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Finding Light Through Postpartum Depression

Postpartum Depression and Its Effects

It’s a gripping sort of nothingness.

I wake up and it hangs over me like a mental fog. It disallows me to connect to my usual pathways—something that I’ve never struggled with until now. Faithful anxiety, absolutely. But this emptiness is new. Losing interest in things I love doing is new, and so is this way of being.

After birthing my final children—two at once—depression has seemingly arrived for reasons unknown, almost three years postpartum. Sometimes it lingers only a few days, but lately it feels more often.

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And it hurts to feel nothingness.

Glimmers of happiness come and go quickly as I slip into this staggering, unwarranted despair. The usual joys of the day are still able to peak in and provide comfort; like when they hold my hand or tell me, despite my awful way, that they love me.

And I hold on dearly to these moments and their hands, knowing how it should feel, and how it has always felt.

But I am lost in the tired darkness of postpartum depression.

These fluctuating, cyclical hormones and this debilitating irritability—it all makes me feel completely incompetent at being the parent I want to be. A mental lethargy so unwavering in the stress load that I don’t recognize my existence at all.

I do try and hold space for compassion and grace, knowing that this is something beyond my control right now. But I also feel it’s something to speak up for. Something to share knowing others must feel it too, no matter how long after giving birth. Something to advocate relief from, knowing there must be answers out there.

This is not me forever. And hopefully not for long.

Postpartum Depression and Motherhood

The role of mother is one that so many of us play. And yet we don’t often express to one another the true battle that we experience behind closed doors.

To be a mother is the most contracting journey I’ve ever known. It’s as astonishingly beautiful as it is isolating and depleting.

It has made me a better person and also tested me to my absolute limits over and over again, and so I’ve chosen to share moments of my experience with intention.

I find comfort in connecting with others throughout it all, and in knowing how similar we are.

Even when the same day seems to play on repeat, or when we feel like giving up before lunch time, we are not alone in it—though it sure does feel like it sometimes.

We can get through the most challenging days when we feel supported, and sometimes that’s possible from a distance, when our struggles are recognized in others, too.

We were blessed to be appointed this magical responsibility, but we often lose sight of that because society sets us up to question our ability to be the perfectly-imperfect mothers that we are.

I know we were intended to evolve stronger through this impossible time—together.

With inevitable hardships we can find growth and resilience.

Through necessary mistakes we learn.

Through the beautiful sacrifice of being “Mom,” we can know an unparalleled fulfillment.

When we shamelessly share both our success stories and messy truths, we’re able to change the narrative of impossible expectations placed upon us.

Honouring the Inner Child

Our inner child, so quiet, is very much there and aware. I’m starting to realize that mine is still listening, hurting and whispering to be more gentle.

Through conditioned beliefs that society tells us and all of the pressures in today’s world, I’ve lost touch with the little face that my mom texted me the other day.

As a visual person, and with intention, receiving it was just what I needed to surrender into something spiritual and realize what’s next for me.

Slow down, relax and enjoy season, a time to protect my peace, just as passionately as I guard my children. I’ve been so caught up in pleasing everyone else, being the best mom, wife, creator and friend I can be (and feeling like I’ve failed), that I’ve forgotten somewhere inside she exists and needs me too.

I think she needs me the most.

The guilt, shame, pressure and expectations that I’ve put on her I would never in a million years want that for any of my children, so why am I allowing myself the same mistreatment?

I am worthy of the same love, respect and kindness that I aim to give to everyone else.

I am worthy of a compassionate internal dialogue for doing the best that I can, and of some lasting empathy for blatantly burning out.

So again I ask. At what point was there a disconnect, from who we were then and who we are now?

There shouldn’t be one.

So let’s print these pictures of our little selves and place them somewhere to be reminded daily:

we are enough

we are doing enough

we are the same, living being

deserving of so much love

we were then

and we are now

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