This post is all about channeling the darkened side of me that everyday I so desperately try to suppress. That I try to ignore though it acts like a black cloud that is constantly hovering above me. The very darkness that envelops me day in and day out and constricts me, much like a snake that’s about to inject its venom.
I am going to open up to the bitter reality of battling postpartum depression.
When we are carrying our children within our wombs, we are filled with a glorious concoction of hormones and emotions. Excitement, fear, and an undeniable love are a few to name. But at some point, every single emotion is felt by us. While we are radiating love and light, for some of us, our emotions are stirring internally like a stew in a witch’s cauldron.
And when that day finally comes when we welcome our babes earth side, that brew of emotions comes forth. With the hormones rushing out of our bodies like water flowing around a broken dam, we sink. We sink into a place that is indescribable. And absolutely terrifying.
At a point in our lives where we should be at an all-time high, we have dropped to such a low that many of us feel the need to hide. To hide everything that is us. To push that unnamable, overwhelming darkness to our cores. To pose ourselves with a radiant smile for others in an attempt to convince them, and ourselves, that we are ecstatic about our new young. That when the sun sets, we will dress our newest earthling for bed and breathe in their sweet scent with a smile, instead of locking ourselves in the bathroom to cry tears of utter despair.
We live every day dreading to hear the sound of our newborn’s cry, because it only adds to the mountain of pressure that is bound to make us burst. And we live in fear of thinking of exactly how overwhelmed we truly are, because we shouldn’t feel this way. No one should.
But when a moment of pure happiness washes over us like a foreign breath of fresh air, our inner warrior awakens. It fights. It fights to grasp that very moment. To hold onto it in hopes that clinging to it will invite the happiness to stay as if its a nervous stranger. Please stay. We think to ourselves. I need you so.
But to our dismay and despite our efforts, moments later it decides to depart. And once again, we are left with an unnerving sadness that sickens us both physically and mentally. We can feel the spark fading from our eyes and some of us find it hard to find that magical spark in our babe’s as well. Some of us see our young as a problem, or as an obstacle to our happiness. And it shatters our already broken hearts into smaller shards.
But despite what our minds so forcefully tell us, they are our happiness. What little remains in our fearful souls. We know that our baby’s eyes hold the entire universe within them, and we see it even if its hazy at times. We know our child’s scent, and that their cry is not an attempt to burden us, but to connect with us in the most loving way possible. We know that they are ours and we are theirs.
But this blackness that takes hold of us like an uncontrollable demon… its not an easy one to shake.
We learn. We love. We see. We fight. We struggle.
Battling this demon takes time. Weeks. Months. Years.
And its grasp tightens around our near lifeless bodies more some days than others. Sometimes it feels as if there is no point in fighting its mighty fists. That it might be easier just to accept that this will be our new permanent state. For the dread of our light shutting off completely is too much to bear. We so desperately want to feel the happiness that we should, but are unable to. As if we are being punished. Its too much.
But then our babes give us a quick fleeting smile, their first in this life.
And once more we are reminded of our purpose.
To fight. To love. To cherish.
To carry on.
And so we try again.