A couple of people have asked me why I’ve been blogging. It’s two reasons really.
Reason Number One
The first of which is that I felt so isolated when I had my motherhood experience. I didn’t enjoy my pregnancy or feel bonded to my developing baby. I didn’t really care about a birth plan or having an empowering experience during delivery. As I’ve written before, it also took me time to love and appreciate my baby.
No one had really described anything close to what I went through until I started getting involved with postpartum support groups. It was at that time that us PPD survivors started asking ourselves, if we’re not the only ones, why isn’t there anything out there that expresses our experience?
The answer is either: we’re the exception and we’re just horrible people, or other women feel this way but don’t feel comfortable or confident in expressing themselves.
What we noticed as we surveyed the literature, chat groups and videos online, is that there seemed to be an invisible line that you just don’t cross. We found that women would allude to what we were going through, but not fully say it.
“I regret having a child“, “This was a terrible mistake“, “I don’t love my baby”
Those sound like horrible statements, but look at all of them as actions vs feelings. These are all things that people are feeling, rather than doing. Your feelings don’t make you a horrible person or a horrible mother, your actions do. You can’t help how you feel. You shouldn’t ever try to suppress or change a feeling. Maybe use some mindfulness to keep perspective, but that only goes so far. Or maybe own up to it, process it and move on, but don’t try to stifle it.
While those feelings were a symptom of a perinatal mood disorder, they’re still honest and need to be shared. For the time being, they are your reality, even if depression has created an alternate reality. They can alert family and friends that maybe something’s not right and you need help. But we have to feel comfortable talking about them first. We have to be comfortable breaking down barriers so that we can help other women come out of the shadows.
So my number one reason for blogging is to get all of those thoughts out there, so if you’re going through postpartum and are having those thoughts – you’re not alone and you’re not a monster. Let’s get you some help instead of suffering for six months like I did.
Reason Number Two
The second reason for blogging is simply that I found myself coming off of this traumatic experience filled with so many feelings. It was overwhelming. While I’m not a particularly emotional person, I felt like a can of soda that had been shaken and kicked around. When I sat in front of the computer, the words just poured out of my fingertips. I had so much to say. As I wrote, I started to unearth layers and layers of feelings. I discovered grief and anger that I didn’t get this beautiful experience that I was promised. I discovered cathartic relief as I wrote out my struggle. As I teased these intense emotions out, I broke them down with my therapist…and then I moved on.
Breaking it down helped clear the path to a state of being that I adore – being completely head over heels in love with my son. Being glad that my husband and I were able to become parents of this precious boy.
But I realized that if I published that process, then perhaps processing those stages of recovery could help provide a guiding light – and validation – to another who was suffering. There is hope.
As I’ve said before:
The scars you share become lighthouses for people who are headed for the same rocks you hit.
How beautiful is it if I can help someone avoid the storm and rocky shore that I my ship weathered this past year?