It’s 5 years out from the day I went to the emergency room for postpartum depression.
July 26th will always be a significant date to me for that reason. In years past, it was always a day that filled me with guilt and shame. A day that reminded me of my ultimate failure as a mother.
The lie that “I’m not a good mother” still tries to creep in every so often, especially today, but I’m getting better at recognizing it for what it is: a lie.
5 years ago what I needed was to get help. I needed to go to the psych hospital and recover until I could be safe enough to be on my own. I gave up a week of my life with my baby so I could spend the rest of my life being the mother he needed me to be. It was the right decision.
I’m thankful to my husband for having the courage to make the difficult decision to take me to the ER. It was scary and stressful, and I wasn’t in any state of mind to be at all helpful. I’m thankful for his background in mental health and for his experience with crisis work. I’m thankful he didn’t wait and hope I would get better on my own.
I’m thankful for the person I’ve become because of this experience. I’m thankful for the opportunity to practice vulnerability with people, to share my story with others, and to make meaning out of suffering.
I’m grateful for my postpartum depression being a wake up call to my obsession with perfection. I appreciate how this experience humbled me, how it helped me to realize that I’m not in control of everything, and how I learned that doing my best is oftentimes better than doing something perfectly. And everyone’s “best” looks different.
I’m grateful to be in a healthy place emotionally about this experience. I really feel like I hit a turning point last year, 4 years after the event. Honestly, I think it took about 3-4 years to really fully recover mentally from the depression. Healing is such a long process.
I’ve said before that going through this made me a stronger person, but I am only stronger because I recognize my weaknesses and my shortcomings. And because I accept them. I accept myself.
I’m grateful to have been writing on Threads of Anxiety for four years now, and look forward to more years in the future.
Thanks for reading.