I am normally a very happy, go with the flow, positive person. I usually can see the good in a situation and try to make the best of it. I can be faced with a problem and then figure out a solution to fix it.
But I have a secret and I don’t think its talked enough about, especially among new moms.
Its called Anxiety. It can be under other names like Post Partum Depression, PTSD, Hormones etc. – but really is just anxious feelings. It gets your mind racing and you can’t turn it off. It creates symptoms in your body that seem so real, yet it literally is all in your mind.
On those days when it hits, I literally can not “Adult.” I can’t fix problems. I can’t be happy.
Those are the days where life is so heavy that my initial response is to make myself a big bowl of cookie dough, sit on the couch in my underwear and play “Gilmore girls” re-runs.
I wasn’t always this way. I have been through a lot in my short 26 years. Mainly dealing with death to those close to me. Seeing someone die in front of you changes you. Seeing multiple people die in front of you really changes you.
I have what they call “Health Anxiety.” It did not become excessive until I had my first child. God gave us a natural instinct to protect our babies. We only want to keep them safe. We don’t want anything bad to happen to them. This is a normal response. But there are those who become so obsessive about it that it causes in-volunteered symptoms in your body.
And it’s exhausting.
And it’s why 59% of new mothers end up on anti-depressants because they can no longer be strong.
Anxiety, Depression, PTSD and PPD leaves moms feeling like they are completely failing. “Why am I feeling this way when I should be happy? I just had a baby. I have a beautiful family. I am so blessed. Yet, I feel so alone and scared”
Many moms are afraid to reach out to others because they are embarrassed of what will be said. People who have never dealt with depression or anxiety often can’t understand. They are unsupportive and end up saying things like “Snap out of it, let it go” or “Why are you feeling this way? You are healthy, you shouldn’t be feeling this way. You’re fine.”
This is possibly the worst thing to hear as someone who is going through anxiety and depression.
I can’t tell you how many times I have cried myself to sleep and crying out to God, “Why am I feeling like this? I just want to feel normal again! Will I ever feel normal again? I don’t want to feel this way, I know my kids are healthy and I am healthy but I can’t turn this off!”
There are days that I feel completely normal and like myself again. I keep myself busy as to not dwell on things I can not control. I pray a lot. I ask God to strengthen my faith in him so that I can rely on him and not myself. But there are other days where I just want to throw in the towel. And you know what, that’s OK. You can have those days. As long as you get back up and keep fighting.
I urge you mamas. If you are someone who is dealing with anxiety, depression, PPD or PTSD. Reach out to other moms. A support system and knowing that you are NOT alone, will help you to recover and get back on track to feeling like yourself again. It doesnt mean you won’t have hopeless, lonely days. But you know that you can come up along side someone else who is going through the same thing and be comforted.