Back in December, I wrote about a neat experience I had while getting a haircut. I really connected with the hairdresser. We connected when the topic of postpartum depression was brought up. I was so excited to tell her that it can be so different. I was so excited to tell her that I’d gone to therapy throughout my pregnancy and also the first couple months after my baby was born. That I’d been open to taking medication from the beginning, I’d started it a week before my second child was born. That I’d read a lot. I was prepared and that’s what had kept me pretty much immune from postpartum this time around. How I’ve triumphed over it. I’d conquered it by following a series of steps, including therapy, taking medication, eating healthy, and exercising. I was managing postpartum depression in an almost exemplary way.
I’ve been ashamed to get on here and admit that in the past month it has started to become a real struggle for me again. Darn it! I didn’t want to face that I hadn’t overcome it completely, let alone admit it to everyone else. I wanted it to be fixed because this time around because I was doing things differently. I wanted to say that because I was open to medication and am willingly taking it, that I’m not depressed. How I start my every single day with a green smoothie, and it’s a huge help. How I go to the gym to train regularly for the triathlons I’m signed up for this summer. I wanted to be an example of a success stories to give people hope that depression can be overcome, fought and conquered. Like cancer.
However, lately more and more storm clouds are appearing. The irritability has started to become a little more prevalent. My thoughts race with fears of bad things happening. I want to sleep, sometimes a lot. Like this morning I napped even though I’d already slept nine hours last night. Sometimes I feel annoyed at everything my husband and kids say and do. Some days I don’t want to do anything and so I don’t, and I zone out. Sometimes I don’t feel anything, not happy, not sad, just a straight line, a hummmmm, empty. There are times when I feel as I’m like a black hole sucking all good emotion without even uttering a word, it’s as if my very presence is a drain. Every time I breathe in and out it’s as if I’m taking all the positive emotion in the room with me. Last night, after the kids were in bed, I kept asking myself, have I failed? Am I failing? Is my story still worth sharing if it’s not quite the triumphant one I was hoping to share? That I know people are hoping to hear? I don’t know. But as I opened my blog to attempt to write, I stared at the title. “I Can Relate”. My whole purpose for sharing is to relate, to show up every time, in any state that I am and be real. Whether it’s during a good few months or a tough couple months, I’m going to just be me.
So this morning I decided to show up on here as I am. In my messy and beautiful state. My state that is actually still much better than it ever was the first time around and that’s hopeful in of itself. I’m showing up admitting that I am going through a bout of depression and I’m not failing because of that. Depression, just like any other disease can show up anytime, even when I’m doing all the right things to prevent it from coming. I guess that conquering depression maybe isn’t the way I’ve set it up to be. Maybe I’m closer to conquering it than I realize. Maybe conquering it is really enjoying the ups and being prepared for the downs. Accepting and learning about symptoms and treatment and following through with it, again and again, as many times as it comes back. Even being open to new medications. It’s a thing that has to constantly be managed. And I’m in the management phase again and I guess that’s ok, well I’m trying to be ok with that. Just sent a text to my therapist to set up an appointment. Staying on top of it and willing to continue to face it again and again is a form of triumph, it takes a lot of patience that’s for sure.