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My experience

>> Monday, August 8, 2011

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The following is a post I wrote back in April 2009 on my personal blog about coming to accept and be open about having postpartum depression. Now...if you are reading this and thinking that you don't need to read about PPD because there is no way you will deal with that, please keep reading! I mention in the post that I never read about it because I never thought I would have it. I'd always wanted to be a mother and just knew I'd be the happiest ever, so I ignored the fact that it could exist in my life. Perhaps things would have gone a little differently if I'd accepted that it could happen before hand.

I've been blogging on here for about 2 months now, and you may have noticed that I'm a fan of sarcasm and humor, but I still feel like this is a good thing to share, in spite of it's lack of...fun. I just feel so strongly that it should be something we should be open about!

The post:

i've come to accept that life is just one huge adventure.

what i had to learn is that sometimes the adventures are fun. sometimes the adventures are hard. and sometimes the adventures just feel like you are stuck in the mud with no one or nothing around to help get you out. you do have a cell phone in your pocket though. but for some reason you are too ashamed of being stuck in the mud to call someone for help.

i have been trying to think of the best way to share the adventure i was stuck in for the past several months. i think it's important to, because if it helps just one other person out, it would make it all worth it. so after thinking about it, i figured the only option really, is to just come out and say it.

postpartum depression, for me, wasn't an immediate thing. i did feel somewhat disconnected in the beginning. but it wasn't until a little later that i really started feeling that something was really wrong. i would say it was a result of hormonal imbalance plus a major lack of sleep that began to occur.

i was sad all the time. i cried a ton. i felt like i wasn't meant to be a mother. i got frustrated so easily. i did what i could to get away. and i thought things that i wouldn't want to admit.

but on the outside, to other people, i tried to be as normal as humanly possible. because i was so ashamed of myself and the way i was feeling. and because i knew all these other women who had recently had babies too and they seemed so happy. i didn't understand why they were so happy and i wasn't. and i couldn't possibly talk to them about how i was feeling because they'd think i was crazy. so i just acted like every other new mom did. in my mind i kept thinking "do i have postpartum depression?" but there was no way i could bring myself to say it out loud or talk to anyone about it because i felt like something was wrong with me.

so few times in my life have i heard others talk openly about it. which now i think is such a shame. if people were more open about it, i think that it would be easier for those who are struggling to get help, and would probably prevent a lot of unfortunate things that happen.

i think back now to all of the times i was reading my pregnancy books and articles online. every time i got to a section about postpartum depression, i'd skip right over. i'd always wanted to have children, i was so excited to meet the baby, why would i have postpartum depression?

i finally mentioned to a friend how i'd been feeling, and she asked if i thought i had postpartum depression. after hearing someone else ask me out loud i was finally able to admit it to myself and to the people around me that needed to know. i was able to talk to a good friend who also happens to be a professional when it comes to all things mental health. things started looking up.

i finally had the strength and courage to put little j.t. in his crib and let him "cry it out" and we have all been able to get the much needed rest that has evaded us for months and months.

i hate that for so many months i kept everything bottled up inside. it makes me sad that i didn't put confidence in the people around me. the people that ended up being so helpful and caring when i did finally tell them what was going on. they didn't judge me or think i was a bad person like i thought they would.

and now...now things are looking up. i'm actually happy. i actually feel like i will survive and that i can handle everything. and i hope that i can continue to be open about my experience so that others won't have to suffer alone like i did.

and that, my friends, is the reality. i used my cell phone, called for some help, and a whole rescue crew showed up and helped me out of the mud. i still have a bit of mud stuck to my pants, but i'll probably wear them around for a while to let people know that i'm not ashamed that i got stuck.

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Anonymous,  August 16, 2011 at 8:09 AM  

Thank you for such a raw and honest post. I think more women need to know that ppd is not something to be ashamed of. It happens and there is help out there.

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