Mental Health Diaries #3

I think when it comes to depression the stigma attached to it is usually something like, “Oh she’s just looking for attention” or “What does she have to be depressed about, she just had a baby! Her life is perfect!” So the word depression on it’s own is an instant turn off for people. What people don’t understand is it’s an actual chemical imbalance in the brain. Many don’t even realize that even mothers who don’t suffer from post part-um depression after giving birth still go through intense physical and mental changes from our hormones going back to normal. Experiencing the physical pain behind post part-um depression is what surprised me the most. I could look directly at my baby boy and know in my heart that I loved him more than anything and I knew he made me happy, but I couldn’t stop crying. I could feel the sadness deep in my bones. It was almost like a 450lb weight was attached to my ankle and I was trying to so hard to run away but I couldn’t go anywhere. I was stuck. And it hurt. It hurt to try and run. It hurt to explain to my nurse and then my doctor that I didn’t even want to be here. How could I even explain it to someone who can’t see this imaginary weight chained to my ankle? How could they even begin to understand that every time I got in the car I wanted to drive and just keep driving. Somewhere new. Start a new life. Maybe if I wasn’t such a burden to those around me and I started over somewhere new maybe that weight would disappear. But in reality, the weight won’t disappear until I cut the chains myself. Fortunately for me, they did understand. And they offered me some help.

It wasn’t until I finally saw the right counsellor that the weight started to fade away. I was slowly but surely sawing the chain off of my ankle and I was ready to get that damn thing off and run. Run through the streets screaming, “Look at my little boy! He makes my heart so unbelievably happy, this is almost like a dream! I love him more than I’ve ever loved anything!”

It isn’t gone completely. But I’d say we’ve gone from about 450lbs to maybe 175lbs. The weight is significantly less and I owe it all to my counsellor. Don’t let the stigma attached with depression prevent you from getting help. What you’re feeling is absolutely is real. And there is nothing wrong with you. You cannot physically help it. But what you can do is get help. Find that counsellor that helps you face those demons head on. Because your baby boy or girl won’t be happy unless you’re happy. In order for them to be healthy, they need a healthy mom. They can’t take on the craziness in this world without you. Don’t wait for the light at the end of the tunnel.. light it up yourself. If you’re willing to talk.. someone, somewhere is willing to listen.

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