I used to be a blogger. I used to be able to focus on the simplest of tasks. I used to be able to multi-task like a champ. I used to be socially outgoing and happy. I had never been so sad…ever. I used to be a lot of things…then I had a baby at 39.
Confession: having a baby can change a woman and I had been struggling for a long time.
I am not ashamed to admit (relieved, actually) that for the better part of a year, I had been suffering from delayed postpartum. It is a very real thing; it doesn’t have to occur right after your baby is born. It can show up much later than in the newborn stage…and it is awful. Waves of unimaginable sadness washed over me and left me in tears. Anger popped up at any given time and over the most trivial of things. As someone who is very much a “type A” personality, the fact that I didn’t have a grasp on these emotions or couldn’t control them was troubling.
I didn’t tell many people about my struggles. To be honest, I just didn’t want to. I figured I could deal with it myself. I researched the hell out of this topic just to make sure I wasn’t crazy. I looked into therapy groups and one-on-one counseling. There were a few close friends that I confided in; they were supportive and encouraging. I didn’t even tell my family. And then there were a few that just didn’t know what to say or do…and that was ok. I didn’t expect people to know what I was going through…especially the ones who never had a baby or were a man (no offence to men but they have no idea and there is no way to explain it to them).
I hit the lowest point of my depression a few months ago; since then, I have made some changes that have made a positive impact on my life. The biggest change I made was in my surroundings at work; I was in an environment that was no longer a good fit for me. By relocating my office to a better space, it really helped me get back on track when it came to focusing and multitasking. It was like an instant 180 had occurred and I could feel the happiness returning to my life. I never really knew how much my 8-5 surroundings affected the other areas of my life. This change was the catalyst for getting my personal life back on track as well.
Update: with each passing day, I am getting back to who I know I am.
I am not the same person I was before I had a baby; I am a much better version of myself. There are some things that I still struggle with (like the non-existent “perfect Mom who has her shit all together”) but when I start to get down on myself, I remember that I have the love of a sweet little sunk-kissed blonde soul who, in so many ways, is just like me. And that is enough.
Thanks for reading…