Postpartum Depression: The Truth and Struggle by Desirae Ofori
You say, let the kids cry it out.
But I hear the cries like sirens, blaring in my head, my brain screaming for relief. I can’t ignore it. When I block it, I feel numb like a zombie and tapped out. I can’t afford to tap out, I have to stay present. I feel like screaming & crying too. Truth is… sometimes I do.
You say, take a break, get a sitter.
But I hear work. Who’s going to watch them? How much is it going to cost? I have to coordinate times, make sure everything is layed out for them. I have to explain a million things to make sure they stay on routine. Truth is… my brain and skin tingles, my heart aches and I feel like melting into the floor.
You say, let the housework go and relax.
But I hear, I’m being lazy. But you had all day. Who’ll pickup the slack? What if someone comes and sees the mess and thinks I’m a slob? What if it never gets done? It’ll keep piling up. That’s my job. Truth is… I just want to throw everything in the house away.
You say, lets just cuddle.
But I hear, I’m going to be touched in ways I’m just not ready to or even want to. There’s a disconnect. Those cuddles will lead to me fighting in my head to take it further, because I know you want to. And if I don’t, someone else might, and you’ll replace me, then I lose my marriage. Truth is… I just want to sleep and drift away like I’m being pulled out to sea.
You say, but you prayed for this.
But I hear I’m ungrateful. Why can’t I get it together. Why do I have to be overwhelmed. Why can’t I just grin and bare it? I swear I love my kids… it’s just hard sometimes for me to be the mom. Truth is… I feel like running away, into a dark corner to cry.
You say, just talk about it.
But I hear to who? Who won’t judge me? Who can understand me? Who is truly listening to what I’m not saying? What if they try to take away my kids? What if they send me away? Truth is… sometimes I’m so numb, I have no words and I don’t know what to say.
You say, but you look great!
But I hear, you’re not really depressed. You’re over reacting. You’re stressing out for nothing. Your worries aren’t valid. You’re just attention seeking. You’re being vain. You should be more confident. But these sad & scary feelings come in waves. They come at me like a bowling ball and I’m the pin anticipating when or how hard I’ll get knocked over again. Truth is… sometimes I don’t have the strength to get back up again.
I say, my truth is…
Somedays I feel on top of the world like a superwoman because everyone and everything is taken care of, and I barely broke a sweat. Then there are days, when I’m dragging so slow, I wish the ground would swallow me up.
I’m functioning, but I’m not okay. I’ll manage most days to put on a smile… sometimes it’s real, other times it’s fake. If you see my eyes glazed or drifting then you know… chances are I’m not here or not well.
I don’t want my kids to cry. I want a break. I want to cuddle. I’m thankful for my answered prayers. I want to be able to talk about the hard stuff. I want a clean house. I want to look great. But I also want to feel great.
I don’t know what my new normal self is. I’m just doing my best to hold it together. I want to feel safe, I don’t want to feel like I can’t be trusted… or that I can’t even trust myself. I don’t want to be titled crazy, selfish or weak.
I’m not asking God for much. I just want to feel and be 100% better. Heck, I’ll even take 90% better. Just enough so I can cope and function well enough to take care of me & my family. But moreso me.
I need to take care of me. I’ve been neglected. I don’t want to abandon me anymore. The greatest sacrifice, I lent my body as a home for another human… And after birth I felt empty like a shell. I want to feel whole again and full.
Postpartum Depression and Anxiety sucks… it tries to suck the best parts away from you and isolate you. That’s how it wins. But I won’t let it. I have too much in life to love and enjoy. I don’t want to miss out on life and look back with further regret. Truth is…My husband and kids need and want me! So with the help of God, the support of my loved ones and professional help, I’ll continue to fight!
So be patient with me. Love me. Pray for me. Encourage me. Remind me of what I do well. Share with me the sun will shine brighter & longer tommorrow. Remind me that I won’t be stuck and that there’s a way out. But most of all… be patient with me and give me time and space to heal.
Are you also struggling (or not sure) with Postpartum Depression or Postpartum Anxiety and want to learn more? I recommend visiting www.postpartumstresscenter.com
If you ever have thoughts of hurting yourself or anyone else, and need immediate help please call one of these hotlines:
National Suicide Prevention Lifeline: 1-800-273-8255
Suicide Prevention Hotline: 1-800-SUICIDE
National Postpartum Depression Hotline: 1-800-PPD-MOMS
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If you’d privately like to reach out to me you can at SincerelyMrsMommy@gmail.com