I felt it coming . . . that dreaded fog slowly rolling in.
As my new baby lay peacefully sleeping on my chest, I felt it creeping in. Instead of feeling euphoric excitement over this new little life I had worked so hard to create, I felt nothing.
No joy, no love, nothing.
We brought her home to join our family and I felt the darkness deepen. I never believed in postpartum depression. It was a very simple explanation, to me. Your body goes through a crazy, chaotic experience, and you are given this new child to care for on top of trying to heal, whilst also managing a household and other little people. Who wouldn’t be overwhelmed?
But it was a lie. PPD came along as “that, which shall not be named”—like some Harry Potter villain.
Each day I battled this demon. I saw things that were not there. I heard voices telling me to do things. It was terrifying and I was my own worst enemy. Being too afraid to tell my doctor everything, I hid the darkness. I obediently picked up the meds that only seemed to add fuel to the fire.
My husband watched me. I could see him looking at me out of the corner of my tear-filled eyes. He was trying to look for that person who was his wife. He missed her. I missed her.
Minutes dragged into hours. Hours dragged into days. At night, I would cling to this tiny person in my arms begging the darkness to fade. I wanted so desperately to be me again. But it remained.
I was nauseous from exhaustion. My stomach hurt along with my still-healing body. Visions of how to end my life appeared randomly in my head and made me want to beg my husband to stay. “Please don’t go to work. I can’t be alone, I need you.”
But the bills don’t care if you are drowning in your own despair. In fact, they add to that abyss of emptiness.
The darkness is like the aftermath of a hurricane. It takes a long time to recover. I’m still battling it daily. Trying new things. Praying. . . a lot. I’m grateful for family and friends who don’t know how to help but try anyway. It lets me know my worth. I am needed and wanted.
And as much as I want to just let the dark curtain fall over me, every day I’ll just keep pushing it back until the light finally seeps in. I’ve won my battle against postpartum depression before, and I’ll win again.
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