Every mother’s journey through postpartum mood and anxiety disorders like postpartum OCD is her own. And it is a journey, for sure, complete with struggle, setbacks, joy and triumph. Today, Warrior Mom Andrea tells her about her journey from fear and pain to healing, and reminds us how important it is to reach out for support and to have above all, HOPE.
Thank you so much, Andrea, for sharing your story here.
In an instant, that once perfectly put together puzzle shattered in a million pieces on the ground all around me. Alone, I grabbed the pieces and tried to make sense of how I was ever going to put them back together; the millions of tiny pieces surrounding me were overwhelming. It took a long time to put that puzzle together again-from the missing pieces and not asking for help because I thought I should be able to do it alone, to paralyzing thoughts that maybe I would never put the puzzle back together.
Seven weeks after my daughter was born, terrifying intrusive thoughts took over my mind. Suddenly, I was terrified of the knives in the house, afraid to give my daughter a bath, shocked at what my mind was capable of thinking, unsafe in my own body. The harder I tried to push these thoughts away, the stronger they fought back. I was suffocating and wanted so desperately to go back to the week before where everything in my world was perfect, where I was elated with only happiness, where my dreams had come true, back to that life where intrusive thoughts didn’t exist. Overnight, I became someone that I didn’t know and didn’t want to know. My entire world changed.
That evening, I called my mom to bring me to the Emergency Room. I didn’t know what I needed but I needed something to make the horrible thoughts disappear. Arriving in the parking lot of the hospital that night I was filled with fear of being locked up if I told a doctor about the thoughts I was having, so I convinced my mom that I was fine and we turned around to go home. For the next few years I would search alone for answers and for a quick fix: a vitamin, alternative medicine, an appointment where I would walk in and come back out me again. [Read more...]