“Many are the afflictions of the righteous, But the LORD delivers him out of them all.” – Psalms 34:19 NKJV
Transparency, something I have always shied away from. But one thing about God and when you are aligned with him, he will tug on your heart and convict you until you do what he is asking!!! My father has spoken and I am listening! So here is my story.
“It’s Time to Confess So I Can Heal”
For many months I suffered immensely from post partum depression….silently. And if I be honest, I’m still not 100%. I’ve dreaded sharing this truth of mine but God has made it very clear it’s time to confess so I can heal. Last week a stranger came up to me and we talked for a while. I thought she was crazy until she pulled my card. She literally gave me exact times and dates of when it all started as if she knew me. Her exact words before praying for me were “God told me you were a silent sufferer and that he doesn’t want you to do it again!”
I normally don’t cry in front of strangers but she brought me to tears because I felt every word that she said to me. Her prayers were so strong and I felt the spirit. Then 2 days ago, another person randomly asked me if PPD was relevant and after sharing he said to me “ wow, I could never tell…” so I knew it was time to share my testimony to not only heal myself, but to help someone else.
“In My Mind I Was Okay…”
I hid my depression extremely well. In fact, If you know me, you wouldn’t have been able to tell. Was I happy? Of course! I birthed the most beautiful baby boy, but on the other side of my joy was a sadness I couldn’t seem to understand. At first I thought it was due to being sleep deprived but that wasn’t it. I would literally cry for days at a time. And as soon as company would come over or call, I would put my game face on and smile . Because in my mind I was okay or at least I thought so.
Then came the melt downs and anxiety about being away from my son for even a few moments. I literally cried the 1st time my husband made me leave the house alone. I talked myself out of it so many times until he grabbed the baby from my arms and said GO!! He knew what I was going through and knew I needed the time away. But I didn’t want to leave…. And stressing over nursing didn’t help. I was a wreck.
“On The Verge of a Mental Break Down”
Over the course of my maternity leave, I went through anxiety, doubt, fear and completely lost myself in my depression. I abandoned personal responsibilities and duties, canceled every single plan that involved being away from my son extended periods of time and became a home body. I would get out from time to time but the entire time I was away from my son, I would be sad and rush to get back home. My depression was at its peak and I was on the verge of a mental break down….
But God!! When it was time for me to return to work, of course, I cried and dreaded having to put Jr. in daycare. God is so good because he worked it out to my aunt being able to keep Jr. the 1st 2 weeks. That made my transition a lot smoother! But then came the test….I had to enroll him in daycare. The 1st month or so was rough because we had to put him in a different location due to availability. I literally had to wake him up at 5:00 a.m. to leave the house by 6, drive on the highway for an hour just so I can drop him off and make it to work on time.
One of my fears was driving him and not being able to attend to him in the back seat. That caused tons of anxiety early on for me and contributed to us not going anywhere alone during my maternity leave. Then the long hours away due to the location made it even harder for me. I used to cry at work. I remember the things I went through after returning to work due to my mental state. I used to breakdown and cry at my desk because I was extremely sad.
“I Had to Learn to Trust God”
God knew….he knew what I was going through and he knew that I needed to be strengthened in certain areas. So he made me go through some of those temporary storms to get where I am today. When I look back I actually smile because things like going to the grocery store alone or even with our son no longer make me sad or anxious, they actually give me peace. I had to learn to trust God in every single aspect of my life including parenthood! I had to know that if he blessed us with such a blessing he would deliver and ensure Jr. is and always will be okay. I had to learn and understand that I can’t control anything! Not even my child! God is in control.
I remember getting to the point that I was reciting scriptures daily and praying! I went from crying and having anxiety attacks to praying and speaking to my storm! As strong as I am, and I’m pretty strong, I felt weak! But that was because I was trying to take on responsibility God never gave me. I had to really learn to put everything in God’s hands and to leave it there!
“God Can and Will Heal You”
As I share my story, I no longer cringe. My heart is actually smiling because I took a huge leap of faith and shed light on one of the darkest spaces in my life by testifying! So thank you! Thank you for reading this! I want you to know that whatever you are going through, have gone through or will go through, God can and will heal you, if you let him! I’m so thankful for God’s grace and mercy because I am healed and I’ve been delivered.
Originally written on Brittney’s blog “The Issues of the Heart” and re-shared with written permission.
Postpartum Mental Health Resources:
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