As I was sitting in a hospital room with my very pregnant, sick and dehydrated sister-in-law, I realized I had a bunch of awesome Postpartum Progress Hug Cards in my purse. So, while the nurse was changing out her fluids, I announced I was “going to work.” When I walked back into the room, the nurse began asking me about my maternal mental health advocacy. She told me how she and another nurse on the floor always made sure to discuss perinatal mood and anxiety disorders with their new mommies. She then told me how sorry she was that I had to go through what I did.
And for the first time in three years, my response changed to that statement. It wasn’t the simple “oh, thank you”. It was “Thank you…I’m sorry, but I’m not sorry.” I reflected on that statement for a few days. Yes, postpartum anxiety and depression are horrid, no matter what side of the spectrum you fall on. There is nothing fun about it. Nothing enjoyable. It’s not something you run and brag to your friends about.
But, something had changed inside of me that I hadn’t realized. I was no longer searching for answers. Trying to figure out what in the world had happened to cause all of this. Why I was so screwed up in the head, that I would probably be on some form of medication for only God knows how long.
I was no longer dwelling on the fact that yes, I suffered from postpartum anxiety and depression. Yes, I still suffer from anxiety and depression even though I’m pretty far out of the postpartum stage. Yes, I had intrusive thoughts. Yes, I did not want the responsibility of having a child. Yes, I lost precious time with my child because I wasn’t “present.” Yes, I suffered from near lunacy when faced with changes. Yes, to so many things.
Am I sorry? No.
No, I’m not sorry. Not anymore.
I realized that I had finally taken my negative experience and turned it into something positive. Something truly beneficial to myself and others. I hadn’t gotten over it, but I had moved from it. No longer letting it keep from being the parent and the person I was meant to be.
And although none of my questions have truly been answered, I no longer search for them. But, in my searching I found something else. Someone else. Multiple someone else’s. I found Warrior Moms. They have all been searching for the holy grail of postpartum disorders. Trying to find the same answers I have been looking for. Some, much longer than me. Others, just starting. But, we all have the same common goal. To spread awareness, fight the stigma and make sure no one is left alone in the dark.
With these women, and their help and in the safety of their virtual arms, I have found what I would consider my closure. My closure to a relationship with guilt, anger, frustration and sadness. I can move forward. Start a new relationship with pride, empowerment, understanding and happiness. I can take what I have learned and help others. I can be part of a movement that will change the face of perinatal mood and anxiety disorders.
Am I sorry? No. Never again.