I have zero clinical experience or psychological training, aside from taking AP Psychology in high school and gleaning wisdom from therapists and research and OBGYN’s and Midwives over the years.
But I’ve learned and experienced enough to say this: for those Mamas who live this with me, know that you are not alone and we are a part of a special sisterhood in which childbirth and motherhood has demanded an entirely new level of sacrifice. For those of you who haven’t, consider yourself very lucky.
A good friend of mine went on a walk with me just under a year ago during the time in which my PPD was at its worst and I had just barely been diagnosed.
“If demons exist,” she said, “This has to be one of the worst attacks. For a new mother to have all the demands of a child while desperately trying to treasure and cherish her new darling gift, but instead she feels plagued by utter darkness?? So tragic.”
I couldn’t agree more. Having children is one of the greatest joys in life (so I hear and so I’ve experienced). Postpartum Depression takes that joy, steals it, and throws the mother into a dark prison enchained by ghosts and tears and demons. It is truly the earthly version of heaven starkly contrasted with hell.
I write about this tonight because I forgot to take the 50 mg of sertraline today that I’m supposed to take every morning. Silly me. It’s in my system now, but the dip of these chemicals in my body has already taken effect. Anxiety, sadness, despair. Hopelessness, loneliness despite company, and frustration.
All because of my body’s physiological response to birth resulted in an imbalance in the chemical composition between my neurological synapses. Sounds so scientific. Feels anything but.
My little darling mimics my mood and fights sleep tonight, too. Sleeplessness compounds the problem. Aaand we’re both sick. But her feverish skin warms my chilled heart. We’ll make it to sunrise together. She is my Clarity.