others. Thank you for sharing!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I struggle with anxiety as well and have had those same questions asked! It isn’t something you can simply get over, you need support and help from others. Thank you for sharing! You are definitely not alone. 😊

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  7. I think postpartum depression is one of those things most suffered in silence. We need to support eachother and lift eachother up because motherhood is hard regardless of who you are are! I hope that your openness and your strength encourages other women who are struggling to seek help as well. I’m the type that doesn’t like putting myself out there either so I know this wasn’t easy for you. People need to know they’re not alone in what they’re feeling and that there is a way out of the darkness. This is a big reason why it’s so important that we share our battles and victories with others =) Thanks for having the courage to share yours!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I really hope so too. I hated feeling alone, I hated not knowing what other’s would think if I came forth and let all of the negative feelings pour out of me. Thank you for understanding, and being someone who’s so open and willing to listen! Definitely makes a difference.

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    1. Yes – I’m lucky mine didn’t last long as well! Thank you for reading, I’m glad you are feeling back to yourself πŸ˜ŒπŸ’—

      Like

  8. I struggled with PPD too and it manifested in anger and outbursts. There are so many ways to travel through PPD it’s always helpful when someone shares their story. I can totally relate to the feeling of being stuck.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. I know this sounds bad, but it’s nice to know that other people have gone through what I went through. I needed this today, I needed to be told that I’m not alone. I feel like PPD isn’t spoken about enough, that people think we have to be happy because we have a child now, but it’s so hard sometimes.

    Liked by 1 person

  10. We don’t know each other – but we share the same feelings about postpartum. I’m recovering from both depression and anxiety, and I agree that it’s not something that people take as seriously as they should. Bravo to you for being so open about your experience. I know it helps a lot of women who aren’t quite there yet to share.

    Liked by 1 person

  11. I just want to say thank you. As a mental health advocate and a strong believer in the idea that if you share your story, you encourage others, your share is opening up doors and you don’t even realize it. Keep sharing and reaching out and if you ever need someone to talk, I’ll listen. I have Major Depressive Disorder and Moderate Anxiety, I know what parenting is like when you doubt and dislike yourself.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I am so sorry to hear about your struggles but I’m glad you’re open about what you go through. You’re so right when you say it helps benefit other mother’s! Thank you for being you! 😘

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  12. I’m very sorry for your struggle with depression. I have not experienced it, but my husband suffers from depression. It is definitely true that it is not a small thing to those who love you. It is not a weakness and it is definitely something to be taken seriously. Thank you for sharing your journey.

    Liked by 1 person

  13. It is incredible how common PPD is, yet how little it is addressed. I was very fortunate to not have any degree of PPD but I was very afraid that I would because of past issues with depression before my children were even thought of. I agree with you that there is such a huge variety of PPD but it is all important and all mom’s need a support system to help them overcome these feelings. I know that this post will help someone, somewhere. Yet another great post! You’re awesome momma!

    Liked by 1 person

  14. How brave for you to embrace this situation for what it is, rather than trying to sweep it under the rug. And you are right – in this society and age, we are all most definitely judged for something. – Amy

    Liked by 1 person

  15. Kayla, Thank you so much for sharing this. It is so brave of you to pen down your thoughts like that. I have gone through the similar face and can relate to each word of yours.Hugs and kisses momma ❀ ❀ ❀

    Liked by 1 person

  16. I love this. When I had my first son, my mom and aunts were constantly preaching about not ‘catching’ PTSD. They offered so much help and opps for me to rest and relax for the whole first 3 months and I was thankful for it but as a teen, still wasn’t sure what the big deal was. The did that with my other children too but my fourth son, I didn’t let them help. I said I was too old to be staying at my aunts house and letting her help so much. And bam, that’s when the problems started. About a month in, I was super depressed, the isolation I was feeling tho I was not actually isolated was the worst. It was hard to even keep up with my other family responsibilities.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. It’s so very, very hard. I’m glad you were able to find help with your first three babies, having such a good support system for such a serious matter definitely makes a difference. I hope you’ve recovered well 😌 Thanks for sharing your story, mama.

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  17. Thank you for sharing this. I struggled with PPD and had the same mindset you did in the beginning. I kept thinking I would just get through it, but sometimes it’s not that easy. Awareness is so important, your post will definitely help some mama’s out!

    Liked by 1 person

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