It’s been a full two months since my last blog post and there’s a good reason for that.
It’s called survival.
The transition from one kid to two wiped me out. Like in a getting-hit-by-a-mack-truck kind of way.
I don’t know how to describe it really. There was a period of sadness mixed with anger mixed with despair… Top all that off with guilt for feeling all of the former and things are not looking good. “I have a beautiful, healthy family, and everything in the world to be thankful for…. so why am I not happy?” I was Andrea on the outside… but I wasn’t really me. I felt empty, like a shell.
Many days, it was all I could do just to hold it together, and many days “together” is not a word that would even come close to describing me. New moms have a lot on their plates. Post-partum hormones, sleepless nights, cranky toddlers… The difference between “the old me” and the “me during the last five months” is I just had such a hard time getting through the day. The joy I was used to had all but disappeared.
“It” was never too far away. This horrible, aching, just-can’t do-it-anymore feeling. I once told Luc that it felt like this pair of withered, gnarled old black claws were reaching for me, trying to drag me down into a dark precipice, and I was flailing madly, digging my fingernails into the earth, using all my strength just to try to stay above ground. Some days I was able to climb out of that canyon by the skin of my teeth. Other days those dark, forboding claws were just too strong, and the result wasn’t pretty.
Sounds dramatic right? I know. The last few months have probably been the most difficult of my life.
Once Luc and I noticed that I was going downhill fast, we started doing research into Post-partum depression. I spent a lot of time on websites, reading through lists of symptoms and doing diagnostic self-tests.
Did I have clinical PPD? Maybe. What I realized was, it didn’t matter what I labelled it, I was not feeling how I wanted to be feeling, and that needed to change.
A trip to the doctor and lots of talking with Luc, and a plan was in place. I’ve been trying to get more sleep (ha! That’s a whole other issue) and trying to find ways to have time to myself. I really think the biggest factor in helping me overcome this hurdle has been support. Friends, parents and a husband who I’ve been honest with and who didn’t shy away from lending a hand.
I feel like I’m baring my soul, opening my closet of skeletons for all the world to see. The thing is, I *know* I’m not the only mama out there to feel this way, even though a lot of times it felt like it. Being open and honest with my feelings has helped pave the way back to my true self. Knowing other women face similar tribulations is a comfort. If you are struggling right now, know that you are not alone.
I’m so pleased to say, now at five months post-partum, I am feeling much more like the person and mama that I want to be! I still feel those claws occasionally, but it’s been fleeting and I seem much more able to push them away and climb to the top.
I am ready for long sun-shiny days outside with my boys, just enjoying life!