Nobody would have known from the outside that something was wrong. If you asked me how I was doing I would have said “good” or “fine”. And wasn’t I really? I had a wonderful husband with a steady job, a cozy house, and two beautiful children that I got to stay home with every day. I should have been much more than fine. Yet, inside, I didn’t feel fine at all.
For a time I denied that there was anything wrong. I’m just having a bad few days. I’ll get over it. Yet, despite my best efforts to brush aside what was going on, I slowly slipped deeper and deeper into the fog.
In public, I put my best face on, terrified that someone would see me for the broken, messed up woman that I was. At home, those I loved most bore the brunt of my emotions, the offspring of feelings I couldn’t even describe. I felt terrible guilt for my moodiness and anger. I shouldn’t be feeling this way. Strong, Christian women don’t feel this way. If I would just do ____ I’d feel better.
A strange feeling of hopelessness was sinking into my gut, silently squeezing the life out of me. I tried without success to climb out of the pit into which I’d fallen. I self-medicated my feelings in my own way. I drank way too many cups of coffee and tea, wandered aimlessly in Target, and ate more dessert than I needed, desperately clutching for a cure-all. I poured over my Bible, telling myself my problems were so few that I shouldn’t bother God with them…that I should just snap out of it. The problem was, no problem can really get better until you admit you have one.
Then came the day that my ever-intuitive mother asked me if I was maybe struggling with some post-partum depression. At first I denied it vehemently. As I thought about it more, though, I began to allow myself to consider the possibility. What if that really is the problem? Would it be so terrible to admit it? Wouldn’t it explain all that I was feeling and experiencing?
I called my mom back and told her that I thought she might be right and then I told my husband what I thought was happening. Surprisingly, an incredible peace flooded over me. You see, I couldn’t even begin to climb out of the pit until I first lay everything at Jesus’ feet. In order to truly lay it all at Jesus’ feet, I had to admit that I couldn’t fix the problem on my own…and I had to admit to myself that there was a problem in the first place in order to admit that I couldn’t fix it.
So here’s me being open about something that even my closest friends might not know about. The truth is, I struggled with Post-Partum Depression. The good part is, I'm not anymore. I’ve took steps to help straighten out my hormones and emotions, but mostly I learned to laying every feeling and thought at the feet of Him Who was and is able to fix everything...to fix me. The fog lifted and joy returned as I came out of the pit. Yet, I still have days where the devil gets the better of me. And you know what? That’s okay. It’s not my fault.
If you’ve ever struggled with similar feelings, you know the guilt and burden they can be. Just know that you are not alone and that you’ve done nothing wrong to make yourself feel this way. There is One who can help…but first you have to admit that you need fixing.