Today is my baby brother’s birthday–March 8. It is always a fun day to celebrate him, but eight years ago, his birthday took on additional significance. It was the day that I bottomed out. I hit an all time low. It was one of the darkest days of my life. I was diagnosed with postpartum depression. Despite the great pain of that day and the unpleasant, painful memories associated with it, March 8 is now one of the best days of my life. It is a day when I celebrate God’s grace in my life. Thankfully, God placed people in our lives, who helped me, my husband and our young family. I survived.
In the 8 years that have transpired since my diagnosis of postpartum depression, I have had the privilege of walking with numerous women on this rocky, often painful, heart wrenching journey. I am grateful to God that through my journey with them He has further redeemed, made beautiful something that I only could foresee as painful, embarrassing, and shameful. He does work all things for good, even postpartum depression, for His children, and I am so grateful to be His daughter.
Over the last 8 years, during my conversations with other women experiencing postpartum depression or anxiety, I’ve found myself repeating these statements…
Don’t Be a Lone Ranger: Help is There
When I was in the throes of postpartum depression, I tried with all my might to make myself better. I really tried. I resisted help until I hit rock bottom. However, when I first met with my counselor and talked to my doctor, I realized that my current reality was not permanent. Hope existed. I needed the help, and I am grateful that I finally gave in and received it.
Share Your Story: You Are Not Alone
Postpartum depression is in my past, but it is still a part of who I am. I continue to share my story, and I continue to meet women who are in the throes of it, as well as survivors. Postpartum depression can be isolating and make you feel like you’re a three-headed monster. However, as I have shared with other women, even 8 years ago when I was diagnosed, I was surprised at how many women whom I previously knew came out of the woodwork. They were fellow strugglers and overcomers. Their stories gave me hope. I follow in their footsteps and pay it forward. I want to glorify God for and thank Him for saving my life. I share my story with you in hopes that you will share your story; it will encourage others.
If you know of someone experiencing postpartum depression, anxiety or any mental illness, please love them well and encourage them to pursue help. Pursue help with them. On their 8 year anniversary, you will be grateful that you did.
Read my full story of postpartum depression here.