Admitting Defeat: My Struggle With PPD
Postpartum depression (PPD) is a mental health illness that affects women after giving birth. For some women, it is normal to feel the “baby blues” for a few weeks after giving birth. With postpartum depression, feelings of sadness, loneliness, worthlessness, restlessness, and anxiety last much longer than a few weeks.
Although many women get depressed right after childbirth, some women don’t begin to feel depressed until several weeks or months later. Depression that occurs within 6 months of childbirth may be postpartum depression.
And then you have cases like mine. Yes, I had the baby blues after E was born. I felt sad, anxious, and well flat our exhausted. But the truth is I just did not have time to be depressed. I know that sounds ridiculous, but it’s the truth. My husband was struggling with the changes he had experienced and well, that took precedence over my issues. Let’s rewind.
Before E was born, J and I had been married for 4 months. We had been together a year and a half. I had just started a new job in which I commuted to Dallas (driving over an hour and half each way) shortly before I found out I was pregnant. It was a lot for this sweet introverted engineer who had been living by himself for the past 13 years. Add in a constantly crying, needy baby and wife, and well it was a sh!t show. Then, we decided to buy a house while I was on maternity leave. (Did I mention we still owned my house?) Oh, and then we thought about me leaving my job. And then I changed jobs shortly after going back to work. And then E was sick. All.The.Time. We had ear infections, a DocBand, two sets of tubes, adenoids out, pneumonia, you name. To say J was stressed is an understatement. So, like I said, I did not have time to be depressed. I had to keep it together for all of us.
And then life evened out. J started a new job. I left private practice. J began seeing a counselor. And then E turned 2. If you read my post from yesterday, you know that I have struggled with parenting and loving her. And so the way-PDD began.
It started innocently enough with irritability. Everything anyone did annoyed me. I was annoyed at home, annoyed at work, annoyed with any car on the road. Then it was anger. Like roid rage anger. I hated everything and everyone. Then the tiredness. All I wanted to do was sleep. It was after one total knockdown with E that I broke down in tears to my husband and said I didn’t want to be like this anymore.
I took control of my life and my mental health. I stopped putting everyone else before me and admitted defeat. For so long I had bottled up all the anger, stress and frustration because I had to be the strong one, the calm one that I could not do it anymore. I was so far gone that I knew I needed help.
The best thing I did was admitting defeat and see my doctor. I spent told her everything. The anger, the depression, the total lack of interest. We checked everything from hormones to thyroid and decided to try some meds and meditation.
I am three weeks in and see a world of difference. I am less stressed, more even keeled and happier in general. I am also taking time for me and asking for help. I go weekly to a dance class, teach twirling and genuinely talk to my husband when I need to. I also just sit in total quit and be.
It is so hard for women to admit defeat. We have to take care of everyone and think of ourselves last. The best thing I ever did was fail, hit bottom and start over. The best fitness thing I ever did was my mental health.
If you are suffering from PDD or anything kind of anxiety or depression, get help. You will thank yourself later.