I have post-partum depression.
I have not written a blog in 157 days, and I certainly did not want these to be my first words back. But this is real life.
I have not recovered from post-partum depression yet. I am not on the other side of it. I am in the nasty, messy middle of it. When life gets really, really hard, one of my ways of dealing is to shut down all non-essential communication and go to those closest to me. Unfortunately, when you have three small children (one a nursing baby), the amount of time you have to discuss your feelings is almost non-existent. I have tried, I have been aware of my need to get some support and take care of myself. However, I finally admitted that I am not doing that well enough.
I have a plan to take care of myself now. I did not want to write this because I prefer to be the one who takes care of others. I strongly dislike the idea of writing this and others seeing it as a plea for attention. That is not the goal here. I write this for two reasons:
1. I know a lot of women have post-partum depression or have had it in the past. And even more will have it in the future. Can we say it without being afraid of it? When I was pregnant with Evangeline, I was kind of dreading the post-partum period and pretty worried that I might experience this. (I did have some issues after Isabella was born, but it was much easier to find a way to take care of myself and minimize its effects with one child than it has been with three children in my care.)
I want to be honest in a public way mostly to open that door for you to be honest as well. I have been honest with some people I love and I know they love me. Please, if you are struggling alone, invite someone in as soon as possible.
2. I would far prefer to wait a few months and then say, “Hi! Guess what? I had post-partum depression, and it was terrible and I felt awful. Now I’m all better! Woohoo!”
That will be a great thing to be able to say, but for some reason I feel that I am supposed to write this instead. Psalm 34:18-19 says, “The Lord is near to the brokenhearted and saves the crushed in spirit. Many are the afflictions of the righteous, but the Lord delivers him out of them all.” (ESV)
I trust God to deliver me in whatever way He chooses. He allowed this into my life, and I will walk through it until He delivers me. If you are in the middle of an overwhelming obstacle, I leave you with my favorite verses in all of the Bible:
“Therefore we do not lose heart. Though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day. For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all. So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen, since what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal.”
2 Corinthians 4:16-18 NIV