I read recently somewhere (probably on someone’s Facebook page) to “Stop saying sorry to your friends for talking so much,” but instead say “thank you to your friends.” Give them the credit. They are the ones listening.
*This is my public shout out to all my friends who listen to me babble on*
I love you guys, and thank you!!!!
I’m truly grateful for all the different and unique friendships in my life & to those friends who listen, even when I don’t realize how much I am talking. So here we go...here's a story!
My son is now 19 months old and with him I struggled with postpartum depression, which mostly translated with irritability and uncontrollable rage, which then morphed in to remorse and guilt, and then entered in depression & anxiety. A vicious cycle. A heavy and destructive place to be. I have struggled hard with hormonal shifts all my life and in hindsight, looking back at my experience with my (now 4year old) daughter, I had PPD then too - I just managed to cope a bit better since I was only tending to one child.
My son was born in November of 2014 and by late February 2015, three months later, I was done. Tapping out and checking out. I was filled with anger and hatred for how I was dealing with life. I loved my babies, but I could not control my temper, my words, and I was starting to lose control of my body. I knew I had the tools and yet no access to them. This is when I found myself in my GP’s office talking about medications and debating the decision to start SSRI’s (antidepressants).
What a struggle. What a defeating moment for myself. I had spent years on these medications as a teen and had worked incredibly hard to “sort my shit”. To heal, to emotionally change, grow, and love myself. I trudged through dark places to get to the light. To learn how to be content and happy and not need medication anymore. I had been SSRI free for over ten years. Go back on pills? Seriously?
That first pill was the hardest. But by day 3 my life was changing drastically and “normal" was coming back in to sight. I had made my best choice. My children deserved a stable mom, a happy mom, they deserved me. Those medications did everything they needed to, to get me there. Time and place.
About a month after I started the pills I found myself at a friends birthday party in a pub. My husband stayed home with the kids and I got my first night out with my friends, by myself, to have some wine and enjoy other adult humans! I spent most of my night chatting away, laughing, and recharging. I ended the night sitting at the bar with a friend who is a few years younger, single (and cute, ladies!!!), and always asks me how I am doing & how is “mama". I think at this point the wine got to me and because I felt safe with him as well, I unleashed the, “I am okay now... but I was totally an effing psycho, and I started taking antidepressants for postpartum depression and rage” ……….. cue the deer in headlights look! Lol! Poor guy! I don’t really remember the full extent of our conversation but it was along the lines of me telling him how hard it was, but the medications were truly working, and the difference was like night and day.
Fast forward a year later at the same friends birthday party where I run in to him again (even though I had seem him a few times through out the year) but this time he asks me again, “How are you doing mama? How’s the depression stuff?” I am not on the SSRI’s anymore. I have come out of the PP fog, I get sleep, I can exercise now, I eat better, I see a therapist from time to time, and I get to be me again. There are moments and times where I could maybe use some meds (haha, PMS) but I can do it without. This is not everyones story... just mine, and I am so glad I shared it with him.
Man oh man! I AM a talker. This is where it is all leading up to. This morning I received a text from this friend. Randomly but wonderfully, and I’ve attached it for you to read, but mostly its me just trying to explain to a single guy what PPD is. I honestly didn’t think twice about our conversations and just thought I was venting and processing & he was doing his friendly due diligence of checking in on me. It just goes to show you that talking, raises quality questions, and spreads awareness.
Our friends, our partners, grandparents, bosses, and entire communities need to know about the difficulties and realness of postpartum depression and what it does to women. We need to plant these seeds, educate with our stories and experiences, and hope that one day it might help someone else on their journey, or in this case their journey-to-be.
Speak up, speak out, if you can, if you feel you’ve got it in you. And if you don’t feel you can, just know that mama… you are not alone. <3
Here is a favourite website of mine that I think anyone who has any questions can refer to. This website is loaded with amazing resources and information.
Vanessa is a (CAPPA) certified Labour Doula and Babywearing Educator with, Full Circle Birth Collective & Bring it Baby - Babywearing Services. She's been in the birth scene for over 4 years now and loves to share with new families the beautiful journey of birth and parenthood.
Come check out her Bio and our website!