The Postpartum Smoke Monster


No, not that one.

While on Twitter last night, I connected with a mom who mentioned something about “smoky rooms.” I replied to her. Those smoky rooms? Surreal. Very surreal.

Until last night though, I had forgotten about them. A remnant of my postpartum experience abandoned in a dark corner.

In the midst of my darkest days, I saw wisps of grey smoke floating through the room. They were always above me, too far to reach. Sometimes there was an overheated electrical scent hanging heavy in the air.

Until last night, the grey smoke wisps were an experience of which I had never spoken.

During the course of my conversation with the first mom, who said close friend of hers also experienced the same phenomenon, yet another mother chimed in, shocked that we were discussing smoke we had seen during our Postpartum experiences. Suddenly we were bonding over smoke. Smoke we had clearly imagined in the midst of our Postpartum Mood Disorders.

It was then that I recalled research which postulated that depressed people are more likely to see everything as gray than non-depressed people.

Then there is the reference of recovery feeling as if “the fog has lifted.” What if the fog really does lift? What if we really are surrounded by fog when struggling with depression?

Did you experience this? What did the fog look like for you? You’re not alone out there in the fog or smoke. There are others who have been there too.

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4 thoughts on “The Postpartum Smoke Monster

  1. It was for for me too. Thick fog that I couldn’t fight my way out of. It was more a feeling than something that I saw, BUT I also described feeling like everything in my life was just in ‘shades of grey.’

  2. I know exactly what you are talking about, although I never likened it to smoke. Instead, it was more of a fog surrounding me and nothing was clear. I remember distinctly riding in the car with my dad and wiping my eyes trying clear the haze that was in front of me. I kept asking him if he saw the fog, which of course he didn’t becase it was a beautiful summer morning down by the Mississippi River with the sun shining. Almost like some film was on my contacts that I couldn’t get rid of. Thankfully, that fog has lifted! Hallelujah! It’s been a long road…

  3. Ah, my lady, you just inspired a post in me…(don’t worry I’ll link it up to you my dear :) )
    Coming out of depression, I noticed that things appeared more crisp…more vivid. Colourful. Objects had definite lines, hard edges. I would explain to my doctor that I felt that I was sitting behind something, that a mist/smoke was in front of me. He called it a veil.
    I also suffered from derealization…that’s a whole other ball game.

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