I’ve had postpartum depression after each baby and it’s progressively gotten worse. This time, though, I was blessed with the “gift” of postpartum anxiety; a horrible little treat that made me feel like I had no control over anything and never would, my stomach was CONSTANTLY twisting and making me sick over not-important or made-up problems, and I would panic about things I knew weren’t a big deal. Words can’t express how terrifying and debilitating those feelings are. It’s truly hell.
Luckily my new medication seems to be helping a lot. It can take weeks for the full affect of the medication to set in so already having improvement is a good sign. I still have moments of anxiety but it’s once or twice a day instead of all day every day. If I’m not 100% better in a couple weeks I plan on seeing a mental health specialist and talking about other options. But at least I’m not in the awful dark hole all the time anymore.
I want other women to know that this happens to many of us and it’s ok to talk about it. I feel like the title “mental illness” it’s kinda scary, but it truly is an illness that most of us can’t help; just like we can’t help catching the flu sometimes. It’s a horrible feeling to not feel like yourself and know there’s nothing you can do about it on your own.
The thoughts I had this past little while were so scary. I was literally afraid of Logan because every time he would cry or fuss, it would make my pulse quicken, my heart race, and my stomach twist into knots. I was convinced her was never going to be happy again. He had a small spell of sleeping terribly (and the sleep deprivation did NOT help) and I had a full blown panic attack reading the internet to find out why he might be waking up. I stressed so hard about his schedule, whether he was napping enough, if he was warm enough/cool enough, if he was eating enough, etc. I almost quit my job because he is hating the car seat lately and since I work from my car that was sending me into a frenzy. I sat and practically begged Heavenly Father to speed up time and make him bigger so he would be easier. Then I felt terrible that I’m not at all enjoying my last baby.
I was terrified for Christmas because I was so unhappy, I didn’t even want to have it. We would see Christmas lights and peoples beautiful trees through their windows and I would choke back tears that everyone else was going to have a wonderful Christmas and I was going to spend ours in Physical and mental pain. Actual pain. I would get on social media and lose it over the fact that everyone else was happy and enjoying life and I was sitting at home crying, afraid to leave the house because I didn’t know what would happen or how I would handle it. I was a prisoner to my own thoughts and feelings. I stopped going to the gym because I felt terrible. I tried to go one day and broke down on my poor friend and then left after 5 minutes because I couldn’t get out of my own head.
Anything baby-related caused major anxiety. Brynlie is obsessed with the movie Boss Baby and every time we watched it, I would get anxiety and terrible thoughts about being a mother. I felt deep sympathy for anyone who was pregnant instead of happy for their addition. I felt like my kids were the worst thing to ever happen to me while at the same time loving them so much I couldn’t stand it. If you’ve felt like that before, you know how horrible it is.
I felt like this was going to be our lives forever; miserable and stressing about everything. I quietly resented Cory for having to work and leaving me alone with the kids even though I know that’s a ridiculous thing to be mad about. I felt scared, hopeless, and alone.
Again, I tell you these things so that anyone out there who might be reading this and feeling the same way will know they’re not alone. This happens. It’s not healthy, but it happens and is treatable.
I don’t know why this has happened or why I’ve been asked to endure this trial of postpartum depression and anxiety. I don’t know why it happened so suddenly again and so badly. It’s been worse than when I ride the hormone roller coaster after I have a baby. But, I have uttered many, many prayers for strength and help. I’ve received a blessing from my Dad that I will make it through this. I know the Savior has felt every moment I have felt and that He suffered this trial for me during the atonement. I know depression is very treatable and that although it might take some time to find the right medication/dose that works for me, eventually I can get back to feeling like myself again. I know my children are the best thing to ever happen to me even if raising them is super hard. I also know I couldn’t survive this without Cory or my sweet girls who take such good care of me (at least when the girls are in the mood). I have a strong family and friends support system. This too shall pass.
See you soon.