My battle with postpartum depression began after the birth of my son. Never mind the grueling, nauseating nine months of pregnancy, or the fact that my husband and I had our first baby, our daughter, just thirteen months earlier. I was now a mother of two, under the age of two, trying to survive PPD. Yes, I felt a little stressed, and very sleep deprived to say the least. However, I soon realized that my emotions, my mood was out of my control. I found myself crying in parking lots, feeling like I wanted to jump out of my second story window, and screaming at the top of my lungs in the middle of my living room floor. I was low. I was scared, and I didn’t understand what was wrong with me.
The version of motherhood that every woman has in her head was not the version I was living. I felt trapped and completely alone. Society expects new mothers to be all and do all—become super mom. Well, I was failing and living in my own hell. I was constantly feeling guilty for feeling so depressed, and there was no glimpse of hope in sight. How could I be super mom when I couldn’t even get out of bed?
I couldn’t help but feel like I was not only failing my children, but I was failing my husband. Feeling ashamed and embarrassed, my husband encouraged me to call for help. My doctor immediately put me on medication, and I reluctantly drove to the drugstore to pick it up. For some reason, it felt like surrendering to medication was giving up. In my mind, I clearly wasn’t strong enough on my own to handle motherhood. I felt worthless.
Not wanting to feel alone, I started searching online for other women that just might feel like me. I needed to know I wasn’t alone in this deep, internal war I was experiencing within myself. This is when I came across Postpartum Progress. I cried. I couldn’t believe there was an entire community of women suffering from PPD like me. We were given the label “warrior mom”. Thinking of myself as a warrior, someone on the battlefield of PPD bearing down and fighting day in and day out for my children totally empowered me. The thought of being tough and courageous gave me the strength, support and grit I needed to fight through this depression. This community helped save my life.
After years of medication, faith and determination, I realized I had survived. I battled this illness, and I won. Looking back, taking that pill every day wasn’t giving up. It was fighting. It was doing whatever it took to save myself so I could be the mother my children deserved. It was throwing out any pride and willing to take a step toward improving the well being of my family. It was courageous and brave. All the pain, all the tears and hardships my family went through were worth it. My children now have a mom who is stronger than ever, and a survivor of PPD. Thank you to my patient, loving husband , my sweet, loving children, and to the Warrior Mom community. I wouldn’t be here without you!