What I Want To Hear About Postpartum Depression
So when I click on a web site that has all of these happy, smiling moms telling me that the journey was hard, but wow, life is great now.... It just feels fake. It feels like propaganda. I want to hear that I am not the only one who struggles to get out of bed every day. That I am not the only one who feeds the kids cereal for breakfast, lunch, and sometimes dinner. That the act of even pouring the cereal into bowls is a major effort some days. I want to know that there are others out there who can't manage to take a shower or do laundry or put clean clothes on. I want to know that I am not the only one who plays "Team Umizoomi" over and over and over again so I can keep the kids in one place while I escape to sleep.
I want to hear that there are other moms who are struggling with thoughts of hurting themselves. That those thoughts don't just go away forever. That they will go away, even months at a time, but when a stressful day happens, or a depressing day, or just a triggering event, then those thoughts come back just as strong as they ever were. I want to hear that coping skills aren't always as accessible for other moms as they are made out to be. That moms may know about coping skills, but that doesn't mean they will consistently use them in a time of crisis.
I want to hear that healing takes ten times longer than it is made out to be. Sometimes 100 times longer. That healing takes So.Much.Time.You.Don't.Think.You.Will.Ever.Get.There.And.You.Are.Still.Not.There.But.Some.Days.Are.Easier.Than.Others.
I want to hear that this damned postpartum garbage will change your life forever and you will never be the same person ever again. That it will change the life of your spouse, of your children, of your support system, of your family. I want to hear that postpartum depression is a miserable, life sucking, lecherous, horrific thing and that you can't do a thing to make it go away faster.
But I don't hear that. I hear words of hope. I hear words of encouragement. Words that say, get help! Things will get better.
And while I wholeheartedly agree that getting help makes things better, it doesn't make things better immediately. It is a long, slow, tedious climb up a steep mountain of sand where every step up slides back at least a half step.
I can understand where they are coming from. They want to provide help, encouragement and support. But it feels more like help, encouragement and support for those in the very beginning of the journey or for those at the very end of the journey at the finish line.
Those of us struggling in the middle of the race are out in the middle of no mans land. We don't talk about the pain or the tedium or the misery.
I disagree. I think we need to help each other know that we are not suffering something all alone. That there are hundreds of others who are struggling, and who HAVE BEEN struggling, sometimes for years.
Things get better. And then they get worse. But then they get better again. And the cycle continues. I'm told that eventually, they stay better. I'll believe it when I see it.
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