I think the kids call this #realtalk

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I think the kids call this #realtalk

01/17/2017

I saw a meme today that indicated that drugs were not the way to deal with depression or mental illness, but rather get outside and enjoy nature.  Or something like that.  Something only someone who has never experienced first or second-hand what mental illness can do to someone.  Personally, I think those kinds of memes are bull****.

With my first baby I had postpartum depression. It went undiagnosed for a long time because it wasn’t big and scary like all of the books and the doctors warn you about. It was hardly noticeable, even to me.  But as my daughter got older I started to notice that I just wasn’t happy like I used to be.  I was having trouble seeing the good side of things. I was so, so, so, so in love with my baby but I just couldn’t even handle being around my husband (and he couldn’t handle being around me because I was so awful).  I was starting to separate myself from other relationships in my life, telling myself that I was just tired of putting in all of the effort, when really, I was just tired of putting in any effort.  Then I got pregnant.

Things went south fast. And it honestly took me until this point to realize something was legitimately wrong.  I was absolutely miserable and I just started feeling so out of control of my emotions.  I woke up one day shortly after finding out I was pregnant and I remember looking at my husband and thinking “man, how am I going to be a single mom of TWO babies?” That is how bad I felt about myself and my relationship – I had convinced myself that leaving him was the best route.  Needless to say, that thought terrified me.  So, so, so much.  I love my husband. I loved him since I was 15 and I had never considered the thought of not being with him before.  Something just wasn’t right.

So I went to my doctor and shared for the first time how I was really feeling.  She referred me to maternal mental health and they diagnosed me with post/antepartum depression.  I refused medication at first, being confident that my decision to go see a psychologist would be enough to “fix” me.  It helped a lot to talk to someone unbiased about my life and she taught me so much in just three sessions that I had never even considered before.  Months passed and I was feeling better but then we moved to Regina.  Life got hard fast.  I was very pregnant with my second baby, in a new city, with new people, and I was starting a new business while my very busy toddler destroyed my house on the daily.  One night shortly after our move I broke down completely and my husband told me that he couldn’t see me look broken anymore.  I went to the doctor for medication the next day.

I started on Sertraline right away and felt better within a few weeks.  I was friendlier, I liked my husband, I was attracted to him again, I didn’t want to sleep all of the time (except the days that I felt too pregnant to function), and I was finally able to manage my emotions again.  It was incredible. Some people might think that there are other ways I could have treated my PPD or other means of feeling better (or people might think there was never a real problem in the first place), but my choice to go on medication was the right decision for me and my family.  It brought me back to them emotionally and it taught me that it’s okay to ask for help.  It made me the strong, capable mama that I knew I could be but just couldn’t muster up enough energy for.  It made me fall in love with my husband again and remind myself that he is the most important person in my life and that I just couldn’t do this life without him.  Sertraline saved my marriage, my relationship with my babies, and my life in a lot of ways.  Someday I might be able to go off of the medication and that will be a good day, but for now, I’m going to let it save me.

One response to “I think the kids call this #realtalk”

  1. Danielle says:

    Thanks for sharing your story. I agree that this is something that needs to be talked more openly. Self care can be so hard some days and it totally looks different for everyone. I’m glad you have found the help that works best for you and your family.

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