As I’m sitting here with my five year old upstairs pitting Barbies against each other I wonder, is there a time limit on postpartum depression? Because essentially from the moment she sprang forth from my loins I became postpartum. It’s beginning to feel as though motherhood and PPD are BFFs and have been holding each other’s hands for the last five years.
You caught me on a bad day. Tears and sniffles as I write this.
I so desperately want to be uplifting to you new moms, tell you this too shall pass.
But the truth is it just changes. Either by who you choose to have in your life, how you take care of yourself, the choices you make and also, what medications or treatments you decide to pursue.
Motherhood does not bring me the ultimate joy promised in parenting magazines or sappy Mother’s Day cards. It is a daily struggle for me, to push all the ugly voices and feelings in my head aside to take care of this little person first and foremost.
There are moments, yes. Moments that make all the heartache and worry worthwhile.
I am sending a good kid out into the world.
Next week I’m sure I will be fine. I have good people in my life, I have genuine faith in something.
Sadly what I do not have is doctors or medical professionals in my life. We belong to a very small minority of people who have fallen through the cracks. My husband’s law firm does not offer health insurance yet and with astronomical student loan payments we are left unable to afford decent private healthcare.
So I’m left to rely on myself and the other magnificent women and mothers in my life. Women who have walked this road, women who are still walking on it. And people who have helped, watched, witnessed and cared for those lost in their own brains.
Not all of us are able to get the help we probably need or even deserve.
Thankfully PPD is becoming more and more understood and accepted. However depression is still a few dozen years behind. But we, the people who have lived through PPD and those of us who still have depression lurking in our lives have a strength that no medical journal can touch.
We can give a voice to this disease.
By talking about it.
Never being ashamed to say “I’m not doing well.”
What you are feeling is real. You can’t eat your way out of it, sleep your way out of it, pray your way out of it or just get over it.
But you can talk about it. Eating, sleeping and praying, all in moderation, can and will help as well, but there is no once cure.
This too shall pass.
When I’m depressed I can never remember what happiness feels like, but I know it’s somewhere out there, and I fight and claw like hell to find my way back to it.
I can promise you it’s out there somewhere for you too.
Please don’t give up.
Casey Mullins is a writer, Mormon, mother and wife whose happy place is somewhere with peanut butter-covered cheeseburgers and a camera shoved to her face. You can find her at Moosh In Indy or on Twitter at @mooshinindy.