I am not fragile.
I’ve traveled a long road to get to where I am today. Not the “life is a highway” kind of road, but a treacherous and winding road. I’ve fallen more times than I can count and have the emotional bumps and bruises to show for it. My marriage was shaken to it’s very core. Although most were understanding, some people couldn’t help but show their true colors with their lack of empathy – those relationships will never be the same.
There is hope. There is life after a postpartum illness. A beautiful life.
Maybe it won’t be entirely as it was before, but it will be even more glorious. You will wake up every day and be grateful that you were able to crawl out of the darkness and depths of a place so terrifying that most can’t even imagine it. You’ll laugh. You’ll breathe. You’ll begin to feel alive again. But you will never forget. And that inability to purge those memories is what will make your life so much more amazing. Stronger. More appreciative.
Some people have called me brave for stripping away the layers of pain to expose the rawness. I would call it desperate. It’s terrifying to expose your soul to the world, but too many women are suffering in silence just as I did. So if I can reassure one mother, save just one person by sharing my experience, then it’s all worth it.
If you’re crippled by anxiety or fear, so angry you want to scream, empty, sad, or just generally not feeling like yourself, tell someone. Anyone. Your husband. A friend. Your doctor. If they don’t listen, find someone who will. Postpartum illnesses are treatable and a lot more common than you know. Women have been shamed into feeling like bad mothers if things aren’t always rainbows and butterflies after the birth of a child, making them too afraid to talk about it.
I will not be silent.