A baby is supposed to fill us with unspeakable joy, but for someone who has walked through the nightmare of postpartum depression, the fear can be crippling. After my son’s birth, I suffered from severe postpartum depression. It was the darkest time in my life. I was hospitalized for nearly two weeks and separated from my […]
It seems that sucky days are a universal experience. We can’t survive on an island. Isolation is miserable, especially for someone who struggles with depression or anxiety or self-esteem issues. Finding the guts to say, “Today sucks. Can we talk?” sometimes changes everything.
I hate when I feel this way. I hate the semi-permanent knot in the back of my throat, the avoiding eye contact with co-workers and the constant urge to go home. But the feelings persist. I hate the shame that comes along with it, whispering, “What a loser. Get your shit together. What’s wrong with you?” I hate the shame that comes from years of being raised as a religious kid, the lies that tell me I’m not a real Christian or I wouldn’t have these struggles.
But then I remember the words our pastor spoke Sunday…
This talk on discouragement, disappointment, and depression is the very best teaching on mental health I have EVER heard from a local church.
When I shared glimpses of my darkness, well-meaning Christians said things they didn’t understand. Choose joy turned into snap out of it in my head, and I couldn’t force that. Believe me, I’d tried.
There, at that stoplight, I felt the gray and weight and cloud pressing. I don’t remember my specific pleas, or if I said anything at all. What I do remember are the sweetest words, clearer than anything I’ve heard whispered in my heart.
Ben was born September 22. When he was placed in my arms the first time, I experienced love and joy at a deeply sacred level. But during our hospital stay, a suffocating sadness started creeping in. On the car ride home, I sat in the backseat and wept uncontrollably. This was not the “baby blues” people speak of. Instead, paranoia piled on top of sadness and the two dealt me crushing blows.
I really thought this stage would pass quickly, but it didn’t.