'Sorry, Not Sorry!'
Updated: Jun 18, 2020
Count Your Blessings Today is my birthday (!) and I am now 26. Twenty-six is that age where you often start counting down to your 30th birthday (or maybe that's just me). Birthdays often bring a sense of joy and panic all at once. It's time to celebrate, but also a time of reflection and weighing up what we have accomplished in life so far. In doing so, we may start to feel as if time is 'running out' and perhaps feel a sense of disappointment for where we are right now in this moment. But, "No!", I refuse for that to be the story this year! I am counting my blessings and naming them, one by one. God has blessed my family with our lovely home, I get to wake up to my childhood sweetheart of a husband everyday, I have an incredible son who amazes me everyday! I battled through my breastfeeding struggles and mastitis, I went back to work as a pharmacist and I'm juggling work and motherhood pretty well, and one of my biggest celebrations: my breakthrough regarding postpartum anxiety and depression; I overcame! It did not break me! And I'm here to share my story, so others don't feel so alone.
Sharing Out Loud So I did something very much out of my comfort zone at church last Sunday and spoke about my battle with postpartum anxiety and depression. Out loud. not written, but spoken and it was hard. Let me be real real for a second, after being so vulnerable in person and sharing my story, there was a big part of me that regretted that decision. For a long time I didn't even want to accept that I went through it, I didn't want to live in that truth because it was too dark to be in, and in all honesty that mindset helped me to move out of it (sometimes you gotta 'fake it till you make it'). But I think it's important that we stop speaking about and showing people a false version of ourselves that only highlights the 'perfect' parts of our lives. The reality is that everyone — and I mean EVERYONE — will have a moment in their lives where life gets on top of them. And it's okay to say "it's hard". It's okay to share your truth. But, it's more important that you work on being the best 'you' that you can be.
I've written in a previous post called "5 Tips for a Healthy Mindset" where I touched on silencing your inner critic. And in this case, I've had to silence the voice that told me:
"Don't be open, NO ONE can relate to your experience."
"Why did you share that?! Now people will view you as weak..."
Those were lies! And in all honesty after sharing my story out loud the feedback was the complete opposite. I never knew how many people I would impact and touch when I was saying it, I was just trying express that I went through a low period in my life at a time when I should have been the most happy. The countless messages and DM's on Instagram from people who had gone through it (even elderly women) or family members who had gone through it, expectant and pregnant mothers who were moved by my openness and the proposals to speak at shows for woman who may be going through what I did, was far beyond anything I anticipated.
It Gets Better
Out of a dark place has come so much light because I guess I'm in the best position to help (going through it yourself makes you probably the most qualified to understand someone else's pain) especially mothers who have experienced a real low in their lives. I'm writing this blog because I want to encourage others that sharing your truth, being transparent, being vulnerable (although it may feel uncomfortable) helps another person going through those hardships to not feel so alone. My entire blog was founded on this concept. I felt like I was a child again when I first became a mum in a sense that I was learning from scratch. Whilst the YouTube "baby nursery tour" videos were cute, they couldn't help me when I experienced such a low in motherhood. And the videos that I identified with were ones like Heather Sanders (an Instagram influencer and YouTuber) sharing her battle with postpartum depression. That video ran deep, and it's now my mission to look out for every mother who may or may not go through it.
Let me say it really, really does get better. I almost feel like me and my son have an extra special bond now because we got through it together. He's always giving me cuddles and looking out for me whenever I leave the room, I thoroughly enjoy having us wear matching outfits lol (it's the small things, things I couldn't envision when I was in that low place in the first few months postpartum). You will smile and bond with your baby, you will learn to find a routine that works just right for you, you will love having those intimate moments with your spouse again. Trust me, it all settles in the end, just keep going and don't give up on life, because God only has greater things in store for you!