The Anniversary Effect

Last week it suddenly occurred to me that I was nearing my anniversary – July 26th. For a minute I had forgotten all about it, but on a random Tuesday it hit me and I felt a bit sick to my stomach. Today is the 3-year anniversary of the day I was admitted to the psych hospital for postpartum depression/psychosis.

I like to take this day each year to share parts of this story on the blog, in hopes that it might help or encourage at least one person. For whatever reason, this year it is proving to be particularly hard. It’s like reopening the wound – healing has taken place, so it hurts to go back and poke around inside of it.

For those who are new to my blog, I’ve written a series of posts over the years about my experience with severe postpartum depression, which led me to admitting myself to a psychiatric hospital for a week. My son was only 4 weeks old at the time. If you’re interested in reading them, you can search the tag “Postpartum Depression” and find all the posts I’ve written.

That experience was really what inspired me to start this blog – I wanted to be open and honest about my struggles with depression and anxiety, and use it as a way to let others know they are not alone.

Before writing this next section, I went back and reread all of my previous posts, including a draft that I have not made public yet. There’s so much more to say, so much more to the story that is not complete. Someday I would really like to write all of it out, but it feels too hard today.

Instead, today I would like to focus on the idea of trauma, and healing from psychological trauma. As the days were leading up to this anniversary, I found myself really struggling with a lot of anger. It was coming out (mostly at Dean) but at everything in life really. I had an appointment scheduled with my counselor yesterday, and I came in seething. As we talked, I decided to bring up to her that Friday would be three years since I was admitted to the hospital. I couldn’t even say it out loud without crying. I didn’t realize how much this simple date, July 26th, was really causing havoc to my emotional and mental state.

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