Does the title make you think six months ago I was in prison? It’s part true. Prison doesn’t have to be tangibly “behind bars”. It can mean trapped, inescapable, desperate, lonely, scary…And many other things. For me, my prison was post partum depression. And I’m proud to say I’ve been going to weekly therapy for six months, and I’m slowly doing much better.
I should have never gotten post partum depression.
I always wanted to be a mom. Go to college, marry the boy, make the babies. That was the plan and I was going to be amazing at it. I was going to find perfect peace and joy in being a mother. So much so, I knew I wanted to quit my successful career and stay home with my babies. Sounds ideal, right??
After my first child, I continued to work full time. I had zero signs of post partum with her. Not while home with her right after she was born, not four months later when I tearfully dropped her off at daycare full time, and not as she became a noticeably strong-willed toddler. I was happy, challenged, successful, proud and joyful.
But I still had dreams of staying home with my babies.
It was what my mom did. It was what my sister did. It was what I should do. I even felt God tell me in a moment of stillness that I should stay home, before I was pregnant with my second.
So I obeyed. We set things up so I could stay home with the kids. I was going to start this new lifestyle the day my son was to be born. Crash course. With a strong-willed toddler staying home now too. With a new baby. While recovering from a C-section. I’ll be fine. We’ll be fine. It’s great. I’m being obedient.
Things turned fairly quickly for me. My sunny disposition, faded to confusion, loneliness, stress, anxiety, fear, incapability, overwhelm, anger…(I had a long list of symptoms, I’ll spare every detail). I will say, I never felt suicidal or felt I wanted to harm my children (Thank God). I wrestled with all of this for far too long on my own. Spiraling deeper and deeper into my symptoms, barely functioning day to day.
I made the call.
I needed out. I needed someone professionally trained to help a person through this to pull me out. I called a helpline through my insurance to talk with them. To find help. To find a therapist. It happened quickly and efficiently. I started going every Tuesday.
Tuesday’s became my favorite day. Something I really look forward to. It’s the day I get to focus on ME. Something, I’ve learned, that is imperative to making this whole mom-sanity thing work. Something, I’ve also learned, that I struggle to do. That I know a lot of mom’s do. Everyone, everything, comes first. Then mom. But there is never enough time left for mom. So we must make time.
Therapy isn’t perfect. Some sessions I leave more confused, some sessions I leave frustrated that I didn’t get where I wanted. Some sessions I’m irritated with my therapists advice or homework.
Finding yourself is a long and hard process. Coming out of depression is a painful and tedious process.
But I’m here to say that it is a process so absolutely worth taking. Even if you’re not sure what is going on with you, but you just “feel off”. Go talk to someone. Take the time to figure things out. You may come out of it on your own over time, but that isn’t always the best road to take. Push the pride aside, and get the help you deserve.
**If you need help, specifically post partum depression help, or know someone you think may need help, please visit http://www.postpartum.net/ and reach out to your local helpline.**