**I am not a mental health professional; please don’t use this as a basis to diagnose or advise anyone. Although, these are true for me, PPD manifests differently on everyone. **
The past two years felt like a bumpy ride aboard the postpartum depression roller-coaster.
And I have to tell you, the highs were just as scary as the lows.
But I’ve learned a lot about myself. My strength was tested, and I came through.
Most especially, I learned how to cope, how to embrace being vulnerable, and how to ask for help.
Here are 6 perspective shifts I’ve had to do. I hope you find them helpful too:
1. You Have to Slow Down
While waiting for my due date, I prepared for delivery expecting to give birth vaginally without epidural.
Yeah, the fates heard me and laughed too. Because complications arose and we’ve had to take the c-section delivery route.
It was awful. I remember waking up in the middle of the operation crying because my hands were tied.
I guess I was given more sedatives because I didn’t wake up until two hours later.
And my baby was already on his way to the NICU.
I was traumatized, overwhelmed, and exhausted. I knew I should have given myself a little more time to recover.
Looking back now, I think one of the reasons I developed PPD was because I pushed myself to do too much.
I planned to go back to school during my maternity leave. We get a year where I live and I enrolled as soon as the stitches were off.
My husband works out of town and we don’t have family around to help. So I was taking care of the baby by myself.
And I was also staying up til 2am to clean the bathrooms. Why I thought that was absolutely necessary, I couldn’t tell you.
Maybe it was all early signs of PPD, I don’t know. Eventually, PPD took over. Every little thing overwhelmed me. And I’ve had to slow down – way down.
My husband had to remind me all the time, “If you only do two things today, it’s all good.”
And I’ve had to remind myself of this: “You’re not wasting time. You’re recovering.”
2. You Have to Get Comfortable Asking for Help
I know. I know. I’m a DIYer myself.
If I can give myself therapy, I would have done that too.
No wonder my husband always chides me of my inability to ask for help.
But people around you genuinely would like to help. Let them in and let them know what you need.