04.10.17

The Dark Abyss of Postpartum Depression

How Life’s Defining Moments Saved Me

I believe there are moments in our lives that shape us and mold us into who we become. Whether they are positive or negative, these moments leave an impression on us. I like to call these “defining moments.” We all have these defining moments in our lives, we can use these moments to fall back on in hard times or propel us forward in good times.

My Defining Moments

Growing up I always wanted to be a mom. I have very tangible, distinct memories of playing house and holding my baby dolls in my arms. I would day dream about the day I would be a mom. I believed clear down to my core that I would be a great mom, and from a very young age I couldn’t wait to have children of my own. These moments were defining moments.

Postpartum

I am the oldest of 4 kids so I always felt a maternal instinct over my younger siblings. I have always worried about my siblings well being and how I can help them (minus a year or two in my teens.) I loved being a big sister, and still to this day love being around my siblings. I worry about my them and their well being. My siblings have blessed me with many defining moments.

Postpartum

Fast forward into my teenage years. On the day before graduation my 3 best friends and I headed to the park by our high school. I remember the day like it was yesterday. It was the first of June and it was warm and finally sunny. We all sat on the green grass and talked for hours about our futures. We took turns predicting how everyones lives would turn out. When it was my friends turn to predict my future I remember thinking, “please just predict that I get married and have a family.” I am pleased to report they predicted I would get married and start a family shortly there after, and their predictions were spot on! That day in the park with my best friends was another defining moment.

In 2009, I got what I had spent my whole life dreaming of and preparing for, I became a mom. When I held my little boy for the first time I was so overcome with emotion of love and joy. Once again, I knew I was supposed to be a mom and that I was going to be great at it. I promised my son that I would always be there for him. I was going to protect him, help him and teach him. I was going to be his best friend and the best mom. He would always know I had his back. A HUGE defining moment.

http://ap.lijit.com/www/delivery/vst.php?zoneid=470620

So, why do I tell you about some of my motherhood defining moments? Well, after the birth of my 3rd child I started questioning my abilities to be a mom. To be honest, I didn’t even like being a mom. I dreaded getting out of bed. Everyday I struggled to be kind. I struggled to be happy. I would put on a happy face out in public, but once I was home the mask came off and the monster came out! I was either crying or yelling. I was dealing with some major postpartum depression.

 

Postpartum mom

 

Dealing with Postpartum Depression

Deep down I knew this wasn’t “normal Sarah” behavior. The old Sarah love being a mom. The old Sarah was a good mom. I knew these things but the postpartum depression told me otherwise. It told me I would never be like the old Sarah again. Postpartum depression told me I was a terrible mom, and a bunch of other lies. The sad thing is, I believed those lies for months.

There are lots of resources out there to tell you all the symptoms of postpartum depression, and there are other resources that offer suggestions or ideas on  how to get through it. Trust me, I read everything. They say things like connecting with others, caring for yourself, and exercise etc. etc. etc. can help you beat postpartum depression. Those suggestions really helped to pull me from what seemed like the darkest abyss possible, and seeing a counselor helped as well. Do your research, there really are so many wonderful ideas to help those struggling.

But here is the thing, those websites or self help books or even counselors are missing one thing. They don’t know what your defining moments are. They don’t know those moments that have shaped you. They can’t instill those defining moments in you. They can remind you of them, but just like the old saying goes, you can bring a horse to water but you can’t make them drink.

All the websites I turned to, the self help books I read and even the amazing counselor I saw didn’t have the memory bank that I had. I am the only one with access to those precious moments. You are the only one that has access to your defining moments.

It was my defining moments that saved me. I leaned on those defining moments daily as I started the healing process and truly recovering. I used those moments to propel me forward. I used those moments for strength. I used those moments to remind myself that I am a good mom. I have always wanted to be a mom.

So I challenge you to take a BREIF walk down memory lane and figure out what your defining moments are. The past is in the past for a reason, so don’t stay there long, but we can learn and grow from experiences in our past.

Challenge those thoughts that tell you that you aren’t good enough. Push past the desire to stay in bed all day. Change the yelling and crying into kindness and laughter. Hold on tight to those defining moments! Being a mom is hard enough so don’t be too hard on yourself! and if anything else know that I believe in you!

XOXO

Sarah

I am not a trained counselor or medical professional, If you are thinking of harming yourself or anyone else please seek immediate medical attention or call the suicide hotline. 1-800-273-8255

 

Related posts:

Comments

  1. Great (personal) post! I think our defining moments are key (good or bad) as to who we are today. It doesn’t help to always dwell on those moments but they are part of you so acknowledging them is key.

  2. One thing that has always helped me to come out of feeling low is meditation early in the morning just for half an hour…it releases all the negativity and gives you much drive to accomplish..

  3. Such a touching story and I am glad you are doing better now. I don’t have kids but I have heard so much about postpartum depression. You are so brave for talking about it and I am sure your post os going to help hundreds of women (mommies) who think they can’t do it anymore! xoxoxo

    – Prerna / http://www.prernashighonchai.com

  4. Thanks for sharing your experience. I know many Mommas that have gone through this. Mom groups can really be helpful. I am glad you are back to loving motherhood.

  5. Thank you so much for sharing your experience with postpartum depression. I’ve been there too,and it helps so much to know that I’m not alone. Others have been there and gotten out of it. You are doing a great job,mama <3

  6. I can relate to so much of this! I love that graphic of the mom…. hahaha! So accurate. Being a mom is the best and hardest thing I’ve ever done!

    • admin says:

      Isn’t that graphic great! Motherhood is so wonderful and so messy and so terrible all tied up in one huge package!

  7. I agree. I’ve suffered from PPD and anxiety after the birth of both of my children (and the last was born 14 months ago and I’m STILL struggling through some things). Thanks for sharing your experience with it too.

    • admin says:

      OH Rachel i am so sorry to hear you are still struggling! Keep your chin up! Have you tried anything for it?

  8. Such a beautiful honest approach to new motherhood. I had a REALLY hard time with this as well. It was rough. I now have a beautiful three-year-old but this is something that concerns me as we try to grow our family. Thank you for sharing your thoughts!

    • admin says:

      Thanks so much Kam, I think if you going into pregnancy and growing your family knowing you may struggle and you have had postpartum in the past it can make a world of a difference. i think too be open to help in all forms!! You may have some hard moments but you will be able to push through! if anything know we at My Fear Antidote are here for you! XOXO

  9. Well written Sarah. I’m sorry you went through such a hard time and happy things seem better now!

    • admin says:

      Thanks Kalyn. It was a hard time but I learned so much! Things are much better now!

  10. Wonderful and insightful post! I struggled from PPD after the birth of my son in 2015. Even though I have anxiety and depression, this shocked my husband and me because we were so excited and thrilled to be parents. It was a huge struggle for me to do anything but cry. Finally, the darkness went away and I can enjoy being a mom. It was a hard journey for sure.

Speak Your Mind

*