I had a great doctor that looked out for me while I was pregnant. She could sense things about me and my pregnancy without me ever saying anything. It was uncomfortable for someone I barely knew to be so empathetic to what I was going through. I passed it off as her just doing her job and being good at it.
She always asked me how I felt about my pregnancy and I gave her very vague responses because…I did not know her. Every visit though, she would tell me that if I needed to talk about ANYTHING, she was there and to just call her. I had a pretty complicated pregnancy too; my daughter was 100% fine the entire time though.
However, my body was not adjusting because of other things that were going. Anytime I would call her about the complications though, she would call me back within 5-10 minutes…no matter how small the complication was. Several times she called me just to check on me. During those times, she would always ask if I was okay and if I needed to talk. Of course because I did not really know her, I always said, “I’m good but thanks for asking”.
After I had the baby, I had to take this test to see if I was headed down the road of postpartum depression. I tucked the test away because I figured if I did not focus on that, it would not happen. She repeatedly asked if I took the test and I finally did. I lied on the test because…I was embarrassed. As I sit here typing, I wish I had not.
She asked me several times after the test if I had been honest and I lied every single time.
I figured, back then, that maybe this depression thing was all in mind, no pun intended. Any time I mentioned it to someone I always got the same responses:
- you’re better than that
- you’re not really depressed
- you’re strong enough to get over that
- oh please!
The only people who actually took my concerns seriously were two people who were thousands of miles away from me…my mother and my sister. I have never missed them so much. This is not something I can deal with over the phone or through an email. I need my mother and my sister….
I think that some people see who I was before my daughter and think that I should automatically have stayed that way. Having a child is a HUGE life changing experience and if a simulation existed that could allow people to even relate a little bit, I would suggest EVERYONE test it out. I thought I was strong enough to withstand anything…but I am not.
I wish the people I was closest to understood this…it is not an act. It is not a cry for attention. It is my life and I do not want to keep feeling like this every day but…I do. I worry about my daughter all the time because I just want to be a good mother to her but I feel other things too. It is a neverending cycle that I sometimes sit and attempt to solve…but I do not think straight all the time. A large portion of my daily thoughts are how and what I can do to MAKE myself end this.
Asking for help from people who do not understand this is sometimes like speaking Spanish to someone who only hears English. Some people genuinely feel there is nothing they can do to help someone in this state.
I look at my daughter and see how independent she is and it pains me. She does not even like anyone to hold her hand…much like me. I just want her to know that it is okay to ask for help and KEEP asking until you get what you need. I did not KEEP asking for help and it put me in this predicament. Now, when I ask for help, it is not received well and I am misunderstood. Maybe I am not conveying my thoughts as well as I once did but I am actively trying.
ALL of this is new to me…this level of depression…having to depend on someone else…giving up my freedom…raising this tiny, wonderful person who just wants to learn everything from me…and I feel like I have very little to teach her sometimes. It is taking some time for me to adjust and there are days I sit and just pray for help…
I guess the good that can come out of this is…whoever cannot deal with me at my worst will fade out of my life. My only hope is that the people who claim to love me the most, stick with me while I make my way through this.