The “Dark days” for me last about 5 months after the birth of my daughter.
The craziest thing about those times, is that I don’t think anybody other than my husband actually knew what was going on…and I still don’t think they do.
I think that’s where it all goes wrong…people talk about postpartum depression and anxiety…but they don’t REALLY talk about it.
We either ignore it…or sugar coat it, only hearing about the extreme cases, like the mother who leaves her family or takes the lives of her children…but there’s SO much more in between that people don’t talk about.
Nobody told me that I’d have this intense physiological reaction to giving birth, and that the way I was hardwired to think or feel would never be the same again.
I gave birth, started going to the gym and playing soccer after two weeks, then started my first company a few months later, then another one a few months after that, all while putting on a happy face and socializing with friends and family…but just because you see somebody who is functioning at a high level, doesn’t mean things are super sweet behind closed doors.
I struggled, I really struggled .
I morned the loss of my old life.
I morned the loss of my old body.
At times, I really didn’t like being a mom and felt like I’d made a mistake.
I loved working, and I felt incredibly guilt about that.
I spent more hours that I can count, curled into a ball on the floor, crying for no reason.
No matter how hard I worked, I always felt the crushing feeling that I was failing and wasn’t good enough .
I felt bad about myself all of the time.
I took everything out on my husband, for no reason at all.
My anger bubbled to the surface during every conversation, and I had no control over it.
I’d start sweating every time the baby cried.
I worried about hurting my child, and had to call my husband because I didn’t trust myself.
I suddenly acutely understood how a mother could shake her baby, and that terrified me.
To top it off, I felt a crushing guilt and embarrassment for feeling all of these things.
I didn’t feel comfortable sharing these feelings.
I thought I was failing, I was bad, and that I was the only one.
No two women react postpartum in the same way…and it’s a broad spectrum of emotions that are physiological… And I obviously didn’t CHOOSE to feel that way.
But what do I know?
I know that my feelings were normal.
I know that my feelings were OK.
I know that my thoughts and feelings were physiological, and that I had no control over them.
I know that I made it out the other side and have a beautiful daughter who I’d kill for.
I know that I want my experience to make a difference, and hopefully help another mother who’s going throw a similar situation.
What you’re feeling is normal….it’s physiological, and it’s OK. There’s nothing to be ashamed of, and it will get better.