Not that it’s really a surprise, because it isn’t a surprise at all, this postpartum depression, given my history of depression. This beautiful six month old sweetheart is just that: a sweetheart. His presence has changed our family life for the better and he has helped renew my faith in humanity and God. I am so so so happy and so blessed that he is here.
But my silly mind has sunk into a depression unlike any I’ve experienced in a really, really long time. Thankfully, we caught it early and I brought the issue to my psychiatrist, so I’ve got the appropriate treatment underway. I already feel better knowing that I’ve gotten help.
Life is good, no doubt, just like I said in my last post. I have wonderful people in my life and good things are happening. I am able to intellectually process those facts. But, my interest in the things I like to do and the things I really have got to do– my photography, even simple things like daily household chores– my interest in those things has waned significantly to the point that I zone out in front of the TV for much of the day, only doing what I must to take care of the baby.
I knew things were going south for a couple of weeks before I admitted it to my doctor and I probably let the depression go longer than I should have let it progress. My inner self-talk has been telling me that I am worthless and that negative self-talk has gotten more and more persistent, to the point that I really have had a hard time countering that inner voice. That’s more the norm than anything else, but my self-esteem has been way, way worse than usual. Sleep has been broken and restless for weeks. Panic attacks have been a daily issue for much of the last week, in particular, along with feelings of helplessness. Things haven’t been this bad depression-wise, really, since 2011, probably.
For now, I just have to remember to take things a day at the time. I will make a schedule and stick to it. I will ignore those thoughts of self-worthlessness and counter them with things that make me happy: getting out the memory books and photo albums to remember favorite times in my life, taking new photos and yes, even working on housework as a distraction. That’s what it’s all about for now, distracting myself from the low self-esteem until those thoughts are negligible.
Postpartum depression is no joke and I know it’s not a sign of weakness, either. I’m thankful that I know myself enough to know when things are not right, I’m really thankful for my supportive husband, and I’m so glad that I’ve got experience with an antidepressant that works for me.
I’m hoping to see the light in my life again soon.