Postpartum depression is real. All forms of depression are real. I have had my share of experiences with depression throughout my life. Call it a genetic predisposition. Call it a chemical imbalance. Call it whatever you want, but do not ever call me weak. Anyone who faces depression and anxiety everyday and survives is stronger than you will ever know. Depression is debilitating, exhausting, and it has the ability to take everything precious in your life away in seconds. I am not looking for pity, attention, or even acceptance. My only purpose here is to clear my own mind and maybe spread a little understanding of what it is like to lose control of your own emotions.
I had my first child 4 months ago. For the last three months, I have been silently fighting my own demons. At first, I thought I was just tired. Newborns are exhausting. Then I thought that I was just sad. My husband and I were fighting constantly, I was stressed, and I was tired. I slowly started realizing that the exhaustion, sadness, and anxiety never went away. I was always angry, at everything. I live in a constant state of denial about my anxiety and depression. I have always been able to find ways, healthy or not, to cope with it. This time has been different. I finally accepted that I was not coping and I owed it to my son to face my depression and anxiety. He deserves a good mom and I can't be a good mom if I can't take care of myself. He has been the single bright spot in my life over the last few months. His smile can instantly change my mood. Even on my darkest days, I still get out of bed because that little boy needs me. Truth be told, I need him more than he needs me. He keeps me going. Even when everything else is falling to pieces, he gives my life purpose. Yet, the demon that is my depression and anxiety is unrelenting.
I do my very best to hide my suffering from the world. Eventually, that facade started fading and people around me began to detect that there was something off. They just don't know the extent of it. I finally contacted a therapist. I hate therapy. I hate therapist. I hate diving into my past, the reasons that I am the way I am. Maybe that is why I have always tried to deal with it on my own. I was pleasantly surprised by my new therapist. After my first session, I have promised myself that I will be honest with myself and my therapist. I do not want to feel like this anymore. I want to be happy. I want my life back. I will continue to fight.
If you have ever or are currently struggling with depression, please know that you are not alone. I know that it doesn't matter how many times I say it, depression will always make you feel alone. Don't give up. The sun will rise again one day. If you know some one fighting depression, the best thing you can do is be there. Understand that there is really nothing that you can say or do that will magically make it go away. Listen when they need you to. Realize that most of what you say will probably make them mad. Depression is an ugly beast that distorts every part of your brain. Push them in the right direction, but know when to back off. Most importantly, don't ever give up on them. This is not their fault.