Some days are good, others are bad, and some times there is a mix of boy in a single day. This is all new territory for me. I was told it takes about 9 months to feel “back to normal” when you have postpartum anxiety/depression for the second time. I had it with Lia, but I never addressed it- I pushed it to the back and faked it til I made it. Then I did feel better, I had more sleep, I was exercising (which does wonders for my mental health). This time around it blindsided us all.
After having the twins my hormones just dipped, I could feel it happening and as I felt my hormones drop I felt myself loosing control over my emotions and life. See for me- that is my biggest fault. I like having a sense of control & order, when the unexpected happens it feels like the floor is taken from under me and I have no idea what to do. As to be expected- life with kids…and my new life with twins is full of the unexpected.
Living with postpartum anxiety and depression is unexpected as well. Some days I can handle the crying, screaming, my toddler’s attitude, and my 9 year old’s selective hearing well…others-I find myself breaking down hidden from my kids. You see the hardest part for me is not being able to just break down when I feel it. And maybe that is a good thing, maybe that is what keeps those bad days turning good. I make myself smile for them, but it is a struggle. A daily struggle.
I am so afraid of how this will affect them if my emotions are all over the place. I am so afraid of my mental health being detrimental to their well being. I am learning to do the little things that alleviate these feelings of hopelessness. I love my family, I love my kids, I love my husband- but I am now learning to love myself too. I am learning to be gentle with myself.
Some days start off beautiful only to suddenly overwhelmed with frustration and the feeling of being overwhelmed. It hits me so unexpectedly I can feel the wind being knocked out of me. I feel like I am standing in a room screaming and no one can hear me. I feel lonely, but I know I am not. My biggest problem? Not sharing. Not talking about it. Pretending I am okay. Pretending I can “do it all”. The truth is I can’t, and that is okay. I am learning to say no. Learning to put my mental health first. I am learning to not be so consumed with the opinions of others.
This is living with postpartum anxiety and depression; a mixture of feelings, a mixture of moods, a mixture of good days and bad days, a mixture of good and bad in one day, it is learning. It is learning day by day how to navigate life. It is learning day by day what part of you needs healing. It is learning how to heal. It is learning to ask for help. It is learning to say no. It is learning that there is no such thing as doing it all. It is learning to love yourself.