I’ve been MIA for quite some time, but it was time that I needed to take for myself. Earlier this year I was diagnosed with postpartum depression (ppd) and I lost myself.
After having a baby your world changes, as many of you know. For me, I became so focused on my baby and his needs that I forgot about my own. I stopped doing things that I used to love to do, like hiking and spending time with friends and family. I completely isolated myself from everyone and it was just all downhill from there.
At first I did not even notice that I was isolating myself to the extent that I did. Slowly but surely I started to notice I was becoming sad, from the time I woke up to the time I went to sleep. The constant anxiety of always having to watch your child; making sure that they are ok and,to put it bluntly, making sure you didn’t kill your baby. One night after I put my baby to bed for the night I went down stairs and broke down. I cried for hours and that’s when it really hit me, I was not ok.
The next morning I made an appointment with my doctor and I was put on antidepressants. Before I had my baby I would have refused the meds and found a different way to deal with depression. But after having my son, I needed to what I thought was best for the both of us.
Let me tell you the first couple days on my meds I was a zombie. I could function but my responses slowed way down. I was the calmest I had ever been but I was not myself. After adjusting to the meds my sadness went away but I was still not able to be as responsive as like. I could not even be affectionate to my baby. So I did exactly what you are not suppose to do, I stopped taking the meds. (PSA DON’T STOP TAKING YOUR MEDS WITHOUT THE CONSENT OF YOUR DOCTOR!!!!) Luckily I didn’t go too coocoo bananas and suffer some severe consequences from stopping my meds. One good thing came from stopping my meds, I wanted to get in my car and drive.
Driving is my way of escaping. When ever I have things on my mind I get in my car and drive. Most of the time I don’t know where I am going, I just know that I will eventually reach a destination or I will get to a point where I turn around and drive home.
Before I got pregnant, I would always take spontaneous road trips that have led me to some pretty awesome places. So with the urge to drive, I dropped of my baby at his grandmas, grabbed a friend, and hit the road.
After a five hour drive we made it all the way to Niagara, Wisconsin. We saw six waterfalls that day; all within 15 min or less of each other. Spending time hiking and sitting by the waterfalls made me realize that I need to get back to doing what I love. Of course 98% of my time is going to be spent on my baby, but the other two percent I need to take for myself.
As mothers, we are so harshly judged by society and other mothers for taking time for ourselves. But for our own fucking sanity we need to be selfish, if not for a day, at least a few hours. For me I need to take time and go hiking and travel again, for others it maybe getting your hair or nails done, or going to the gym. What ever it is you like to do, DO IT!
I never understood how important mental health was until getting ppd. After going through this for about five months I finally feel like I am getting back to being myself. I am able to manage being a full time mom and being Dai. I don’t have to pick one or the other. Going through ppd is difficult, going through any form of depression is difficult. From this experience I have a new perspective on my life and I make sure that I take time to check on my friends and family. Even the strongest of people may be going through a hard time, check on them. And if you yourself is going through a hard time and you don’t want to talk to friends or family, talk to someone anonymously.
Nation Suicide Prevention Hotline