I had a particularly difficult day recently, and even though I woke up at 5am, I stayed up late that night because I needed to be alone. I longed for a time when no one would grab me, demand my attention, or ask me to do something. It was buried under the sassafras.
My heart and room were pitch black. In addition to everything else we deal with, I thought of other moms who sat in silence, overwhelmed by the holidays (they must have been so lucky).
It’s a lot. But it’s always like that, right? It doesn’t matter how old your child is. Or maybe I’m a pessimist. Maybe it’s my mental health. I’ve been in and out of episodes of depression since my kids were born, making some seasons of parenting (and life) difficult.
My heart goes back to when I was breastfeeding my baby. I experienced postpartum depression and refused to stop breastfeeding so I could take antidepressants. As I said, this is not entirely true. So I suffered, as did my husband and children.
For the next two years, I continued to fight. I wasn’t taking care of myself. I lied to my doctor, my husband, my best friend, basically everyone. I didn’t want to admit how bad it was. I was cutting myself, abusing anxiety meds, and binge eating.
My family and friends may have closed their eyes, or I may have hidden it well. No, my dear ones didn’t know what to look for. They didn’t know the warning signs. Postpartum depression wasn’t much of a topic even just a few years ago.
I ended up in a mental hospital. It was too heavy.
The American Psychological Association reports that 1 in 7 women experience postpartum depression. It is a serious mental illness that involves the brain and affects behavior and physical health. Feelings of sadness, flatness, or emptiness can persist and interfere with life for people with depression. may look like These feelings range from mild to severe, according to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ Office of Women’s Health.
We hope you’re looking for new moms more than ever. We definitely need to call teen moms… moms with college students. Empty nest her mom. Send them a text while on vacation. In summer. There’s never a bad time to check up on mom.
Even if the shape changes with the seasons, the luggage will never be light.
To all the moms out there, please take care of yourself, especially your mental health, especially after the holiday season.
Clean up your to-do list, take a nap, watch a cheesy movie, eat some chocolate, and call your mommy friends. Lighten your burden.
Sounds like a party to me.
For over 20 years, Heather Loeb has battled severe depression, anxiety and personality disorders, but also battled the stigma of mental health. She is the creator of her Unruly Neurons (www.unrulyneurons.com), a blog dedicated to normalizing depression, and Todd She is also a member of Rep. Hunter’s Suicide Prevention Task Force.
Now more than ever, we need to take care of our mental health. Guest columnist Heather Loeb explains why and explores other important mental health his topics in this special series.