It was never something that I expected to deal with much less that I thought I would acknowledge. Most know someone who has gone through it; more of us have been there than would like to say. It's called postpartum depression but I call it my dark place. I had hoped to avoid it with the birth of this third child and I admit, I even felt that because of my difficult pregnancy and birth that I would get a break. And to some extent I am, for various reasons, better equipped to fight it than I ever have been before. But I fear it. Each time I feel tired, edgy, worried or strained, I worry. I feel myself slipping to that place. And Dan reminds me that if I do, I will come back. I wonder though, what if I don't? Sometimes it is that fear pushing me closer to the edge. Please understand that I am not here falling apart; in fact most days are quite hope-filled and good. But I am struggling at times. Struggling to take the steps to remain well and to make the choices that keep me out of dark place. Struggling to cling to hope and to turn from fear. EDIT: Since I wrote this last week, there have been some harder days. Much harder. Brought on by a simple cold that I just couldn't fight.
Iit is really frustrating to me that PPD is almost like "colic" in babies in that it is a covers all label that is put on a myriad of possibilities. I personally have been told that medically, I do not have 'depression' and that mine is physical health related but when standard responses don't help, I am left to figure it out on my own and to 'get through it'. This time even though I am without the support system (my mom or close friends) that I could to turn to when I needed help, I may actually be in a better place than I have before because I have help in finding the physical health root.
Why am I sharing this? I'm not entirely sure. I don't wish to be scrutinized at every turn (via blog posts) and I've no desire to cause worry. But I have no need for pretense; even if I don't want this part in my story, it is here. So if you think of me, know that in that moment could be a time when I am struggling and know that the fight is more easily won when joined by others.
And finally, I know that this struggle isn't limited just to this mama. This is my third time in the ring and it is wearying. But I am trusting that I will get through it. And while it may be a hard and lonely stretch of the journey that is painfully at odds with the joy of a new baby, please know that I don't say this lightly. If you are going through it is as well, there is hope. I may not have any methods or suggestions to offer here at this point because I am floundering to wellness at best, but even in the midst, I really believe that there is hope.