You may have noticed that things have been pretty quiet around here. For months I have been trying to find the words to say what is on my heart and the time to write them down for y’all. In all honesty, sometimes its simply easier to post to social media where you get to see the highlight reel of my life and small soundbites of what we experience on a daily basis.
But this is the reality you don’t see.
And although I haven’t walked through the entirety of this storm, I’m ready to shine the light on this truth.
I’ve been struggling with postpartum depression and anxiety.
It’s something that I have not experienced before this year. I’m generally a very happy person and my mood is usually very consistent. But this year I have been drowning in the overwhelming feelings of the walls caving in around me, as if no matter how hard I try, I can’t seem to climb back out of this chasm.
Some days are good; Some days I feel bright, shiny and like that woman I was before. Other days I feel trapped, suffer immense exhaustion, walk through life on auto-pilot or get so overwhelmed, anxious and flustered that I shut down, can’t focus and need to retreat. On one occasion I walked out of my house, leaving my kids to their dad and grandfather while I drove a few blocks around the neighbourhood until I felt like I could breathe again.
It’s been frustrating, to say the least.
And for a while I hesitated telling you all this, because it doesn’t fit with your idea of me. And I would never want anyone to think that my struggles are due to my lack of love for my children or a lack of my joy in motherhood, because there is nothing I wouldn’t do for my babies and no words to describe the depth of my love for them.
But I realized how many others go through these same struggles every.damn.day. 1/6 women and 1/10 men struggle with postpartum depression or anxiety.
One of my core values as a “role model” is to be a beacon of positivity and authenticity, and to do that, I have to let you in to my daily struggles too. So here I am, laid open and bare, praying that my vulnerability will show that motherhood is damn hard.
Yet as tough as life is, we are tougher.
We find the beauty in our brokenness, the raw in our story and we will not allow these struggles to define us. Rather we will prove to the dark voices in our head that whisper lies of weakness and we will rise above.
I’m incredibly thankful to my amazing family for carrying me through these dark months – my parents especially. Without their help picking up the slack around here, I know that my children would have felt the sting of my abandonment (hello mom guilt!) …but thankfully the presence of family through these last few months has been helpful and appreciated beyond words.
And to my sister-friends, my village, the ones who have allowed me to cry, swear, yell and simply be in the moments that I was broken open and raw, I am so grateful for your unrelenting acceptance and support and for never judging me for being a mother who struggles.
Because the reality is that we all struggle, in some way or another.
So keep calm and carry on warrior soul! The darkness cannot defeat us because it cannot quench the light that we carry within. Even the tiniest spark can light a flame.
And if you need someone to reach out to, I’m always here. Chris and I have both taken our turn living with postpartum depression or anxiety. It can happen to anyone. And there’s no shame in it.
The Pacific Postpartum Support Society is also always here to offer support. You can reach them Monday-Friday, 10am-3pm PST, 604-255-7999/ Toll-Free 855-255-7999
We will get through this. It does not have to rob us of our happy days and it does not define us.
PS- If you can relate and have walked through something similar, I would love to hear your experience, if you are willing to share. Please share your journey in the comments below so that others can read and know that they too are not alone.
Or share on social media or in a DM and tag me, I promise I read every single one.
Photo by the incredible Jalessa Matteazzi