My Postpartum Depression (Part One)

Over five years ago, shortly after having my daughter, Olive, I was struck with postpartum depression. 

Duuuuuudes. Hard. Stuff. 

I wasn’t sure what was going on, because I wasn’t sitting around crying like I did the first few weeks after having my first child, which had been just a couple of years earlier.

No. This was different, and it was scary. 

There were no tears.

My Olive. 

My Olive. 

Instead, there were irrational, obsessive thoughts; stacked, one, on top of the other, on top of the other.

They didn’t make sense and I knew that.

They were not rational and I knew that. 

But they were persistent and heavy and scary.

And they felt very, very real.

For instance, when my baby cried I knew for sure, FOR SURE, she was dying. I would go weak in my knees.

I would have to sit down. Because I felt like I was going to faint from the (very real) thought of it….

Of course, if I tried to verbalize this, but I knew how ‘crazy’ it sounded.

It still felt so very, very real.

Amidst this madness, I would also get stuck in various ‘thought loops’ about things that had happened, and I couldn’t change, and I would obsess on them.

OBSESSSSSS.

Truly, this was a mental hell.

This wasn’t my first dance with feeling totally and utterly crazy, unfortunately.

About five years before that, I was dealing with migraines. So many migraines!

My doctor at the time prescribed me a particular seizure medicine which was thought to help with migraines. Within a few short weeks, I was experiencing regular panic attacks.

It took me a while to put together that the new medicine was CAUSING the panic attacks… So I got to experience A LOT of them…

Now, if you’re not accustomed to panic attacks, it may just sound like a bad case of anxiety. 

But if you’ve experienced one, you know they equate more accurately to heart attacks.

Seriously! Oodles of people go to the ER thinking they are having a heart attack, when it’s really their first dance with a panic attack.

While experiencing a panic attack, my body would ‘freeze up"

and my mind would go on overdrive, almost like in those cartoons where a machine goes out of whack, freaks out, sputters, and then let’s out a loud KABOOM. (And then it’s broken.)

That’s what it felt like, anyway.

There are more stories that have made mental wellness a VERY big priority of mine, and one that happened fairly recently…

(WhewWeeee…. that one was a doozy!), but this feels like enough vulnerability for now (gulp.)

What I REALLY want to say is… my BIG aha, was NOT just that I learned how to manage my mind, although that has been extremely useful.

Mindset is just one piece of the puzzle. A VERY important piece, but just A piece, nonetheless.

And that is why I am telling you this story.

Because I want to share my even bigger A-HA with you.

And if I can… alleviate some unnecessary suffering.

More to come…

-Sylvia