What is your favorite time of year?
Mine is Christmas! I love Christmas. I love celebrating the birth of Christ, the music, the atmosphere, etc. I love finding the perfect gift for every single person on my list. I love spending time with family. I just love Christmas!
But.... Christmas comes with just a little bit of sadness for me.
2 years ago this Christmas is when I realized I had post partum depression.
It was not a good Christmas for me. Nothing was different about this particular year, but there was very little enjoyment. It felt like I wasn't present. Like I was watching everything from outside a window... I started having anxiety and panic attacks, something I had never experienced before. And something I would rather not experience again.
It made it difficult to have fun with my toddler and newborn. I had no energy, no motivation.
I quietly told my husband that I thought i had post partum depression and went to see my OB/GYN. She agreed and started me on medication.
I told very few people. I was ashamed. I felt like a failure as a wife and mother. I felt like I couldn't get out of my own way. It was low point in my life.
But you know what? With medication, I got better. With a regular exercise routine, I got better. With supportive friends and family (the few I told), I got better.
And eventually, after a year and a half, I got off my meds. I don't need them anymore. And I praise God for that because this is not true for everyone.
For everyone out there struggling with depression, I get it! I know the shame and feelings of worthlessness. I want you to know that you are not worthless! You are sick, and you need help to get better.
Unfortunately, we still live in a society where there is a lot of stigma around mental health and illnesses. Unfortunately, there are still those that see depression as weakness and not an actual chemical imbalance in the brain which can be treated. But I am hear to tell you, that life can be better.