There are people in my life who are critical of the amount of stuff I share on social media, but honestly, I don’t really care.
Actually, that’s not true at all. I do care. I sometimes think about how I’m probably perceived as someone who had a dream she was working towards, who had a lot of layers to her being, who’s now a mom and nothing else. I sometimes imagine the eyerolls some of my posts probably get. I don’t care. But I do.
I love being a mother, but being a mother is also hard and there are plenty of parts of it that have not come naturally to me. Anyone who knows me well knows that I’m a sharer. No topic is off limits. I like to know things, and I like to share things. There have been some pivotal times in my life where something someone else shared on social media has greatly strengthened me, usually by helping me to not feel alone.
So here I go with another deeply personal post that I’m sharing on a public platform. I’m less comfortable with this share because there’s shame attached to it. But it’s the shame that makes me want to tell it, because if it was anyone else I wouldn’t want them to feel ashamed.
On Monday I’m going to the doctor to discuss postpartum depression. As someone who has struggled with depression throughout my life I knew the likelihood of me experiencing PPD was higher, and I’ve been monitoring myself for signs. For months I’ve wondered if I should talk to someone, but it felt like I was just experiencing different hormonal changes that are normal within the year following giving birth. Over the last month it’s become clear it’s not in the realm of “normal” anymore. It has been hard to admit even to my husband that I needed help, let alone to admit it out in the open to everyone, and worst of all to admit to myself. I want to be a supermom. I want to be a natural at all of this AND still be my old, independent self. While I do genuinely feel proud of how I’ve raised Wes so far, it’s every other piece of ME that is suffering. 7.5 months ago I’d never been a mother. That wasn’t a part of my identity. Now that feels like the only part of my identity.
So all of those perceptions I mentioned at the beginning of this post, it doesn’t matter if they’re perceptions others have of me because they’re the perceptions I have of myself. It doesn’t matter that I logically know that the old me is still there and she just needs some attention and nurturing. With depression, logic goes out the window, and there have been times, especially over the last month, where I truly believe that no one likes me, or cares about what I’m doing with my life, or wants to be around me. Because why would they when I don’t even want to be around me?
The moments where I feel like this are brief. Most of the time I feel fine, happy even. But thoughts like that are NOT healthy, and when I’m in that mindset it’s quite intense. So, I’m choosing to get help. I’m swallowing my pride and admitting I can’t hack it like others can.
A year ago today, at 22 weeks pregnant, I flew with my mom and two cats to meet Conner in Texas where we’d live for the next 10 months. They were the 10 most transformative months of my life. My heart aches to be back there because I was full of hope and excitement for the new adventures we were about to have. But everything that made Texas great is right here in Oregon with me now, so it’s not the place I need back, it’s me. The old me. I need her to meet the new me and become friends. I'm excited to start working past this and feel like myself again.