Recently, a news story about a young mother going missing has had me thinking about her, someone I’ve never met, constantly. In an instant, the most painful and heart wrenching time of my life came rushing back into my mind. A time in my life that was supposed to be the most wonderful, joy-filled, blissed out time. After my first baby was born I was not ok. I pretended to be alright for almost nine long lonely months. Pretending was exhausting, and for a severely sleep deprived new mother it took all my energy to face every single day. When things were at their worst, I woke up day after day not knowing if I could do it all again. I know what it feels like to want to walk away and leave it all behind, it’s terrifying, and in desperate times it can seem like a really good option. At one point I thought they’d be better off without me, that me going away would truly be the best case for everyone.
I want you all to know that it is possible for things to get better. I know how unconvincing that can sound to someone in the thick of it, I can’t tell you how many times I heard people tell me that. It took a very, very long time to believe it could get better. And let me tell you, it really did, it got so much better. It wasn’t easy, it wasn’t a fast fix, but I know now that I grew more in those months after getting help then I had in my whole adult life. With the understanding and love of my family, an incredible support group, medication, and cognitive behavioral therapy, I emerged back into the world.
My heart is heavy knowing that there are women, fellow mothers, out there right now suffering in silence. How can we make it easier to get them the help they need? How can we lessen the ridiculously high standards we have for new mothers? How can we keep them and their families safe?
If you are suffering, I urge you to reach out, talk to a friend, talk to someone. We won’t think you are crazy, or that you’re a bad mom. Asking for help makes you HUMAN. We are not meant to do this alone. There are people that will help you through this, we will support you on your good days AND your bad days. There are kind people in this world, we are here for you. Please, reach out and know that it can definitely get better.
Sending out love and unwavering hope.
Pacific Postpartum Support Society