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Learning Who I Am Through Depression

Laying in my bed with my third baby in her cradle next to me sleeping peacefully, I tried not to let anyone hear me crying. She was about three months old and there was a crushing weight on me that I just couldn’t get past. I felt trapped.


I remember grabbing my phone and opening up my doctor’s office Facebook page. I hit the tiny button on my phone that said, send message. I could barely see as I was typing but I remember saying, “I think I am depressed. I need help.”


It was one in the morning so I didn’t expect anything. I put my phone next to me and held onto my pillow as more tears streamed out. I was desperately hoping that my husband, who was downstairs, wouldn’t hear me and want to know what was wrong. I couldn’t even put into words what was wrong.


My phone buzzed and I grabbed it after I wiped my eyes. The doctor’s office had responded and told me to call them in the morning and they would get me in.


That was the first time I had ever thought in my life that I was depressed and actually said it out loud.


THE DECISION TO ASK FOR HELP


This was my third baby. I should have this whole motherhood thing down. I thought that this made me weak and it made me a bad mom BUT I knew that I couldn’t go on with how I was feeling. There were some dark thoughts coming in and I needed help desperately. I am great at holding things in.

Reaching out when you have depression.
Reaching out for help was one of the best things I did.

Luckily they fit me in right away with the psychologist and I put Iliza in her infant carrier and went. Sitting in the waiting room, it was so hard to not just burst out in crocodile tears. Izzy fell asleep while waiting. I will never forget what happened in this one appointment.


I walk into the room and there is a young man standing there, waving me in and welcoming me to have a seat. I barely sit down when he asks me how I am doing. Instantly I burst into tears, trying to explain to him how I am feeling. I couldn’t understand what I was saying so I am sure that he had no idea what he had gotten into at this point.


This young man was going to school to get his master's while taking clients and here he was, sitting with a new mom that was covered in snot and tears mixed in with a bit of baby vomit.


I don’t remember much of our conversation but this I do remember.


You need to show your kids that you are not Supermom. They need to see you cry. They need to see your pain. They need to know that you have emotions too and are struggling.

I left the office feeling exhausted (and slightly embarrassed) from all of the ugly crying that I had done. Once home, I remember getting into my Facebook at the time and going live. Breaking down on air talking about what he said to me and how those few little sentences changed how I viewed what I was going through.


THE JOURNEY TO PPD


I had probably had depression the whole time since after my sexual assault along with PTSD but I pushed all of those things inside, deep because I wasn’t ready to handle them. I kept my sexual assault a secret which meant that I never went through the grieving process. Keeping it to myself meant that I was pretending it didn’t happen.


When I started my healing journey in 2014, I really didn’t know what to expect. I don’t think most people do when they are healing from trauma. I just knew that my life needed to change and so every day I made the intentional decision to put my healing first.


It was uncomfortable.

It was heartbreaking.

It was empowering.

It was confusing.


I had finally started the grieving process. The emotions hit me like a wall and there were days that I didn’t want to pick myself up anymore. I was exhausted mentally and emotionally. The thing about me though, I don’t give up.


Throughout the 11 years that I had kept my sexual assault a secret, I had just learned to live with my depression. I didn’t label it because I didn’t realize that is what it was. I just “moved” on with my life in hopes that it would all disappear. This would play out in different areas of my life.


The time when during sex with my husband (when we were dating) and I began to cry and push him away.


The times when I wouldn’t let my picture be taken when I was playing with my kids.


The times I cried myself to sleep at night. (Too many to count.)


The times when my husband and I would fight for no reason.


The times when I wouldn’t look at my reflection in the mirror because I hated the woman staring back at me.


The time when I let myself get kicked out of university because I stopped going to class.


By the time 2016 came around, I was about a year into my self-love journey but I had come a long way.


I was finally able to look at myself in the mirror.

I was finally able to share my story.

I was finally able to wear shorts.

I was rediscovering who I was.


I think that is why after I had Iliza, PPD hit me so hard. I was working so hard on who I was becoming that I noticed the signs of depression. I was no longer pretending that my life was perfect. I was able to recognize that this wasn’t the normal way that I was supposed to feel. There was a better way to be.





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