It’s been more than a month since I realized I am dealing with post partum depression. It’s funny that I was reluctant to talk about it. I thought people would think that I was lying or faking when I talk about how much I love my girl and how wonderfully awesome she is. I thought people would think I was putting on airs when I said that mama life rocks. I thought a lot of things. And I expected people to act a certain way after they found out.
What I didn’t expect was so much support. Even if it’s just people saying that they are “here” for me. Or saying that they are proud of me for seeking help. It has helped. I’m surprised that it has helped. You wanna know what else has helped? Just admitting that I am not okay. As soon as I realized that I was not okay, I almost immediately started to feel less weighed down by life. I think the medication has helped a lot, too. And Wes.
I don’t know if he’s always been this way (helpful, considerate, caring, kind, understanding) and I just didn’t notice because of the darkness that I carried or if he realized that something is/was legitimately wrong with me and he really wants to do what he can to help. Either way, I am grateful. I am grateful for my husband and partner. I mean, I’m sure he has always been this way (like, before we became parents). I’m sure that those are some of the qualities that attracted me to him. The thing is, when I’m in the depths of depression, it is really, really, REALLY hard for me to see the good in anything or anyone. The two people who felt the brunt of that burden were Wes and me. I have been hard on him but I have been even less forgiving of myself.
The bright light in the midst of depression has been Laila Grace. Her smile lights up my life. Her laugh and her kisses come at just the right time. She’s silly and funny. I love how much she loves to cuddle. I love that she needs me. She legitimately needs me. Not just because I have her “mama milk” but because, sometimes, my baby just needs her mama. The sloppy wet kisses that she gives me to wake me up each morning and her sweet, sweet voice as she tells me “HI!” for the 175 bajillionth time each hour keep me from sinking so deep. Loving her has truly opened my eyes to the way that God loves me. It’s a deep love.
As far as treatment for PPD goes, I am taking an anti depressant and have started going to a local support group. I also see a counselor once every couple of weeks but I think I should probably go a little more often than that. I am eating Paleo again (which I talked about briefly in my last blog) and I am exercising (but, to be honest, I haven’t left the house much in the last week or two). I have been reading (for pleasure!!!) more in the last month and a half than I have in the last year.
I have a ways to go until I am all the way okay but, in case you’re curious, I am on my way to being okay.