When my son was nine days old, I started having intrusive thoughts. I didn’t know what these thoughts were. I feared it meant my subconscious had malicious intent. I was afraid to be alone with my son. I was afraid I was crossing the line between sanity and insanity, about to fall off the ledge into a dark abyss of madness.
I often think about that terrified and insecure woman who curled up on her bed, wishing she could turn the clock back nine days and trade her mental anguish with the discomfort she felt in labor. I wish I could hold her and tell her everything I know now. I would say, “You’re having these thoughts because of postpartum anxiety and panic. It’s not your fault. They are called intrusive thoughts, and other people have had them. I know they are scary, but having the thought doesn’t mean you will act on them. You’re going to be okay.”
Unfortunately, no one was that voice for me. However, I still got better over time thanks to treatment. The panic, anxiety and intrusive thoughts subsided. My fog of sadness lifted. In order to get better, I needed to let other people take care of me. I also took medication, napped when my son napped, ate healthy and nourishing meals, and wrote in my journal. A month after the intrusive thoughts began, I was writing about my postpartum period with a sense of humor in my journal. Here is an excerpt: [Read more...]