Our Keepsake Journal is Here! 🎉

Dear You,

Sometimes it’s hard to see you because the place you’re in is so dark and hidden and you don’t let anyone in, not even yourself. You want to die, and while that’s not the best option, it’s going to be hard to convince you otherwise.

If you told anyone, they would try to guilt you out of it. You know those friends who will remind you that you have a daughter and a husband who love you and would be sad without you. But all you want is someone to stop looking at you as responsible to someone else and actually talk to you. You want them to see how much you’re hurting and take it away.

Once you became a mom, you weren’t just one woman anymore, and that’s part of the pain. You didn’t ask for the traumatic birth or trouble breastfeeding or the shame from family to go along with it. You didn’t want to feel like a failure for not doing everything organically, without medication or formula. You didn’t know you would sometimes hate being a mom but feel like you had to keep smiling and laughing through the excruciating pain. You didn’t understand why your body and now your mind has failed you, but now that it has, you’re done.

You didn’t ask for this. No one does. But I want to tell you what no one else will.

You matter.

You. Not just you as someone’s mother or wife or employee, but you as an individual matter.

I see how much hurt you’ve endured, but I’ve seen how long you’ve chosen to stay. That matters, too. As much as you want to die to make the pain go away, you also want to live. You want to see your baby girl grow strong and become an independent thinker and self-starter like you want to raise her to be. You want her to stay a mama’s girl, because Daddy is cool but she looks at you like you’re the center of her world. Living for her is not enough, though. It might keep you another day or maybe even another week, but you have to live for you. I know you were meant for greatness. You have so many ideas and dreams and you want to be even more than you’ve already become.

You don’t see it now, but who you are and what you do make an impact. Whether you see it today or not, that impact is immediate for the people around you, for your co-workers, for your husband, and for the strangers you meet every day. Your ability to smile through the pain doesn’t help you, but your still holds a power that you can tap into once again.

So why stay here? The world is not kind, and often that cruelty and shame is aimed at women and moms. You have these expectations for yourself that don’t fit what you can do and be right now. That’s why you’re suffering. I think it’s more about permission to fail than pushing through to the next day.

How do you forgive yourself for not being the mom society expects you to be? There’s no one answer for this. Acceptance is daily. It’s celebrating the small things you did right and remembering that the things you did wrong can always be better tomorrow. Acceptance is the constant reminder that you will never be everything to everyone, but you are the best mother your daughter can have. Acceptance is setting boundaries to not give 100 percent to everything when you only have 15 percent of you to give. It’s also the ability to say when you can no longer function at 15 percent and need more support than you’re willing to admit now.

It’s OK to not be OK. But it’s what you do with not being OK that matters. Dying would make the pain go away for you, but it makes you go away, too, and I have a feeling there’s some fight left in you to stay here. It’s OK to ask for help. Counselors seem out of reach or out of touch because of your previous experiences or the judgments you think those therapists will have about you. The question you have to ask yourself is, “Is it worth continuing on alone or feeling like death is my only option?” If the answer is no, the next part is not easy. You have to take the risk of telling someone about your deep pain. Be honest. Choose someone who will open their arms instead of panic. Choose someone who can make the call for mental health support with you so you’re not alone as you talk to a stranger about feeling like this. Choose people who you need right now more than they need you, so you step onto a new road of healing instead of the painful road you currently walk. When you make these hard and painful steps, you choose yourself. You are making the conscious decision to let others in and considering staying not just one more day, but a lifetime. This new path is not just based on survival, but it’s the embrace of hope and moving forward. It’s the vulnerability of allowing people to see you as you wanted them to always see you. It might not be the best of circumstances to be seen, but it’s out there and the blank slate of feeling so empty only lends itself to be written.

So as you sit there in your own hell, just know that I see you. It’s not OK now, but it can be. You don’t always have to hide in the darkness, but you have to do it for you. Stay for you so it’s not just temporary and it’s not because you’re somebody’s someone. If you’re willing, take the chance to explore that life could be beyond good and actually be great for you and those you love and care for.

I hope you stay. I see and feel that small ounce of life left and I’m hoping you feel it, too. And when you stay, live. You deserve more than what you’ve had before, but facing death at rock bottom means there’s a chance it’s better tomorrow than what it was today.

You matter to me. And I hope you live.

Resources and information for PPD:

http://www.postpartumprogress.com

http://www.postpartum.net

http://kellymom.com/bf/can-i-breastfeed/meds/prescript_galactagogue/

http://www.postpartumva.org

Twenty-four hour National Suicide Prevention Lifeline hotline: 1-800-273-TALK (1-800-273-8255).

 

You may also like:

I Am the Face of Postpartum Anxiety

Five Strategies I Use to Beat Postpartum Depression and Anxiety

Postpartum Depression is a Liar and a Thief

Want more stories of love, family and faith from the heart of every home, delivered straight to you? Sign up here!

So God Made a Mother book by Leslie Means

If you liked this, you'll love our book, SO GOD MADE A MOTHER available now!

Order Now

Check out our new Keepsake Companion Journal that pairs with our So God Made a Mother book!

Order Now
So God Made a Mother's Story Keepsake Journal

Tiffany Wicks

Tiffany Wicks is a therapist, specializing in maternal mental health at Push Counseling & Coaching. She survives off coffee, friendship, and daily cuddles. Tiffany lives in Dallas, Texas with her husband, daughter, and two dogs.

Hello from the Other Side of 40

In: Living
Woman holding up 4 and 3 fingers on her hands

Facing 40 birthday candles? Let me tell you why your future is even brighter than those birthday cake flames, but first, I’ll also tell you—I get the big deal about turning 40. Facing that lofty milestone wasn’t fun for me. The dread started early when I was a young 37, and a sibling turned 40. I’m next! I realized, and I pouted and whined at the thought for the next three years. All of that bad behavior couldn’t keep me in my 30s though, and honestly, it left me a little embarrassed. Though this earthly tent is showing obvious signs...

Keep Reading

Having Kids Shows Who Your Real Friends Are

In: Friendship, Motherhood
Mother and child walking through forest, color photo

Any mom, typical or special needs, will tell you having kids is the fastest way to tell who your real friends are. When your child is born with special needs this process becomes even more severe and obvious. At first, people visit and want to hold the baby, but once the delays kick in slowly people start to pull away. Disability makes them uncomfortable. That’s the truth. They hope you won’t notice, but you do. Honestly, most stop trying altogether. It’s not just friends who act this way either, sometimes it’s family too. That hurts the most. As a parent...

Keep Reading

Why Doesn’t Anyone Talk about How Hard Adult Friendships Are?

In: Friendship, Living
Woman sitting along on couch looking at smartphone

The scary thing about friendship is it’s completely disposable. You actively choose to remain friends. It can dissolve at any time. No one can force you into it. In marriage, you are bound to one another before God. As a parent, you have a familial obligation to your child. But friendship? That comes completely free and clear. You intentionally let them in, let them see your underbelly. Your messy house. Your imperfect marriage. Your rebellious children. Your weirdness, your quirks, your sin. And they can walk away at any moment. Oh, there are a few exceptions. Maybe you work together....

Keep Reading

The Last Text I Sent Said “I Love You”

In: Friendship, Grief, Living
Soldier in dress uniform, color photo

I’ve been saying “I love you” a lot recently. Not because I have been swept off my feet. Rather, out of a deep appreciation for the people in my life. My children, their significant others, and friends near and far. I have been blessed to keep many faithful friendships, despite the transitions we all experience throughout our lives.  Those from childhood, reunited high school classmates, children of my parent’s friends (who became like family), and those I met at college, through work and shared activities. While physical distance has challenged many of these relationships, cell phones, and Facebook have made...

Keep Reading

Being a Hands-on Dad Matters

In: Kids, Living
Dad playing with little girl on floor

I am a hands-on dad. I take pride in spending time with my kids. Last week I took my toddler to the park. He’s two and has recently outgrown peek-a-boo, but nothing gets him laughing like him seeing me pop into the slide to scare him as he goes down. He grew to like this so much that he actually would not go down the slide unless he saw me in his range of vision going down. When it’s time to walk in the parking lot he knows to hold my hand, and he grabs my hand instinctively when he needs help...

Keep Reading

Finding My Confidence in Learning to Enjoy Exercise

In: Living
Woman at exercise class, color photo

This picture is of me, noticeably overweight, attending a silks class. This is something I’ve always wanted to do, but I looked noticeably out of place in my XL frame, compared with the other women in their size two Lululemon leggings. At one point, before we began, I actually quietly asked the instructor if there was a weight limit. She reassured me that people a lot heavier than me had hung from their ceiling on those silks. Before we started hanging from the ceiling, the instructor had us all sit in a circle and introduce ourselves and our goal for...

Keep Reading

Somewhere Between Wife and Mom, There Is a Woman

In: Living, Motherhood
Woman standing alone in field smiling

Sometimes, it’s hard to remember there is a woman behind the mom. At home, you feel caught between two worlds. Mom world and wife world. Sometimes it’s hard to balance both. We don’t exactly feel sexy in our leggings and messy mom bun. We don’t feel sexy at the end of the day when we are mentally, emotionally, and physically exhausted from being a mom all day. The truth is we want to feel like ourselves again. We just aren’t sure where we fit in anymore. RELATED: I Fear I’ve Lost Myself To Motherhood We know the kids only stay...

Keep Reading

Dear Mom, Until We Meet Again

In: Grown Children, Living
Daughter hugs elderly mother from behind outside

Mom, I pray to the stars that someday, somewhere we pick up where we left off. Before the Alzheimer’s diagnosis. Before your life, my life, and our family’s life changed forever. If we meet again, will you appear just as I remember you before this awful disease took over? With ebony black hair, vibrant blue eyes, and a gracious smile. Will you look at me and know I am your daughter? Will you refer to me by my beloved childhood nickname? RELATED: The One Thing Alzheimer’s Cannot Take Away Will you embrace me in a warm hug and tell me...

Keep Reading

Friendship Looks Different Now That Our Kids Are Older

In: Friendship, Living, Motherhood
Two women and their teen daughters, color photo

When my kids were young and still in diapers, my friends and I used to meet up at Chick-fil-A for play dates. Our main goal was to maintain our sanity while our kids played in the play area. We’d discuss life, marriage, challenges, sleep deprivation, mom guilt, and potty-training woes. We frequently scheduled outings to prevent ourselves from going insane while staying at home. We’d take a stroll around the mall together, pushing our bulky strollers and carrying diaper bags. Our first stop was always the coffee shop where we’d order a latte (extra espresso shot) and set it in...

Keep Reading

The Only Fights I Regret Are the Ones We Never Had

In: Living, Marriage
Couple at the end of a hallway fighting

You packed up your things and left last night. There are details to work out and lawyers to call, but the first step in a new journey has started. I feel equal parts sad, angry, scared, and relieved. There’s nothing left to fix. There’s no reconciliation to pursue. And I’m left thinking about the fights we never had. I came down the stairs today and adjusted the thermostat to a comfortable temperature for me. It’s a fight I didn’t consider worth having before even though I was the one living in the home 24 hours a day while you were...

Keep Reading