I saw you today, in the audience, we were both crying and I was hearing your thoughts. I heard them because they were my thoughts, not once but 4 times. I saw the black pit in your souls that reflected how you felt because you couldn’t find the words to express it. I have been in that pit, smiling, pretending it was all okay and that I loved it but wanting to sleep my life away until it didn’t hurt anymore. I wanted my kids to leave me alone until I could feel like I could look at them without wanting to cry. I know how much it sucks to feel like everyone looks at you like a failure because you told them that you had PPD. Like it wasn’t okay to be sad or angry or tired or hungry or sleepy or any other human emotion because now that you were a mom-“You had to suck it up and do it”. I also know that I am a perfectionist and that to feel like I was failing at the one thing that women are built to do (be mothers) was like I was somehow worthless because I couldn’t find that elusive joy that ALL the other moms felt when they looked at their babies. After the 2rd bout, I knew I couldn’t live this way. It took so long for me to understand my own body and how it was betraying me in ways that I despised. BUT, I KNOW NOW that it wasn’t my fault, that I did get better despite my hormones and brain chemistry going haywire, and that I had to make a decision every morning that I could live with for the rest of my life. I prayed and read scriptures, sought medical advice, took pills, had counsels and accepted responsibilities. I read advice, sought support groups, exposed my soul to strangers and lost friends. I have long thought my life would have been better without PPD but I now know why God let me struggle with it and fumble my way through recovery. For you. For your wife, daughter, mother, sister and friend. I may not know everything, but I know God loves mother hearts and I KNOW God wants to heal you. I hope you will let me be a part of your journey.
I missed yesterday’s post so I will add a quick note. I am truly grateful for my family, they have helped me see things about myself that I had never even considered, they have challenged me to the point of exhaustion and back to fury with the hope of understanding WHY I was feeling such. This includes people not blood related to me and people I have met along life’s path. I have chosen my family and I am glad for each of them because they have enriched my life and blessed me with love, concern and sometimes a bit of irritation that I later learned, had more to do with me, than with them. I am overwhelmed at times, with the idea of how to repay them, HOW to love them, how to change myself to better mesh with who they are and when I overthink it and freak out (often), when I look to my scriptures and (hopefully) write any ideas down in my journal; I usually find the same answer; trust in my love for them, openly communicate verbally with them and serve them. I do feel that I don’t know how to do these things at times but I am always surprised at how often a listening phone call or visit can express these feelings in ways that I don’t fully understand. So for yesterday’s message; trust in your love for your baby, spouse and others. How would you want to be loved?
I had PPD with 4 of my 5 kids, and possibly my first but much shorter duration and spaced apart. I love sharing the idea of holistic recovery with anyone who will listen so I will try to post each day some things I’ve learned along the way. I would love to hear requests, questions or even advice for me (non-judgey, of course!)
So I will start with the very first thing I learned as a mom. Instinct. Thankfully I have a mom who was great at telling me things that I didn’t want to hear but She did tell me I could try to go natural. I mean birthing. She said; ‘We are great birthers’. Of course, I had no concept of what THAT even meant but I believed her. She told me to visualize how I wanted the birth to go and believe that it would happen. Of course, I had some intervention but It went much better than I could have anticipated. That said, I had no idea how difficult breastfeeding would be, but that is a story for another day!
I will end with this; every woman and every baby is a different journey but We all end up as mothers and children who cling to what we know. I hope you will forgive my sappy saying and know that I really care abut you and your journey and I want you to be happy and healthy, just like you want for your baby.
Take care and comment anytime, E.
I am so ready to kickstart this project!