What’s this all about?
An emotional look into my journey through life.
It’s natural for anyone’s feelings to fluctuate and to have short-term emotional responses to the challenges faced in everyday life.
But you’re given the label of depression if these feelings interfere with your daily life. Depression is when these emotional responses last for weeks or months at a time with varying levels of intensity.
Honestly with COVID, who’s to say what would be considered depression vs. normal anymore. Everyone’s daily life is turned upside down. ‘Short-term’ is no longer a practical measurement of time. Normal — no longer exists.
Am I depressed? I don’t know. Are you?
Aren’t we all a little bit depressed?
I have a smile on my face right now. Does that mean I’m not depressed? Nope. These past few months have shown me that my current mood is no indication of my future mood. My mood is too volatile to tell.
But how could anyone be stable right now when our world is unstable?
That’s not a rhetorical question. If you’re doing consistently great right now, please tell me how you did it.
So now that we (as in the entire world – we) have all had at least a touch of what it’s like to have depression – you have had a glimpse into the world that I experienced having postpartum depression (PPD).
Don’t compare her to sunshine and roses when she’s clearly orchids and moonlight
Similar to depression but also very very different.
A mother’s depression is juxtaposed against the joy of one of life’s greatest gifts. There is undeniable guilt and shame coupled with your sadness, anxiety, and rage. It seems as though the depression is insurmountable because of how overwhelming motherhood is. And to top that all off, your body has betrayed you presenting you each day with an uncontrollable hormone imbalance.
Any new mother is given a two week “baby blues” grace period to get over a bomb detonating inside her body. My hormones did not comply with that schedule, so the intensity of my feelings was dismissed as PPD.
One in seven moms experience PPD in the year after giving birth.
I know moms are superwomen. But seriously – how is it that statistic not higher? Every aspect of her entire life has been shaken to the core. At least with COVID everyone has no problem admitting we are having a hard time. But why that not the norm with postpartum?
Come on Mama, admit it. You celebrated the birth of your new beautiful baby before you had the time to properly grieve the death of your old life. To simultaneously feel joy and grief is confusing, but it should be normal.
PPD Affects 1 in 7 Moms
So am I depressed?
I guess, probably. But anyone who isn’t probably isn’t paying attention.
Yes, the intensity of my emotions interferes with my everyday life. But isn’t that normal? It just means I’m emotionally invested in the inner workings of the world around me. Why do we need to call it depression?
Happiness is a noble goal, but I think it’s okay to be confused too. Simultaneously conflicting emotions can be beautiful. Sure, it might not fulfill the pleasantry of normal, but it will at least make you interesting.
I think I’m more than just deeply sad; I’m also wildly happy. My emotions run the full gamut. Livid and content. Excited and bored. Terrified and optimistic. These emotions are both my short-term and long-term responses to the complexity of life.
Everyone wants to be the sun to brighten up someone’s life, but why not be the moon to shine on someone’s darkest hour?
One in seven can’t possibly right
While I don’t wish PPD upon anyone, I’ll never understand how this confusing state isn’t the norm for everyone. I’d like to feel less alone on this journey, but somehow even at its current prevalence rate, I always felt completely alone.
So in a quest to find others like me, I decided to share my story. Even if no one listened — even if no one heard me at all — I knew my past-self still desperately needed someone to identify with. So I put my voice out there even if in the end it was just for myself.
So I shared my story
Messy, Raw & Vulnerably Honest
Then unexpectedly, you opened up and shared yours too. Quickly we learned — motherhood or not — our experiences are not so different.
Life. Relationships. Friendships. Partnerships. Motherhood. Family. Your fears. My tears. All messy in their own ways, but in the end, our chaos feels eerily similar.
Turns out I’m not alone after all. I was just too silent to seek comfort through connections.
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