Happy New Year, friends! The consensus seems to be that 2016 was a tough year but for me, it was during this year when I knew that I was conquering postpartum depression. That realisation has been a huge milestone for me and it makes me so happy and proud. Getting myself back and growing into the mother that I truly want to be for my boys has brought so much joy to my heart.
Let me give you a little background on how I felt at this time last year so you’ll be able to see how different things are now. You can also read some of my other posts about postpartum depression. For the past few years, Christmas has been incredibly stressful for me. There was nothing out of the ordinary that was happening and there was nothing obvious that would have been making things more difficult for me other than my mental health. Last year I didn’t even want to shop. I didn’t want to leave the house on a good day, much less during the busy lead up to Christmas. Thankfully, Nick not only held me up but he picked up my slack. He waited as long as he could and tried to encourage me to get out there but I just wasn’t able to. So he did the shopping for everyone himself. Not only that but after trying to convince me to at least wrap the gifts since he knew it’s an activity that I usually enjoy, he also took on that task.
In addition to the gifts, I also wasn’t feeling the holiday decor or family gatherings. All of the decorations made me feel like the house was cluttered and closing in on me and the parties were so overwhelming I could hardly breathe. Although I’ve been told that I hid it well, it certainly didn’t feel that way. I was able to put up the decorations for a few weeks but the tree came down and everything was put away on Boxing Day. If you can believe it, I still didn’t see how deeply I was in it.
Fast forward to the spring time when the weather was getting better but the sunshine didn’t seem to make much of an impact on my disposition. It would be the first summer in our new house and I knew that I wanted to take full advantage of our beautiful yard and new neighbourhood. Well, I say “I knew I wanted” but I really mean that I knew I should want those things. That’s the thing. I started to realise that things weren’t quite right. They were more than not quite right.
Since I’d been dealing with this for quite a while, I was starting to get fed up with the whole situation. I’m a true Taurus and being stubborn is kind of my thing so asking for help isn’t exactly an easy thing to do. It was definitely the right thing to do though so I’m really glad that I did because that’s when things truly turned a corner. When I spoke to my doctor, he told me that postpartum depression is actually one of his biggest concerns as a family physician which really speaks volumes to me about how common it is. He said that way too may women won’t admit they are struggling and it worries him not only for the women but for their families as well. As the saying goes “when mama ain’t happy, ain’t nobody happy”!
Happy, Happy, Happy
You guys, things can be so much better than suffering and you deserve to be well! Let me tell you that if you need them, meds make one hell of a difference and I have no shame admitting that I take something to help me. It has been over 6 months since I’ve started taking a prescription to help me and it has made such a noticable difference not only in my day to day life but in the larger picture too.
Christmas this year was amazing! I was so excited and started decorating in November. November! I had the majority of my Christmas shopping done before the beginning of December and I had SO MUCH FUN doing it! It was the first year since childhood that I truly felt the Christmas spirit and it felt so good. Nick and I shopped together for the kids and we were so excited to give them each present and see the looks on their faces. Family gatherings were fun and I enjoyed being in the company of our families. We did a lot of running around over the holidays but I wasn’t stressed or anxious about it, I just went with it and didn’t allow postpartum depression to take another Christmas from me. Nick saw a huge difference and we talked about it often. We both remarked after everything calmed down that December had been a great month for our family and that was something we definitely hadn’t said in previous years.
I thought it was important to share this because I want to keep the conversation about postpartum depression. I want to talk about it. I want to be open so that the subject doesn’t seem so hushed. If we start to normalize it, getting help won’t seem like such a scary and taboo thing to do. Because it’s not! You don’t have to suffer in silence and struggle every day. There isn’t any good reason why you should! You deserve better and so do your children.
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