Dear Postpartum Depression:
When I first laid eyes on you, I’ll admit, I wanted to run away. But I couldn’t. Instead I found myself lashed to the couch, unable to move.
You scared me with your moodiness, your dark huddling corner filled with horrific thoughts.
I hated you.
You made me a horrible person, filled me with a guilt which could not be contained by anywhere on Earth. You questioned every little thing I did, filled even the most simple of actions with doubt.
And I let you do it.
I let you make me believe I was imperfect. That I had failed. That I sucked. I was inferior. You made me feel inferior.
And I let you.
I gave my consent and I let you.
But then, oh, then.
The day came.
I woke up and saw what you had done to my life. To me. To my husband. To my children.
It had to stop.
You weren’t going to get my kids.
So I took a deep, sharp breath.
I called for help as you went hunting for newer mothers on whom you could prey.
I found help. Finally.
Step by step, fistful of dirt after another, I climbed out of the hole in which you had buried me long ago.
The first rays of sunlight washed over my face. I could smell the grass. See beautiful bright flowers. Hear the birds chirping.
Oh how I reveled in that day. Reveled.
then you shoved me back into my dirty, dank, and dirty hole, refusing to let me stay in my sunshine.
Once again, I took a deep, sharp breath and fought my way back to the top.
I need to see the flowers. I needed to feel warm sunshine on my face. I needed the rain to rinse you away.
As I surfaced, storm clouds brewed in the distance, the sky grumbling. I knew I had angered you. But I no longer cared. I stood up strong and brave on the greenest grass I had ever seen. You raced toward me, determined to knock me down again. I still stood strong. Even when you knocked me down, I got back up. Every time.
For you see, I am not alone.
I have God. He knows how big my storms are. Do you know how big He is?
I have friends who will not let me falter. I have an amazing husband who will bolster me when I need it the most.
I have love. I have knowledge.
Even more dangerously, I know I can beat you because I have done it before.
Even if you’re not Postpartum, I know you’ll be back. I know you will always hunt me. I stand ready to kick your ass time and again.
This Valentine is not for you, you vain prick.
It’s for the myriad of women who have stood in the same place I have and not known how to fight back or that they could even fight back. You can fight back. You can win. You’re not alone. So many of us who have fought back are right there with you, beating Postpartum back for you until you can do it all on your own.
You are loved, always.