Confessions: My Experience with Postpartum Depression
I am about to share something that I have never told anyone (other than my husband). I didn't tell my parents. I never mentioned a word to my siblings. I didn't say anything to my closest friends or church pastor. Why? I was ashamed. I thought that having postpartum depression was wrong and especially a Christian, this was something I should not be experiencing.
I was ashamed. Broken. Scared.
I had just given birth to a beautiful baby boy. A healthy baby boy. I was in good health, he was in good health and we were doing great. But then a few months went by and I began to feel depressed. Something just snapped in me mentally. There were many days when I would literally just stay in my pajamas all day, laying in bed, watching TV numblessly, not even having the energy to take a shower. But I just told myself it was a phase. I just had a cold or something and it was okay to relax for a day or two.
Now, I am a Christian. I literally have the love of a Savior who is constantly lifting me up. So why was I so down? I kept telling myself that I had no excuse to be depressed. Because to me, depression was being selfish. I mean, my life was good. My baby boy was doing so well and growing. My husband was the greatest blessing from Heaven who was helping me beyond what he needed to. We had a roof over our head. My business was thriving. My husband just got a new, amazing job. I literally had nothing to complain about ... let alone be sad about. So, I denied the thought of depression.
Enter instagram. Now, instagram is quite possibly the worst thing ever for people who are feeling depressed. When I had my baby, naturally my friends stopped asking me to hang out. Now, I say naturally because I am assuming they thought I just transitioned straight into "mom mode" and I simply had no time to hang out. Which was kind of true for the most part ... but deep down I was craving friendship. I just wanted to feel included. So, as I was laying in bed in my day old pajamas, I would scroll through Instagram and literally start to cry. All I saw were my friends smiling as they took a selfie together and having the time of their lives. But how come I wasn't asked to join? Am I just not a friend to them anymore because I had a baby?
I just didn't understand.
But despite not knowing why no one would even invite me out to do something—literally anything—I knew what I had to do. So I opened up my Instagram app, went to the list of people that I follow and started to unfollow them. Yes, I felt bad and maybe this was too harsh, but honestly, it just hurt too much to see their photos and stories. They were still my friends but I just couldn't bear to see all of my closest friends having so much fun together—without me. In my honest opinion, this was kind of like taking a pill for me. This was the cure to my deepest hurt.
And by doing this, it lead to my breaking point and turnaround.
I remember so distinctly—like it was yesterday—a particular moment when I was taking a shower and just start to weep. I literally kneeled as the water was rushing down upon me, weeping. It came out of no where. I remember my husband coming in and just asking me what was wrong. I couldn't answer him. I couldn't give him a direct answer because I didn't even know why myself. He just embraced me in his arms as I continued to weep ... snot running down my nose and all. He just held me and I broke.
I finally came to the realization that I had postpartum depression.
And you know what, it was okay that I did. Even as a Christian, it was okay that I was depressed. Because God was doing such a pruning in my life and doing such a great work in the process. He just had to take me to this low part of my life to show me how much He is working. God even came to the point of taking away my only income. In a second, all that I worked for—or rather overworked for—was gone. Yes, it hurt and yes, there were more tears, but my eyes were opened to what He was wanting to show me.
I know some people think a pill is the only way to heal an issue, and everyone is different, but for me it wasn't a pill. It wasn't a pill or a drug or alcohol that got me through this extremely dark time in my life. It was God, and my amazing husband and family. It was reading the Word of God and praying. It was getting rid of the trash in my life and taking a daily shower. ;)
Now, to be honest, I have only been in recovery for about two months now. This wasn't something that lasted for a week and went away. This was months of hiding my depression ... perfecting that perfect smile and the ever-so-popular phrase "yes, life is so good and we are doing better than ever," which was just a blatant lie.
I don't know who will read this—if anyone at all—but if just one person is encouraged by this or just knowing that they are not alone in this journey, then perfect. That is all I want. Because you are not alone and God loves you so much. 🖤
So to those who made it through my entire post, thank you for reading. It honestly means the world to me that you did.