The words just haven’t been there. Or rather, they’ve been tumbling inside of me but I wasn’t capable of putting them together until now.
Those are the words.
It’s not that I’m having a hard time adjusting to two little ones. Really, the kids are great. Taking care of a newborn the second time around really hasn’t been all that stressful. I’m definitely more confident in my mothering decisions.
And yet…I was waiting for the postpartum depression to hit again. I was aware of what it looked like based on my experience the first time. So I looked for it. Turns out I was looking in the wrong direction.
I was blindsided by postpartum anxiety. It crept up on me subtly until it completely took over. That’s where I’ve been the past few weeks. Anxious. Tangled. Desperate.
I felt completely shattered. The anxiety at times was debilitating. I couldn’t eat, I couldn’t sleep. I didn’t want to get dressed. I lived in constant fear. I reached out to my doctor for help and was given a prescription.
I had a horrible reaction to it which sent me into a tailspin. I will forgo the details. I don’t want to remember them.
Somehow in my fog of anxiety and fear, I browsed Katherine Stone’s blog, my go-to resource for postpartum mood information, which then led me to PSI. Through PSI I found a therapist who has extensive experience with PPMD. A therapist who got me in the very next morning. A therapist who accepted my insurance.
It was an answer to a prayer I didn’t know I was praying. By the time I went and saw her, I hadn’t eaten for nearly 2 days. I was in a bad place.
Through her help, I began to see and understand what was going on. I felt hopeful again. Women from my church reached out to me and shared their postpartum battles. I was covered in love and prayers.
I am still battling. There are days that are hard, hard, hard and there are days that are less hard. But today, I am in a better place than I was a few weeks ago. And tomorrow I will be in a better place still. I have hope again.
I wanted to title this post “Broken,” because that is exactly how I feel. And then I was reminded of the beauty of sea glass, of how it starts with pieces of shattered, broken glass. Over time, it is refined by the waves, softened and polished, until it becomes a marvelous thing. And I wonder if somehow I am being rebuilt and refined.
So here I am today, slowly rebuilding. I am seeking help. I’ve reached out to a few people. I am praying often and hard. I am taking steps to take care of myself. I will overcome this.
I have hope again today.
If you are struggling with a postpartum mood disorder, please, please know that there is always help and hope. You are never alone. I will share more in the weeks to come, and I hope that my story will somehow help another mom who is going through this to know that there is healing awaiting her.