Living with Postpartum Depression
Have you ever had one of those days where you felt like you were in another world? Or on another planet? Have you ever had a day where you felt numb and confused? This happened to me today. I imagined myself in another person’s body looking down at myself. I saw someone I’ve never met before. This woman had a look of defeat, a look you could tell wasn’t hiding the pain anymore. A woman who had enough but felt bad because she felt she would let her children down. A woman who wondered what would life be like without her. A woman who was drained mentally and physically. A woman who is trying so hard not to crumble. Most importantly I saw what postpartum depression can do to a mama.
Then I tried to imagine what PPD/depression looks like inside this woman’s head. I saw memories from the past and present clash together creating a big mess of emotions. I saw so much happening to the point where the brain was on the verge of shutting down. I saw little people running around like crazy trying to put little pieces of paper that represented emotions, things to do, etc into little drawers. It reminded me of an episode of Sponge Bob when he forgets how to make a Krabby Patty. I then saw little sentences scan across like a scanner. There was “I can’t do this,” “I’m not good enough,” “It’s all my fault,” “They’re better off without me,” “Why me god?” “When is life going to get better?” Then something weird happened… The little light I could see started to dim like movie theater lights do right before a movie comes on. Is this what a breakdown is supposed to look like in the mind? Is this what it looks like when a depressed mind has had too much and can’t take anymore? Is this real?
As I remain looking down at this woman, I try to see what her body is going through on the inside. The outside is not hard to miss. Usually there’s a poker face, a fake smile to hide the pain but not today. As I’m looking I can see the inside slowly shattering like glass, piece by piece. I look closer and can see the pain this woman has been trying to hide. I can see her heart slowly breaking as it’s trying its hardest to stay together. I can see her body slowly changing. Everything looks so worn out, beaten down and damaged. Is this what the inside of a person’s body whom is suffering looks like? Is this what depression does to one’s body on the inside?
Lastly I take one last and final look at this broken woman. The outside of her body showing every sign of pain. Every sign of suffering. As I continue to look I notice every imperfection that makes her, her. I pay attention to every sign that is crying out for help silently but no one is around. I notice her hands are hiding her eyes that’s being flooded by tears. Tears flowing through her fingers like a tiny creek stream that soon hits her knees resting against the side of her hands. Still paying attention I see the fetal position that her body starts to position itself in. As her messy hair falls in front of her face I then realize this pain is real. This is what depression does to a person. This is what depression does to the mind and body. Just because some times we can’t see it, doesn’t mean it’s not there. This is exactly what many people feel struggling.
Our bodies don’t feel the same. Our hearts want to feel love, the love we see on T.V., in a movie, in a magazine, even the love we see our friends show so badly. We feel hopeless and helpless. It’s almost like we’re not in control of our bodies, feelings, emotions, etc. So yes, this is what depression does to us. This is the pain we suffer from. This. Is. Us. A victim of depression.
One day we will finally shine a light and support those who are suffering in silence. Together, we will let love in and let love win. One day we will conquer this. Together we will stand up and stop the negative stigma of PPD/depression. One day we will rise up and kiss our demons goodbye! And that day will be soon.
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