It’s been awhile since I shared about my journey with postpartum depression. So many great things have been happening in life and to be honest, when I sit to reminisce and write these posts about PPD, it’s a very emotional process for me. I feel as though I have to go back in time and relive those feelings and that’s hard. Being in a great place now, I don’t really like doing that, but for the sake of this blog, for the sake of sharing my journey with others and for the sake of hopefully helping even just one person recognize what they are going through and get help, I’ll do it! 

So let’s do this! If you missed the first two posts of the journey, you can go back and read Part 1 and Part 2. Make sure to check them out before reading Part 3 (it’s like one really long story, broken down into parts!)

* Disclaimer: I want to preface this particular post with saying that I want to be as honest and vulnerable as I can be with what was going through my mind as I struggled to come to grips with the idea that I could be living with postpartum depression. My intention is NEVER to offend anyone…these were just my desperate thoughts that I was going through. Because I’ve walked through this, I’ve completely changed my opinion on depression…and that will be shared in later parts of this journey! *

Postpartum depression

Struggling to figure out what on earth was going on with me, one day in September, I locked myself in the bathroom and literally cried out, with tears streaming down my face, “WHAT IS WRONG WITH ME?!” Then a still, small voice responded back, which was quite the contrast from my questioning scream, but there was something in the calm and peace and stillness of the response, that caught my attention.

“Depression.”
WHAT?! No…not me. No way. Absolutely not. I’m a HAPPY person. I LOVE life. I LOVE people. I LOVE to laugh. There is no way, no how that I’m depressed.

Then again, I heard it but this time more specifically, “postpartum depression.” Nah…you’re wrong. It must just be a lack of something in my diet or not enough sleep or something like that. My baby is six months old, I can’t get postpartum NOW! This is ludicrous!

Yet again, “you are struggling with postpartum depression.” By about the third time I heard that still-small voice, I wiped the tears from my eyes and just stared blankly at the bathroom wall.
Could it be? Me…depressed? I’ve never struggled with this. I’m not crazy. Only crazy people struggle with depression and I’m NOT crazy!

After what felt like hours of this inner dialogue, I decided to do what most of us do in today’s modern age…I consulted Dr. Google! My husband really doesn’t like when I try and let the internet diagnose my problems, but nevertheless, I’ve actually found great help through looking up various ailments. This occasion was no different. 

It became almost a game to try and prove I DIDN’T have PPD as I clicked through a multitude of sites, each one only confirming further that I was in fact living with it.

“Symptoms of Postpartum depression” is what I googled. I was honestly embarrassed to even type those words out…as if I was already admitting I had it and at that point, I was still in denial. I opened the first link that came up and as I scrolled through the list of symptoms, my heart started to race a little faster and my palms grew sweaty…as if someone was reading my mind and knew exactly what was going on. “No way…this is wrong. Anyone can have these symptoms,” I thought to myself. It became almost a game to try and prove I DIDN’T have PPD as I clicked through a multitude of sites, each one only confirming further that I was in fact living with it. Then I decided to take a few “tests”…those will surely prove I’m not loosing my mind. After about the fifth one, a knot formed in the back of my throat as I was now staring my new reality dead in the face. Every.single.test concluded by saying, “You have postpartum depression and need to see a doctor immediately.” 

Still locked inside the bathroom (while my husband kept the kids entertained…he did that alot during those days while I would disappear for long stretches of time to cry and sleep), a friend popped into my mind…again…that still, small voice prompting me to send her a text. She had a fairly severe struggle with postpartum depression a few years before and had recently talked to me about it (I hadn’t known her at the time that she walked through it).

There was something instantly comforting and less embarrassing about asking another PPD survivor to help me with my self-diagnosis.

She was the very first person I uttered the words to “How did you know you had PPD…cause I think I might have it too…” Even before my husband…before my parents…before my best friend…there was something instantly comforting and less embarrassing about asking another PPD survivor to help me with my self-diagnosis. When I started explaining what I was going through and what the online tests had said, she responded with “Oh my friend, I’m so sorry to hear this. Please go see a doctor soon.” More than Dr. Google or any test I could take myself, hearing it from another person who had struggled with PPD, I just knew, this is what I was dealing with and I needed help.

I eventually emerged from the bathroom safe haven and told my husband what had just transpired in there. There was a sense of shock and also relief. As hard as it is being the person walking through PPD, it’s also incredibly difficult living with a person who has it. I could barely function, as I wrote about in the previous post, and my family wasn’t used to having a wife and mom behave the way I was.

Making that phone call was in a sense admitting defeat but also reclaiming hope. Both fear and peace were present in that phone call.

“You need to call the doctor right away,” he said. And so I did. Making that phone call was in a sense admitting defeat but also reclaiming hope. Both fear and peace were present in that phone call. How can both of those co-exist? The only explanation I have is God. I, Christine, was filled with fear, despair, anxiety, embarrassment, etc. But God came in and breathed hope, peace and comfort into my darkest moment. I cannot image walking through something so intense like this without Him there. Was it as simple as a prayer and I felt better? Absolutely not. Depression is a chemical issue in your brain…a sickness…that needs treatment. I’d love to tell you it was that easy and I do truly believe that God can absolutely heal and restore people walking through depression without the need for human intervention. That wasn’t my story. However, I ALWAYS knew He was there. Even in my darkest moments, there was ALWAYS a glimmer of hope and I truly believe it’s because of Him.

“Hello, doctor’s office.”
“Um, ya, Hi, um, I think I need to make an appointment with the doctor…I, ah, um, I think I might have postpartum depression…”

More to come: diagnosis | treatment | living with PPD.

Thank you so much for following along with this journey. This is hard for me to be so vulnerable, especially to a somewhat unknown audience. My hope and prayer in sharing this personal journey with postpartum depression is that someone, even just one person, will know that they aren’t alone. That the stigma of PPD can start to be lifted as we realize so many mommy’s (and sometimes daddy’s) struggle with this very-real, very-frightening illness. That there is nothing to be ashamed of and to seek the appropriate help, at the right time. I pray you will find solace in knowing and reading someone else’s struggle with this. 

Love & Blessings,

CMartin-Sign

 

 

 

* Stock image used

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14 Comments on No Way, Not Me: My Journey With Postpartum Depression {Part 3}

  1. Robin
    April 17, 2015 at 9:13 am (2 years ago)

    Thank you for being so vulnerable in your sharing. When people are brave enough to share their experiences with mental illness the stigma and labels become less. By sharing your story you helped make a greater societal change.
    Much appreciated! xo

    Reply
    • Christine
      April 17, 2015 at 9:42 pm (2 years ago)

      Thank you Robin for you kind words! xox

      Reply
  2. Ashleigh
    April 17, 2015 at 1:01 pm (2 years ago)

    Thank you for sharing your story with PPD…I also shared mine and it can be hard. I think the more we talk about, the more help we’ll get. Have a great weekend! I’m glad you’re feeling better, xx Ashleigh

    Reply
    • Christine
      April 17, 2015 at 9:43 pm (2 years ago)

      That’s right Ashleigh…we grow stronger as we share these hard experiences! Thanks for stopping by! Happy Weekend to you too! xox

      Reply
  3. Tonya Marie
    April 17, 2015 at 1:20 pm (2 years ago)

    I also had post partem depression. I have 4 kids and it was worse after each one But particularly my 3rd and 4th. I thought I was going crazy. I bonded ok with my babies, but I became extremely self destructive and started self medicating with alcohol, since I didn’t think the prozac was working. It was a really tough several years. I didn’t come out of it until way after my 4th child was born. It is a difficult thing to go through and most people don’t understand what you are going through. Thanks for sharing your story.

    Reply
    • Christine
      April 17, 2015 at 9:45 pm (2 years ago)

      Thank you for sharing some of your journey, Tonya. It’s incredible how as we share, we grow stronger! Glad have come through it! xox

      Reply
  4. Lindsay
    April 17, 2015 at 3:17 pm (2 years ago)

    Wow. I’m not even sure I have words to say how I feel having read parts 1, 2 and 3. I applaud you for finally asking for some help. What a relief that must have been for you.

    I’ve suffered from depression off and on for years and years and it can be a very dark and ugly place where you feel no one could possibly understand how you feel.

    Very new reader here but I’m enjoying what I read thus far. Thank you for sharing your journey….

    Lindsay

    Reply
    • Christine
      April 17, 2015 at 9:47 pm (2 years ago)

      Thank you so much for reading along Lindsay. And you’re right…it’s so hard for people to understand and that’s why I want to share! Thanks for stopping by! xox

      Reply
  5. jessica
    April 17, 2015 at 9:48 pm (2 years ago)

    I totally feel your pain. I had a form of depression when I was pregnant with my last child and to this day, I still deal with it (every now and again). I do not really tell anyone, my immediate family knows, but most of my friends are unaware. It is something I do not advertise to the world and honestly, I feel slightly embarrassed about it…but it is something I cannot control. I hope it gets better for you…I know it will. thanks for sharing.

    Reply
    • Christine
      April 18, 2015 at 9:24 pm (2 years ago)

      Awe Jessica thanks for you comment. I have been able to get totally back to normal, thanks to medication and honestly, talking about it. Have you tried medication? Or even seeing a counsellor? I know those have really helped me. If you ever want support, please do not hesitant to send me an email! Sending virtual hugs girl! xox

      Reply
  6. Brooke Knipp
    April 18, 2015 at 4:44 pm (2 years ago)

    What an important (and highly personal) subject to share on. It’s a really brave and critical step toward people, on the whole, being more open about mental health issues. THANK YOU for being brave and willing and open. I truly think it’s world-changing when people step up and and share things like this.

    Reply
    • Christine
      April 18, 2015 at 9:26 pm (2 years ago)

      Thank you darling, for your support! I was hesitant at first to share, but I knew the way I used to feel and quite honestly judge people who had it…and once I’ve walked a mile in their shoes, my mindset completely changed and I knew I had to share THAT with others. Help remove the stigma…especially for Christian women struggling with it. Lots of love! xox

      Reply
  7. Jamie
    April 22, 2015 at 10:29 am (2 years ago)

    This was admittedly a big fear for me after I had Maverick. And will be for future babies. I’m so proud of you for sharing your story. Because it’s a hard story to share ! (I’ve got a hard one in the works to share- after much debate) But I know you are helping people! Even if it’s just one person! Even if it’s ME in the future…! And that makes all the re-hashing so worth it 🙂

    Reply
    • Christine
      April 22, 2015 at 4:44 pm (2 years ago)

      Thanks for the encouragement Jamie! Yes…so hard but I do it in hopes to encourage someone so they know they are not alone. And I would encourage you to definitely share your story. I think once we find healing, it’s so important to share those hardships that we’ve walked through in order to help others who might walk through the same thing. Let me know when you share yours! Rooting for you! xox

      Reply

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