Why I Was Wrong to Stay Silent About My Postpartum Depression

While understanding Postpartum Depression is finally gaining ground, unfortunately, the stigma and shame surrounding it is still rampant and real. Thankfully, attention to the seriousness and authenticity of the illness is finally being given.

A decade later, I’d still rather not look down deep into that wounded part of me that I’ve kept hidden. Honestly, the last thing I want to do is share my story, even a little bit of it. My life is so good now.

But, by continuing my silence for so long, unfortunately, I’ve helped perpetuate the stigma and shame that many PPD sufferers unfairly experience–the stigma and shame that often keeps us from getting the help we deserve and desperately need. And with 1 in 7 women suffering from PPD, there should be a sense of urgency and accountability of epic proportions in our society.

postpartum depression feat

Long gone are my days of being silent about my earth-shattering and prolonged battle and recovery. PPD is definitely life-changing (that may be the understatement of the century), and I know that firsthand.

I know what it’s like to have your loved ones judge you and misunderstand you.

I know what it’s like to hear words and see faces that aren’t really there.

I know what it’s like to wait your whole life for something and be the only one unable to enjoy it—no matter how much you want to.

I know what it’s like to be lonely in a crowded room full of other moms with other newborns.

I know what it’s like for life to change.

I know what it’s like to feel you’re only doing harm to those around you—that they’d be better off if you weren’t here.

I know what it’s like to be so exhausted you can’t see straight but not be able to sleep.

I know what it’s like to resent your husband and the other lucky people of the world who get to be amongst the living.

I know what it’s like to have a demonic voice erupt, spew forth words you’ll never get over saying and words they’ll never get over hearing.

I know what it’s like for life to change.

I know what it’s like to pray, vomit, cry, and scream—all at the same time.

I know what it’s like to be in the deepest of pain yet frozen and numb.

I know what it’s like to want to ask for help but not have the courage.

I know what it’s like to contemplate squeezing yourself between the cushions of your sofa because there’s really nowhere else to run away and hide.

I know what it’s like for life to change.

I know what it’s like to see your marriage crumbling in front of your eyes.

I know what it’s like to feel the guilt and shame.

I know what it’s like to be half-dressed, curled up in a far corner of your backyard, because it’s the farthest you can go without actually abandoning your baby.

I know what it’s like two days later to write the letter no one wants to read.

I know what it’s like for life to change.

And…

I know what it’s like to finally be bold enough to get the help I need.

I know what it’s like to hear the words, “I understand. You’re not alone.”

I know what it’s like to work through the pain and be okay with it.

I know what it’s like to have hope that I can come out on the other side.

I know what it’s like for life to change.

I know what it’s like to crawl out of the grave, to come back from the dead.

I know what it’s like to put the pieces back together.

I know what it’s like to be thankful for the little things.

I know what it’s like to not sweat the small stuff anymore!

I know what it’s like for life to change.

I know what it’s like to stare evilness in its ugly eye and stand tall again.

I know what it’s like to find my long-lost smile.

I know what it’s like to sing praises to God more than ever.

I know what it’s like to hold my child and feel the long-awaited bond.

I know what it’s like for life to change.

I know what it’s like to truly live again.

I know what it’s like to realize my kid will be just fine–I’m actually a good mom!

I know what it’s like to be the center of one’s tiny world and like it.

I know what it’s like to share my painful story–

to give my God the glory…

I know what it’s like for life to change.
There is hope to those who are suffering. Hope to love life again, to love again, to be loved again, to love yourself again. Though life has changed in many ways, it is possible to pick up the pieces and reconstruct your life–a happy one. Find support without judgment here and love your life–changes and all–once again!

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Renee Davis
Renee Davis encourages women to find their worth in The Word, not the world. The native Floridian survives on Christ and caffeine and loves spending time seaside with her husband, tween, and Boston Terrier. She's most comfortable with sand between her toes and laptop in hand; however, she spends most of her time wordsmithing into the night—swimming only in coffee. You can connect with Renee at The Stay At Home Scribe.