This past Monday, the article below came up in my Facebook newsfeed. It sparked my interest a lot because those of us who have been through Postpartum Depression or have seen a wife, daughter, friend experiencing Postpartum Depression will ask, “What the heck could you love about Postpartum Depression?!”
I hope my readers read this article. While I do not agree with every “thing” the author loves, most them are inspiring.
Vulnerability… I was highly vulnerable to everything under the spell of PPD. I guess, looking back on this, the author, is right. Since my emotions were so open to everything, eventually it did allow me to push back the guilt and shame and heal during therapy. It allowed me to see all the emotions my brain and body could actually go through and handle.
Fear… Yes, 100%. The fear is so intense. Fear of not surviving. Fear of your spouse actually taking your child away when you tell them to for the 5th time. Fear that you will live like a hollow being forever. It is there. And from being so pained by it, you realize what it is really like to fear something. When you have healed, you know what not to go back to. You learn how the fear starts and therapeutic ways of coping to prevent it.
Laughing… seldom but easily. This one is deeply hidden and very rare. I remember laughing at my 6 week postpartum check-up with my OBGYN. I was handed the Postpartum Depression Questionnaire. Being that I had already been a patient in the psych ward for PPD these questions were pointless. After reading each one, I just kept laughing. It was so easy to do at that moment. My mother looked at me as if I were crazy, and yes, yes I was.
Joy… Yes, we are craving happiness. We do not understand why we don’t have it and other mothers do. We want to know the exact date we will enjoy mothering our child. We have no patience waiting for joy. Everything the author of this article wrote.
Self-Aware… Quoting the author, Karen Kleiman,… “It is this burden-blessing dichotomy that will spin things in a positive trajectory as she recovers”. That about sums it up.
Angry Mama Bear… this one, is the one I do not fully agree with. While I didn’t have such a disconnect from my child, I know many mothers who did. With that the “Angry Mama Bear” would not have reared it’s ugly face. I had a slight disconnect from my daughter but I did become the Angry Mama Bear with my PPD and PPA. There came a point I was just angry. I just wanted to be well again and enjoy my time with my newborn.
Ambivalent… Quoting Ms. Kleiman… “She does not want to feel this way for one minute longer. If we offer a glimpse into the option that she will not always feel this way, she is hopeful, she is grateful, she is desperately appreciative. She may be doubtful at the same time, but she so wants to believe. She so wants to just go home and be a mom. She doesn’t want help but she can’t stand the way she is feeling. She wants validation, reassurance and mostly, she wants relief from her symptoms. She is a beautiful paradox of defenselessness and power. Of nakedness and supreme focus. She is scared and she is determined. These contradictions can bewilder her at first, but can ultimately provide momentum toward healing.” This is 100% true!
If we mothers can tap into these emotions and feelings, rather sooner than later, while suffering from PPD, we can attack Therapy dead on. Feeling emotions are therapeutic. Like many forms of Depression, there tends to be a lack of emotion. We tend to live like robots until one day, one day when we are angry enough to fight back.