Yesterday I participated in Postpartum Progress’s 5th Annual Mother’s Day Rally for Mothers’ Mental Health; take a look:
Dear New Mom,
If you’re reading this post with a heart at peace, congratulations. Motherhood marks the beginning of a sacred life journey. But if you’re reading this post and your head won’t dare allow your heart to feel anything beyond anxiety and profound sadness, please know that you’re not alone.
For me, motherhood felt like the beginning of the end and yet all I ever wanted to be was a mother. I didn’t just want to be any mother, I wanted to be the best mother. I tried, and tried, and worried, and worried some more. What if something happened to my baby? What if I’m not a good enough mother? Why doesn’t motherhood feel natural? Why am I doing everything wrong? I spent every last ounce of energy desperately trying to decode the unimaginable mysteries of motherhood. What I didn’t know then was that these compulsions were symptoms of postpartum depression and anxiety. They crept in slowly, steadily, stealthily. I didn’t just wake up sad one day without knowing why; I slipped slowly, perhaps even gracefully into a state of confusion, doubt, anxiety, and isolation. I’d never meant to go there — give way, give up. I resisted and put up a fight for as long as I could, but the darkness eventually wore me down, made me believe, and perhaps worst of all, made me trust.
The rabbit hole of postpartum depression and anxiety began to destroy me from the inside out. It wasn’t just the chronic strep throat, dangerously heavy menstrual cycles, severe exhaustion, or weight loss; it was how I began to flinch from even a flicker of light attempting to find me. The idea of happiness was too much. Too impossible. Too exhausting to even consider…[read more]