The past week my heart has been heavy for anyone dealing with postpartum depression. I’ve thought more than once, “I need to write a post with where I’m at in my journey. If I’m battling, I bet others are.” And I still will soon. But my husband was gone on business, I was alone with the kids, and there just wasn’t time to write. Then this afternoon on Facebook my friend Tina wrote the most beautiful post. I immediately asked her if I could pass it along. If you are in the heat of battle, you NEED to read this, friends.
First, a little about Tina:
Hi, my name is Tina Kroeze. I am most importantly a child of God. I am married to my junior high sweetheart turned CPA husband of 7 years. My highest calling is that of being a Mamma to two sweet boys, Gavin (almost 4) and Spencer (1.5) I’m also a scrub wearing, shot giving registered nurse at a family practice clinic. Encouraging is my language. It has been almost 4 years since my own personal battle with PPD. I am a survivor. Through that trial God has placed a special place in my heart of compassion for other Mom’s who struggle. This is a piece I wrote quite awhile ago but I want to share it now. I pray it gives hope to at least one person reading it. I also pray it shines a light as to what some new Mom’s battle.Thanks for taking the time to read!
To The Mom Facing Postpartum Depression,
This isn’t at all what you expected, is it? The sadness you constantly feel is so far off from the joy you were planning on. You wonder if you will ever live in color again. People look at you and you feel their pity which doesn’t actually help matters. If there was anything at all you could do to “snap out of it” you would’ve done it 10 times over already. You are in an unexpected dark pit with many roads and no directions.
You would love to get out of your house but that would mean having to get out of your bed and for the record out of your pajamas. This would also mean you would have to time everything so that your baby would be fed, changed, and in their car seat packed up ready to go. This would require so much mental effort on your part that it’s mind boggling. Depression does that, it turns small tasks into marathons.
Maybe you were hesitant to admit your struggle. Maybe you were open about it. Regardless I’m sure people have come up to you will all sorts of words. It’s just the hormones. Give it time and it will subside. You just have to think positive. Pull yourself up by your bootstraps. Crying all day certainly isn’t going to help. You just need a nap you will wake up feeling better. I know how it feels to hear all of those statements. Most come from good places but are about as effective as placing a band-aid on stage 4 cancer.
Then there’s the inability to sleep. You close your eyes after the marathon of feeding/diapering/soothing is completed and your babies eyes are shut only to be unable to turn your own mind off. Thoughts race through your head, one leads to another and there is no rest to be found. The anxiety you feel questioning if you will ever be able to sleep again is too much to bear.
Well meaning strangers have come up to your new little bundle and have expressed how beautiful, peaceful, and plain cute they are. Others make it known that you better enjoy every moment with them because this is the most fleeting time in your life. Hearing this adds guilt to the sadness you are already smothered under. It feels to you that complete strangers are more in love with and bonded to your baby than you are. You yearn to feel that same exact way.
What do I want you to know? I want you to know you are not alone and that I love you. I also want you to find small ways to praise God during this storm. You feel so unlovable at the moment and you fear you’ve failed your child but the truth is you have not. Depression is sneaky like that, creeping in and wreaking havoc on everything. I want you to know you don’t have to hide. You didn’t do anything wrong to deserve this. Depression is an illness that praise God is treatable. I want you to know its okay to take one hour, yes you read that right, one hour at a time. I also want you to keep fighting because you are a strong and beautiful woman created in the precious, precious image of God. I know you can’t see it right now, but I sure as hell can. I want you to know there will come a day you will look back on this season of your life and you will realize how much wisdom and perspective you have gained from being in the pit. God will not waste this and He is near to you always.
For more encouragement from Tina, follow her on Instagram: @tinakroeze
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