Many years ago I was diagnosed with clinical depression. It’s something I struggled with in high school and worked through in my twenties. Once I disclosed this information to my doctors during my pregnancy I heard “just so you know you will be more prone than others to post-partum depression” on a regular basis. I would nod and say yes I understand, but I really didn’t until I was knee deep in it.
Post-partum is so much more than just being ‘sad’. It’s hard to explain, and definitely hard for people who haven’t experiences these emotion to understand. It’s a complete and utter sense of feeling worthless. I felt completely defeated in every sense of the word. I felt like a horrible mother, a horrible wife and at times wondered if my husband and daughter would be better without me. I cried all the time and I felt shamed I was feeling this way so I never spoke to anyone about it, until now.
Writing this piece is not easy, but already has been therapeutic. One day when I was feeling particularly down, I was watching Megan Kelly on the Today Show and she had a guest that was literally talking about the exact same thoughts and emotions that I had been feeling. I started hysterical crying immediately, but one thing I thought for the first time in that moment; was that I am not alone.
It was easy for me to sink into those days where I was “down” and didn’t want to get out of bed. I moved away from my friends and family, I lost my job, I was over-weight (still am, more to come on that later) and struggling with daily anxiety. However, there was something in that TV segment that flipped a switch in my brain. I needed to get out of my own way. Don’t get me wrong, even now I have my days and moments, but I worked out a routine for myself that I was comfortable with to keep me moving. I noticed the more I sat at home it was easier to slip into these episodes of depression.
We all know everyone deals with everything differently, for me it was to keep it all to myself and deal with it on my own. Honestly, I just knew what people would say, “Its ok, you shouldn’t think that way” and not to be rude, but how is that going to help me? Words are words, and the only person who was/is going to make it better, is myself. People shouldn’t feel ashamed to talk about it, hell, that’s what I’m doing now by writing this, but no matter how you choose to deal with depression or anything negative in your life, I truly believe, there is comfort in hearing and knowing that you’re not alone.