Another post for Maternal Mental Health Week! Today is #SayitSaturday! I thought it was fitting to also use the Daily Prompt, “Better”, and tie it all in.
Anytime you find yourself in a tough spot, you always wonder, “When will it get better? When will this all be over?” This is so true when you’re in the thick of Postpartum Depression and Anxiety.
The short answer? It does get better. You will get better! The tough part? It takes time and effort. The funny part? You don’t immediately realize that you’re better. It just gradually happens.
I can recall the time period when things improved for me. It was around mid-January. My son was getting finally out of that newborn phase, and he was starting to show his personality. He wasn’t just a “baby”…he was “our” baby. His smiles, the coos, the small interactions – all those things were revealing themselves, and I found myself enjoying all of it.
I was a few weeks into my new medication as well , and thankfully, without any side effects. It felt as if a fog had been lifted and I was able to see things with more clarity. The intrusive thoughts and worries were slowly subsiding, and I was able to recognize when I was falling into a PPD / PPA moment.
I was still going to my postpartum support group on a weekly basis. The funny thing is, now, instead of struggling to tell my story, I found I was being more uplifting and positive. I still had issues and tough experiences, but I was able to look back at them and know that they were in the past. I was able to share them easily and share how I survived. I discovered that I was happiest in helping other moms feel better – and I wanted very much to help them get there.
I also was a couple weeks in with my new psychologist. We had an immediate connection, and I was gaining new perspectives and coping strategies to help me get through my difficult moments. I discovered that there was a lot I could get out of from the sessions – and I started to look forward to them.
These things combined really impacted my ability to get better. It wasn’t one thing and it wasn’t all at once. It was gradual, and it’s ongoing. It definitely is still a work in progress. Nothing like this is instantaneous, and I expect to continue my recovery journey for some time. The comforting thing is that the worst of it is definitely over and behind me. I know that I will still have those challenging moments, but through coping strategies, a good support system and my own initiative, I will get through them…and I will be stronger for it.