I’m A Black Woman Suffering From Postpartum Depression
If you followed me before over at Dancing With Motherhood, you saw me document my emotional roller coaster as a brand new mom. Little did I understand that I was dealing with more than just the baby blues – in other words, postpartum depression.
It started out with tears here & there. Then it evolved into irrational, emotional breakdowns. Next thing you know, I rarely left my room. My appetite changed & I began losing weight. As a nursing mother, one’s appetite should have been plentiful. The only reason I ate was because I forced myself to for the sake of nourishing my baby.
I began to feel extremely overwhelmed & ashamedly burdened by motherhood. It was consuming me. And it continued to envelope me in a dark place for 9 months. And that was 9 months way too long to go without seeking help & support. See, I got sucked into the stigma. You know…black women are supposed to be strong. Mental health is a sign of weakness. The pervasive bs that has encompassed our minds generationally for years. But I’m here to tell you that the cycle needs to end now. That destructive thinking needs to end NOW.
Make no mistake in assuming that during this time I was not caring for my child. In fact, that was ALL that I was doing. And as mothers, that’s what we’re supposed to do, right?
The thing is, I lost myself. In taking care of this new baby, I neglected myself. My body was present, but my mind was gone.
As new mothers, a lot of us do not truly understand how critical self-care is during a time of transition, especially as huge of a transition as motherhood.
Fast forward to now…
I’m still dealing with postpartum depression. The difference now is that I’m no longer ashamed. In fact, as I began writing this, I struggled with whether or not I would hit publish at the end.
I didn’t want to be judged or misunderstood. And the Internet of all places can be the most judgmental of them all.
But sharing my story was more important to me than the fear of what others would think. I’m here in support of myself. I’m here in support of other women like myself who are going through or who have gone through this.
At the end of the day, you’ve GOT to take the necessary steps to be well again. Self-care trickles down. When you’re well, your family will be also.
To the women who are silently suffering – I stand with you. I am you. There are others like us so know that you’re not alone. Seek help as soon as possible.
To the women who have suffered & gotten through it, battle scars & all – I salute you. And I look forward to meeting you on the other side.
Save for Later <3