I knew something was wrong when I woke up one morning with tears flooding my eyes. I looked at Josh as Ava was in the middle of us jumping on the bed, I grabbed his hand and softly said ” I can’t do this today.”
Josh, confused by what I said, saw how distraught I looked, he and I both thought I would feel different later on or even the next day. But I felt worse the next day, I woke up, made Ava breakfast put her in front of the television, kicked Josh out of the bedroom and went under the covers, not to go back to sleep, but to cry. I just didn’t want to be a mother in that moment, I just didn’t feel like interacting with her in anyway.
I was so focused on keeping everything together I wasn’t taking care of myself. And you know what? I didn’t care that I hadn’t showered in days, and that’s when I knew something was up.
I was diagnosed with postpartum depression after I gave birth to Ava, I thought the way I felt was only supposed to last for a few months, but was it possible for my Postpartum to lead into some other depression? I didn’t have suicidal thoughts, but I just had no desire to be apart of everyday life. It was more than motherhood that was keeping me in a emotional place, Josh and I were, and still are going through so many unsettling areas in our partnership, both trying to figure out what will make all three of us happy. For years my depression was noticeable, but it was ignored. It’s a topic that isn’t discussed much in the black community. It wasn’t a real thing to some, it was a bump in the road as I was told growing up. But it wasn’t, the more and more I and my family ignored it, the more severe it became, and it has made it’s way through my journey of motherhood. So Josh and I found it very necessary, not only as a woman, but a black woman to get the attention and help that I needed once and for all.
Mothers have the most important jobs in the world and so many want to do their best. For months I kept calling my own mother over so she could be present and to just take her outside, because I didn’t even want the sunlight to touch me. I was lacking normal interaction with Ava, not singing our usual songs, not playing pretend or reading.
I felt like screaming every night around the same after dinner, anxious for bedtime. I was ready to scream, and I did. One night I left Ava and Josh watching television and I broke down, I laid on the bathroom floor held myself and cried. I realized I couldn’t go on the way I was without outside help. I didn’t want my depression to affect her. I became lethargic, miserable and nothing could amuse me. I felt so low. It scared me. I didn’t wanna to push it away and sit around in hopes of it not returning, I couldn’t push it away. I had to face it. I’m someone’s mother, I didn’t want to end up in a vicious violent space as I did when I was a teenager and my early 20’s, pre Ava.
Mothers who experience depression and other forms of mental illness, listen we can’t help what’s going on with us, We love every ounce of our children but are afraid to be honest about our emotions, afraid of what others might think of us. So many women suffer in silence and I was one of them. I thought I could just get over it, and that it would go away. I was so wrong. I’m grateful for the push from Josh to have me connect with a doctor, sign me up for classes that teach natural ways to eliminate all the toxic feels that I had.
My child deserves a mother that is attentive and a mother who takes care of herSELF!
I see you and I support you, you are not alone. It’s ok to ask for help when you know something doesn’t feel right, when you see a specific behavior has become a part of your everyday life, affecting your family. Be the brave woman you are, and seek help. Find out the best route to tackle your depression. It will be the greatest gift you give yourself and your child.
Peace & love