Darkness heaving down upon me, swirling around beneath me, pulling me deeper and deeper into its lifeless void, until it’s a struggle even to catch a breath. Purpose and joy is a distant shore lost within the mist. I want to scream, but my voice is plastered to the walls of my chest, slowly dying from suffocation. I look at my children before me and tears well within me like giant bottomless pits filled with aching regret. An overwhelming sense of failure fills every pore of my being and even though I can say it’s a lie, the weight of it keeps getting heavier and stronger with each passing moment. I just want to sleep and forget all the pain and the hopelessness locked inside, but even in sleep there is no relief.
Nothingness surrounds the future. I try to keep going like everything is ok, because I know my kids need me, but the passion is gone, the light is put out. It’s just motions with emptiness within. Anger and rage take the place of reason followed by despair, regret and then nothingness cycling over and over and over again. People try to help by telling me what I need to do, but they don’t understand, not really. This burden I bear, they can have all the right answers, but never do they truly touch the weight and pain of what lies within.
Fear, a lack of trust. Lies, blinding the truth. Chemical, scycological, see a counselor, take medication, it’s normal, it’s not normal, lots of people deal with it, get help, don’t deal with it yourself, you’re fine, don’t worry about it, go for a walk, get out of the house, put make-up on every day, take time for yourself, switch the tapes in your mind, don’t listen to all the negative talk in your head, just stop it. It isn’t helping. I just want someone who truly understands, not to tell me what to do, but to cry with me and to see, truly see where I am at, to wrap their arms around me and physically take me by the hand and lead me up. I don’t have the strength, and I’m tired of bringing everyone down around me.
I remember writing this, three months after my son was born, and how I was ready to completely give up. Doctors call it Postpartum Depression and though, I know many women who have had it way worse than me, it was still a very real and devastating time. I had some very traumatic issues go down with my family at that time as well as being off some medication too soon. So how did I get up and over being depressed? Honestly, it was slow healing process. So slow in fact, I didn’t even realize when it happened. Everyone is different, what helped me may or may not be the answer for what might help someone else.
I hated even the thought of this! I didn’t want something to be wrong with me. I felt weak and even more like a failure when people would suggest that I should see a doctor and get some meds for it. As if I couldn’t handle it myself, I wasn’t strong enough. Pride pride pride pride pride…. in reality I wasn’t strong enough and I did need help. True strength lies in realizing when we’re weak and need help and not being too prideful to do something about it. I ended up just going back on a small dose of my thyroid medicine which ended up being a tremendous help.
I wanted to be by myself and just wither away and die. I didn’t want to see people or deal with any of their issues. I was much more content in wallowing in my own misery and though, I didn’t want to be miserable, I couldn’t think about anything else. My husband was one of my biggest supports through this time. He never left me and even took over watching and taking care of the kids a lot of the time. I even remember, one time, the nurse at my doctor’s office calling the Crisis Care Center for me and getting my husband off work to take me in, when I was to the point where I couldn’t function. (Just to brag on my husband a little bit during that time: I was devastated that I needed to go someplace to get help, I thought I should be stronger. I was even scared that he would be mad at me for making him miss work and possible getting in trouble with his boss. He reassured me that because the nurse had called, it was considered a medical emergency and he wouldn’t get in trouble and even if he did, I was more important. It was him who didn’t make fun of me or treat me like I was a worthless mother, but gently and lovingly reassured me that everyone needs help, at some point. He continually reminded me that he thought I was a wonderful mother, I was hurting, but it wouldn’t be forever.) Surrounding myself with people who truly loved me and supported me during this time was HUGE!
Remember the Truth
Lies are so easy to believe and seem to find their way into my mind faster than my child after ice cream. So, reminding myself and having others remind me of the truth over and over and over again was crucial, even when I didn’t want to hear it at the time. Eventually, it began to sink in and take root. I ended up taping 3x5 cards with verses on them all around the house. I taped them in front of the sink where I would stand doing dishes, in the shower (recommend laminating or covering with packing tape first), and on almost all my mirrors.
Around this time in my life my husband was laid off of work for the winter. It ended up I needed to get a part-time job to help out. This ended up being a blessing in disguise, as it forced me out of the house and my mind onto something other than being depressed.
Finding an activity or a job to do when you’re feeling down, even when you don’t particularly feel like doing it, does help in the long run.
Hands down, I think this was the thing I needed most, but what I got the least. With a baby and a toddler both needing my constant attention and up all hours of the night, sleep was but a fantasy dream in the world’s best fairytale. The little sleep I was able to get was marred with turmoil and restlessness. It wasn’t until I finally let people start to help me, by taking my daughter for a time, so I could sleep when my baby slept, that my mind started to function normally again. I have my sister to thank, for pretty much demanding that I needed more sleep and I needed to do whatever was necessary to MAKE THAT HAPPEN!
Eat Healthy Mood Boosting Foods
There are many lists on what are the best mood boosting foods to eat that I’m not going to post them all here. However, some of my own favorites were: Frozen blueberries (I ate these as my sweet-treat-dessert after the kids went to bed), Nuts (especially walnuts and almonds) and dark leafy greens like Kale (I started making a lot of healthy shakes for breakfast to help out with this).
I have a friend who calls this her little “happy pill.” She recommended it to me saying it was what helped her through her PPD. Especially, with it being the winter months during the time, it really did start making a difference, as I wasn’t out in the sun as much and I’m sure was lacking that essential vitamin.
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Melody, a proud mother of three beautiful, adventurous children and the wife of one very loving and caring husband. Molded, daily, by the Maker of the Universe and longing to become more like Him.