Take Care of You

Jana-52

I pride myself in being a very open individual, it must be because I am a mother.  All modesty goes out the door when someone is shining a light on your downstairs waiting for you to push out a human being.  I go to the bathroom with the door open and walk in front of windows in my underwear.  Although, there is one thing I have not shared with many, I am not sure why.  Maybe I felt ashamed, maybe I just felt like by navigating through it alone I could get through it.  As always, I want to relate to other parents.  So here goes nothin.  I have postpartum anxiety and depression.  I had it after sass was born, and was also diagnosed again after our little man was born.

I tried to tiptoe around it this time.  Doing all of the “right” things.  I went on an incredibly low dose of anxiety medication to try to avoid, what was ultimately the inevitable.  I was determined to continue my breastfeeding journey longer than I had with our daughter.  I took time off work and slowly increased my hours as to not get overwhelmed with life as a mother of two and a hectic sales environment, but to my dismay at around 4 or 5 months postpartum the all too familiar feelings came back.  I never had feelings of hatred or harm towards either my children or myself, I just felt lost.  I had a constant worry over the uncontrollable which ultimately lead to a spiral into a depression.   I don’t want pity.  Please don’t look down on me as I try to help others up.  I am not broken.

On average, 15% of women are diagnosed with a postpartum illness.  That is just those that are diagnosed, there are far more who go without a diagnosis.  I always tell myself, if I were diagnosed with diabetes or an infection of some sort, I would not go untreated. The same goes for a postpartum illness as well.  There was no prevention for me, as I had hoped and tried so desperately to plan.  Our son slept great as a newborn (not so much now), I had all the help in the world from my amazing husband.  I truly had everything, but I just felt like I was navigating through a fog.  Every day was a struggle to not cry or snap at someone.  The once healthy and active lifestyle I loved so much just seemed too daunting to continue.

So here I am, exposed.  I am fine.  I am okay.  I am doing great.  There are some days where I still fall into a discouraging slump.  I worry about anything and everything and then internalize it and it just all snowballs.  Other times I will go days, even weeks without even noticing.  It will be an ongoing battle for a little while I am sure, but I am proud.  I am a proud wife.  I am a proud mother.  I am a proud daughter, sister, friend.  I am happy and ya know what, it does get better.  Always remember to take care of you and know that you are not alone.

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