If I could tell you one thing today, it would be this: No matter how you feel right now, you are at your very core already okay.
After I had my first daughter, I was so lost. So alone. I remember lying on my couch watching the Food Network at 4 in the afternoon while she screamed on my chest, counting down the minutes until my husband would get home, wondering how long it had been since I had slept.
I knew something was wrong. But for the longest time, I thought that something was wrong with me. I thought that it was just a matter of getting everything right I ran.I wrote. I joined a moms’ group. I made dear warrior mom friends who supported me through all my struggles and through all my wins. I rested. I ate well. I helped other people.
And all those things are good, truly.
And two years later, after I had my second daughter and found myself in a pit again, I went to see my doctor. I took medication. And that? Was a good thing too.
But, even after all that, even doing all the right things, there was still a fundamental problem with the way I was relating to myself.
I believed, at the very core of my being, that I was flawed. That my depression was a failing. That I needed to keep doing the right things to fix it, to make up for it, to atone for something. That when I struggled, when I couldn’t get off the couch, when I yelled at my kids, when I cried, it was because I was doing my recovery wrong. That I was not good enough at getting better, just like I was not good enough at anything else.
And that’s just not the truth. The truth is that I haven’t done a thing wrong.
And you, mama? You aren’t wrong either. Whether you are taking medication or not, whether you are public about your depression or not, whether you run or sit on your couch, you are already doing so much right. And if you need something else, if you need more help, I want you to know that that will be okay too. It will be okay to ask for help, and it will be okay that you haven’t asked for help yet.
You are here. You are listening. You are never, ever alone. And I believe that you will find your way. That if you shut up all the voices that are telling you what you should do, telling you what is wrong with you, there will be a quiet voice in your center that will say, “It’s okay, sweetheart. I promise. It’s all going to be okay.”
And if you can’t hear her yet, I’ll be that voice. Whatever you feel is okay, mama. You will find your way. Your way through is just fine. You deserve to be the beautiful person you already always have been.
All the love in the world,
Story is a sahm to two beautiful little girls who teach her every day how to fall and keep getting up. She blogs at http://hardtomommy.Blogspot.com.
Postpartum Progress, the world’s most widely-read blog on all things related to emotional health around pregnancy & childbirth, is a service of Postpartum Progress Inc., a 501c3 nonprofit devoted to raising awareness of postpartum depression and similar illnesses. Please consider making a donation today, Mother’s Day, so we can continue and expand our work supporting maternal mental health. Thank you!