Saturday, October 02, 2010

30 Days of Me :: Three

Something you have to forgive yourself for.

My PPD. Post partum depression. And not for the actual PPD, but for the way I hid it and denied the help and waited too long to seek help. That is the hard part to forgive.

I am a medical professional. I know the signs of clinical depression, etc. I was a pysch major before PT school. I have been through Panic Disorder and meds. And I find it difficult even now to glance back at the woman/mother/person I was in their earliest months without cringing and wanting to cry a little bit. I should have known. I did know. I waited too long get help.

I remember the morning that I knew it was too much. They were almost 8 months old. I was feeding the babies with my Mom and I told her I figured I would just kill myself because the boys would be much better off without me around. That I was so bad at this and that I could not do it anymore and any more of this would kill me so I might as well just do it myself. I remember the shock in her face, but even more I remember the relief I felt to finally just say it, tell someone and let them deal with it. And deal with it we did.

But, oh god, the months before, the internal grief and guilt and fear and anxiety. It is hard to forgive myself for letting that happen to me. For feeling so alone and thinking I was the only person that felt this way. For feeling so ashamed of the internal Me that I hid it well, buried it under layers of fake smiles and rigid schedules and isolation.

I thought there should be joy. I think there was. But to be left with memories of despair, thoughts of windows and babies and Me because it could not be them (and uh, we live in a ranch style home, so there is total delusion for you). To worry that my pregnant sister, that any pregnant friend I knew would feel like me. To know I probably should not feel that way and that I probably should tell someone and then not doing it ...

It makes me cry even now and I am so sorry that I had to be one of the woman that experiences early motherhood in this way.

It got better, immensely so after I started seeking treatment. In my case it was intense acupuncture but it changed my life and allowed space to breathe and then stop and then sleep and then, finally, finally feel present and then finally JOY. And for that, I am grateful.

So, Amiee, you ... you crazy, too independent, too proud, sometimes too scared person. I forgive you. Did you hear that? Good. Now, we can move on.



And if you are a Mama and feel or felt this way or are going to be a Mama and worry about feeling this way, please, just tell someone. Ask for help. Do not let the shame and guilt and fear associated with 'not doing this right' rule you. There is help, there is another side and you cannot let it wait. Not 8 months. Not 8 days. Not 8 minutes. You have to know that this is not normal and that this can be treated and that there is nothing wrong with you. Okay? Okay.


Nicole said...

I miss you! From the first time that I read your posts I felt a deep connection. I'm not really an online relationship builder. Yeah, I'm on here and all but not getting to know people. I took a year off from crafting and blogging because I was struggling with PPD too. I didn't want the girls to look back on posts from a horrible and emotional year. Mads is 18 months and things are finally looking up. Thanks for sharing. xo

Goddess in Progress said...

Amazing, amazing post. What an ordeal to go through, as if parenting two infants isn't hard enough. To have to do it from such an awful, dark place... I know you're sad that you waited so long to say something out loud, but I'm proud of you for doing so, period. You are amazing.

Jess said...

You're very brave to share this with everyone. Depression is so isolating. I've also had my bouts.

My lowest moment was after I'd gotten the kids all packed into the van, ready to leave to begin yet another stressful day of single parenting: daycare pickups and drop offs, an hour-long commute each way and clocking a full 8-hour day at a job I hated. I remember thinking that it'd just be easier if we could stay in the garage, engine running and we could all just... sleep. It was scary then and it's still scary now to think about it.

Sharing your journey helps you heal and helps others realize we're not alone. And that there's life after getting through the gloom.

Thank you for sharing. I'm glad you've forgiven yourself.

Gen said...

Brave, brave woman. So much respect for you. You are beyond amazing and the boys (all of them) are ridiculously lucky.

Claroux said...

I know we've talked about it before but it continues to amaze me just how SIMILAR our journeys were. I wish I could have the balls to put it all out there like that. Maybe one day I will. But GOOD FOR YOU for finally committing to forgiving yourself!!!! I think PPD continues to be SO misunderstood and misdiagnosed. It's scary. I shudder to think how many other women are out there that need help. If your post reached at least one of them then that is fantastic! *HUGS*

PS - nice pic ;-)

K8 said...

Thank you for sharing this - depression, especially PPD, is so rarely talked about. You are amazing, and good for you for forgiving yourself.

Dana said...

#8 on my life list: Forgive.
It's a hard one. I'm glad you found the courage and resolve to do it.