You probably just read that title and thought, "um, okay?" Well go here with me for just a minute.
Last week, I finally got to see The Greatest Showman. To say it was incredible is an understatement. I absolutely cannot stop singing the soundtrack. Brilliant music. So I, like many of you, have been listening to the soundtrack on repeat.(no shame here!)
If you haven't heard it yet, go listen to the song above. If you have, go listen anyway- you know you want to.
Now that that's done. Let me explain where I'm going with the title of this blog.
When I had my son, I had some serious depression and anxiety. It was ruining my life. I was in an extremely hard, dark place. I was too afraid to tell anyone what was really going through my head....
This is the face of postpartum depression/anxiety.
Just because someone looks fine, it doesn't mean they are. Reach out to people. Genuinely ask how they are doing and offer to help. They may seem to have it together pretty well but their brain may be holding a constant war on them
- You suck at being at mom. Just look at how much better everyone else is doing.
- I want to run away. I don't even care where- just away.
- You absolutely weren't cut out for this. What were you thinking?
- You're making all the wrong choices.
- You're going to ruin this kid.
- I'm never going to be happy again if this is what motherhood is.
In addition to those dark thoughts, I was anxious about EVERYTHING. I had thoughts like...
- What if the bridge collapses and we get trapped under water
- What if I drop my baby over the railing upstairs
- What if his runny noses is actually pneumonia and I'm missing it
- What if I'm hurting him by not talking to him enough
- What if we get trapped in this elevator and it falls
My brain went to some crazy places. Most of them were completely irrational. At the time, I absolutely could not differentiate rational from irrational thoughts. They were all so real to me and SO terrifying.
They don't end in postpartum either. The fears and lies carry on throughout motherhood because there is always something new and unknown on this journey. It does NOT have to be a season marked with fear. It is worth fighting for it being a season marked with joy. Trust me, I've lived in both. The joy is a much better option. It's not easy but it's worth it.
I'm always open and honest about this because I want to do everything I can to break the stigma.
I never want there to be another mom who thinks she is alone in this battle. I hope and pray that one day it is easy and accessible for moms to get the help the need. It is a BATTLE. People who go to war never do it alone. We NEED community and support for these moms!
So back to This is Me. Let's take a look at some lyrics.
I am not a stranger to the dark. Hide away they say, cause we don't want your broken parts.
I've learned to be ashamed of all my scars. Run away, they say, No one will love you as you are.
But I won't let them break me down to dust, I know that there's a place for us.
FOR WE ARE GLORIOUS.
This. This is my hope for new moms. They don't let the lies in their head speak louder than the truth. There will ALWAYS be the mom shamers and sancti-mommys out there. Don't listen to them. You are the perfect mom for your babies. We are going to fail in front of our kids. It's a good thing we do too. It gives us an opportunity to show them we are human and that it's okay for them to fail too. It gives us an opportunity to show them how to apologize and get back up when they're down. It's the way we grow as humans and moms.
If you're in a place where the anxiety and depression is screaming louder than you can handle, reach out please. You can reach out to your midwife, doula, or me. We all have resources and referrals to help you. You don't let this rule your life. It can be better, trust me.
Please don't ever forget, you are glorious. (feel free to listen to the song on repeat and hear the truths of it and let it speak into your life)