I see you’ve come to haunt me again.
Why? These are supposed to be joyful moments, spent with my newest little love. Yet, here you are; bringing clouds of sadness to my sunny day.
As I look into my baby’s eyes, I watch my tears drop onto her cheeks. I’m holding the world in my arms while you fill my head with thoughts of emptiness.
At 2 am, I lie awake. The baby is crying and I feel you well up inside me. Anxiety; it’s all I feel as I try to calm my sweet girl to no avail. My mind starts to spin. “I can’t do this. I can’t do this. I can’t do this.” I’m fighting as hard as I can but you overpower me. Why do you always win?
After a sleepless night, I begin another day. I tiptoe from task to task, careful not to invite you in. But, as the day goes on, my patience wears thin. I find myself feeling frustrated at everything and nothing all at once. I feel as though I will snap at any moment. The people I love the most suffer at the hands of the person you’ve made me to be.
Despite my attempts to fight you off, you take over and I feel myself crumbling in your hands.
“I don’t want to be like this.”
I hear my voice whisper ever so slightly. And then it hits me. The fire I forgot I possessed.
So, I vow to fight a little harder; determined and fierce.
Because my babies need me. My husband needs me. And I need me.
You won’t win this time.
I have found my strength. The power you once had over me is diminishing as the light within me starts to shine. Rays of happiness burst through the cracks you created in my soul and I finally feel free. I no longer dread the start of a new day. My mind doesn’t race with thoughts I can’t control. I look at my daughters and see love instead of fear and anxiety. This is how life is supposed to be and I am loving every second of it.
You tried and you failed, postpartum depression.
And although I overcame you, so many mothers have drowned in the sorrow you bring. You don’t discriminate. You have a way of haunting even the happiest, most confident mothers. I sat back and let you control me for over a year before I sought help; I won’t let that happen again.
And to every mother out there that you have visited, I want to say one thing:
You can overcome this.
Don’t be afraid to say you need help. Don’t let the monster that is postpartum depression ruin your life and steal away these precious moments from you. Things can (and will) get better. You are strong, fierce, and capable of moving mountains. Postpartum depression can only win if you let it…..so don’t.
You are not alone.
Postpartum Depression affects nearly 1 in 7 women who are pregnant or have just given birth. If you feel as though you may have signs of postpartum depression, please seek help.
You can find more info about postpartum depression and the resources available on the American Psychological Association website.