reflection

It was a year and a half ago, but I remember looking in the mirror. Tears streamed down my face. My hair was a mess. My clothes were a mess – I think my nursing tank was on backwards. My eyes spoke volumes. I was tired. I was stressed. I was anxious. I was scared. I was disappointed and distraught.

#realmotherhood: PPD/PPA Reflection: thismommyisreal.com

“This isn’t how it’s supposed to be”, I thought. “What is wrong with me?”

Day after day, the sadness and the fear grew. The face in the mirror grew more weary. The mom behind it fell deeper.

I can’t seem to get out of this.

After I began to get help, the reflection slowly changed. Yet, I could not shake the feeling of disappointment.

Who is this person? Where did I go?

For many women, this is #realmotherhood. It was my reality for quite some time. I struggled daily with the impact from Postpartum Depression and Anxiety. I couldn’t function. I could not sleep. I worried about my son constantly, yet I never felt like I truly bonded with him.

I sought treatment and help. It took time and effort, but I recovered. I had a great support system, but it wasn’t easy.

Today is the last day of Maternal Mental Health Awareness Week. My story is common. I wasn’t alone, and neither are the women who suffer now. This screenshot from The Blue Dot Project illustrates just how common the issue is:

Credit: thebluedotproject.org

My journey was difficult, but it has shaped who I am today. I am proud to be a mother. I am happy to share what I’ve been through. I am fulfilled through helping others and hearing about their experiences.

Today, the reflection in my mirror is different. It’s now of a mom who understands. I accept that my story wasn’t a storybook classic. I understand that my experience does not reflect who I am as a mother or a person. I wasn’t well then, but I am now. There’s #noshame in my experience.

There are days where I look run down and tired. However, there are more days when I’m happy. There are amazing days when I’m joined by my smiling son. It’s all reflective of who I am and how far I’ve come. That is all #realmotherhood.

7 thoughts on “reflection

  1. There are so few that have that storybook time. And many that put on the facade like they do really aren’t. It’s good to accept that everyone has a different journey and you’re stronger everyday you make it through your own.

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  2. Thanks for sharing. To battle depression is to start talking about, bring light to it so to help others. We need to be brave and start to talk, this post starts the conversation. Well done!

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  3. Thank you so much for sharing your difficult journey with us… It was very brave and I’m sure because of your openness you will help so many other mamas…

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  4. Thank you so much for sharing! I struggled with postpartum depression and anxiety and I firmly believe we need to education new mothers more. I had no idea what the warning signs were and struggled alone for too long not knowing that there was help available.

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