The primary reason I started blogging was because I wanted to help others. I wanted to let others know about Postpartum Depression and Anxiety. I needed them to know that they weren’t alone, and recovery was possible. This blog gave me a new purpose. It provided a way to give back that was meaningful and fulfilling.
Another opportunity has come up to help others. A local postpartum group is looking for volunteers for their support line. They wanted people from various backgrounds (Mothers, Health Care and Mental Care Professionals, SAHM, etc). I thought that I could help women who were like me. I wanted to give them the reassurance that they weren’t alone and resources were out there. Sometimes, it’s best to hear from someone who’s gone through it.
However, even with all the desire to help others, I became hesitant. What I remember most about my PPD and PPA experience was that nearly anything was a trigger point. I was fearful of so many things. I had no confidence in myself, and I found myself focusing on negative aspects of new parenthood. I felt a mix of sadness, anxiety and fear all the time. Some of my trigger points included:
- Pumping ( timing was a concern
- Hearing or thinking that I heard him cry
- Any instance where I could not fall asleep instantly. I constantly worried about my son so I wasn’t able to fall asleep most days.
- Thoughts about being alone with my child
- Thoughts about him getting sick or injured (which is as frequently)
- Having to leave my home alone
- Hearing or seeing other people in pain (reminded me of my own)
Of course, as time passed, I did my best to deal with these things. Soon enough, I found that their effect lessened as the weeks went by. Today, I don’t really have them. At least that’s what I think…
It’s one thing to read a blog, a group post or a text from someone experiencing the issues. You have time to process. You have a moment to evaluate what’s happening and you can take time to respond. You can move away from it if you need to.
A support line is entirely different. You are facing someone’s issues head on. It could be similar to what I felt. It may be heartbreaking and difficult to hear. I wonder, could those retrigger old fears and feelings? If I am in recovery, doesn’t it mean that I’m better equipped to deal with things like that? Am I immune from falling into my old spiral? If that happens, how useful would I really be?
Sadly, this is what is keeping me from moving forward. I want so much to help others, but I cannot do it at the expense of my own well-being.
No one else can make this decision for me. I definitely have a lot of thinking to do in the next few weeks. I guess I have to weigh it out …what do I want to feel? Regret from not taking up on opportunity to help? Fear from a trigger point – which can be helped or addressed later.
I have an interesting choice to make soon.