For those of you who remember Emily's story of a couple of weeks ago, you'd like this one. Emily writes a follow up of her journey with Post-Partum depression - her story is a true inspiration that we can all overcome anything, with the right support. Can you relate? Tell us in the comments below. 💕
"Hello again. As I’m writing this, I’m amazed at how fast the last year and a half went. My beautiful daughter is going to be eighteen months just next month. And we are having a lot of fun.
The last article I wrote was about my initial week as I was admitted to the hospital for Postpartum Psychosis, and mostly about how people reacted or responded to my unusual behavior. I’m happy to report my relationships with my family members are good and strong. I feel less shame; but I do admit sometimes it creeps up on me.
I remember thinking during my daughter’s baptism in May: These people supported me through the thick and thin. I was struggling back then, and they were there to help me up. You’ve probably heard the saying It takes a village to raise a child. Well, I have known now that it takes at least half that village to help the mom.
Honestly, sometimes I say to myself I just lived through possibly the worst-case mental episode anyone could have, and I survived! I know that sounds dramatic, but it’s true. What’s one of the worst things, mentally? Feeling like you don’t know what is going on. At least that’s how I would define it.
But you get through it, you wake up and feel a little better than the day before and consider that progress and a good sign that things will look up.
Something I don’t talk to anyone about is when you’re weaned off the medications. This can happen gradually, but it can feel like there’s abrupt shifts to your mentality. I was weaned off Depakote and halidol. And let me tell you – I was MUCH more awake and myself after that! But, I admit it was probably needed to stabilize myself. It takes COURAGE, though, to say to yourself I’m getting better. I won’t relapse. I remember my Aunt on my dad’s side exclaiming “Well what if it doesn’t work!” Ye of little faith, I say.
Life with my baby girl has been rewarding. But anyone that went through PP knows it takes time. There’s a lot of inner healing that is needed. I sometimes get all Journalism-ey and want to do an investigative report ratting out Palos Hospital’s unit for how they treated me. They actually added to my confusion.
You want those early days with your baby back! That precious time. And sometimes you blame everyone, and anyone. I even wrote a yelp review about how my OB/Gynecologist didn’t visit me or follow up properly, which led or at least contributed to my hospital stay a week later.
Sadly, you don’t get that particular early time back, because you were unwell. Whether family members should have not tried to self medicate you at home or not with xanax; whether you were breastfeeding or not; whether you saw your doctor and he didn’t question anything, it is done. Whether you have a mental disorder or not, it is done. Whether your aunt urges you to apply for disability when you don’t; whether your husband asks you to fill out FMLA, and you do, it is done.
You can’t undo it; but you can grow from it. The way I’m choosing to grow is to educate. THIS WHOLE THING could have been prevented with vigilance. And women don’t have to feel shame alone! They don’t have to cope alone or try and find fault within themselves. This isn’t my fault, nor my husband’s. And that truth has given me so much comfort.
But getting back to my recovery. One of the things I remember doing is ordering my favorite eyeshadow from Sephora online. I ordered two sets of Amethyst Obsession, which I applied after months of not wearing any makeup. Best purchase ever. I also ordered Jewel, the singer’s book of poems, A Night Without Armor. I also went to the dentist to get one of my front teeth polished. I had a brown spot from not brushing at the hospital. It was expensive, but man did I feel like a model afterward! I started to smile in my selfies. I started getting in a routine with my baby. At six months we felt perfectly in sync. And I still feel that way a year and a half later. You have to take care of yourself too.
I wondered how her first Birthday would be. Would I dote on the good times or would I still think of the traumatic time? I thought of the good times, and how thankful I am for her, and took the bad time in stride. It was a sense of great accomplishment! We kept the party small, thankfully. I enjoyed it very much, and I believe so did everyone else! Happy First Birthday to my daughter and to many more birthdays!!
Emily has given us consent to share her story.
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