coming out of the closet.

by @according2kelly on June 15, 2010

so… let’s start by acknowledging the elephant in the room. i’m going to do it quick & to the point – just like you would rip off a band aid.

hi, my name is kelly & i have postpartum depression.

if i had to venture a guess, i’m betting my big announcement doesn’t surprise anyone at all. in fact, you all probably saw it coming. but after 1 year, 1 month & 13 days, i figured it’s time i came out of the closet.

i’ve never claimed to be super-mom. & i’m the first to admit that i’m far from perfect. but once upon a time, i at least felt like i had life figured out. these days, ppd has definitely thrown a wrench in the well-oiled-machine, i once called my life… sending me into an out-of-control, downward spiral.

over the past year i have dug myself a hole so deep, sometimes i wonder if i’ll ever be able to climb back out. having a baby is supposed to be a joyous occasion… & it was.  it’s just the aftermath, i’m not so sure about. when i think about it, it’s actually kind of funny – i’m surrounded by the chaos of three young children every single day & yet i’ve never felt so alone. for the past year i’ve watched life happen as an observer, instead of an active participant. slowly but surely, i’ve managed to shut everyone out, & burn every bridge along the way. activities i used to love, hobbies i used to look forward to, now just seem like a burden. not to mention, these days i find myself totally & completely unmotivated, out-of-touch, & overwhelmed… i dread getting out of bed in the morning, & am constantly feeling like life has given up on me, or maybe i’m the one who has given up on life.

i’ve been living life in a deep, dark tunnel, constantly trying to reach that itty bitty light i see peeping through. the drugs have helped a bit (prescribed of course), taking the edge off & making the light a wee bit more obtainable. running has helped more. but, hopefully opening up, putting it all out there, & wearing my heart on my sleeve will be that final dose of reality i need. i’m slowly learning – i can’t do this on my own. over the past year i’ve managed to build a fortress around myself, an incredible thing that rivals the great wall of china. i can’t expect it to come down overnight can i? but, with a little help from my friends, perhaps this fortress of mine will come tumbling down.

wow. i’m feeling better already. let the healing begin.

image via anne taintor

107 comments
tiffany
tiffany

Thank you so much for this post! It makes me feel less alone! I am going through this right now and its hard..hard for others to understand and hard for me to understand..I want to get through it and I suppose that is a step in the right direction..

Becky
Becky

I just read this post, and it just feels so good to me, that I'm not the only one feeling this way. I've felt so alone, when there are so many people around. I just can't understand it. I feel as if every obstacle I try to over come, that there's just not enough time to over come it. I was so happy to have my son and he is wonderful and healthy. (which is a blessing) Yet I feel like maybe all of me just wasn't ready for this. I hope someday I get all of me back because I was once a very bubbly, outgoing, happy-go-lucky lady. Now I feel like I'm lost inside myself; like I'm just visiting my life.

Teresa (Embracing the Spectrum)
Teresa (Embracing the Spectrum)

Happy SITS Day and thanks for writing this! I just had my 2nd child about 8 months ago and I'm struggling with ppd myself...

Jenny
Jenny

Hi there! Just saw that you were the FB at SITS and came by to say hello. Just now finding out that you dealt with PPD and wondering if blogging about it helped with healing? Hope you've had a good week. :)

Through the Lens of Kimberly Gauthier, Photography
Through the Lens of Kimberly Gauthier, Photography

Thanks for this post - it resonated with me, because my cousin is going through something and I wonder if it's PPD. As a non-parent, there are so many things mom's experience that I never will and I appreciate all of the sharing that you do.

Venus
Venus

Thanks so much for speaking openly about PPD! I think it helps both those people who are experiencing, and those who aren't so they can understand. This was written a while back, so I'm hoping that the healing that started the day you wrote this has continued. :-) All my best, happy SITS day!

Joanne
Joanne

I had it temporarily after my daughter was born. I didn't feel much like earing and lost weight too fast. I know that sounds good but it had an effect on my millk production and I ended up having to supplement my daughter. Then I felt like a failure because of that. It's a snowball effect. Glad you are getting treatment. I think exercise is really good for that as well so keep that up. Happy SITS day!

Dr_fomsky
Dr_fomsky

Oh my God, it's like you were speaking about me! This post really touched my heart because over the last few months. I found out I was pregnant with my third child: it was a big shock and I was really depressed for a while. I just wanted to be left alone. And I know what it means not to be supermom: I feel so inadequate a lot of times ans I make mistakes with my kids. From your later posts, I assume you're much better now (like I am too) and I'm glad for your healing! Hugs!

The Foodnatic
The Foodnatic

So I am not the only one that had PPD past my son being 6 months old... That's a relief. I'll bet I can't offer you any advice that you haven't heard already...and I surely couldn't be the one to give any. I have such incredible swings of emotion in one day still that I sometimes feel certifiable.... But every night before I lay my head on my pillow I pray... And my husband and I pray together (family prayer) and all my woes, anger, frustration, doubt, self-loathing, fear and thanks are given over to the Lord. I keep reminding myself that things aren't as bad as they could be for the simple reality that I still FEEL. All the emotions I go through are pretty tumultuous in a 24 hour peroid...but I still have a conscience...I still love...I still get angry...I still get excited. I'm REALLY gonna worry when THAT goes away. When I stop feeling and life is in "gray scale" I'll know there is no hope left. But I don't believe that will happen...not for you...not for me. We are surrounded by people who love us. Sometimes we don't believe it, sometimes we feel like we don't deserve it...but we have family and friends here with us to remind us we're worth it, we're alive and there's a brand new tomorrow. All that being said...I'm pretty dang pessimistic, so sometimes it takes me my whole 18 hours of awake time to remember all of this...so, give yourself a break when you forget. Always, always remember Christ was the only perfect person that ever existed...we're perfected through Him but not until we're DEAD. Lol...so cut yourself some slack cause you REALLY are doing the best you can. And that's all we're asked in this life. =) Hugs to you...

Angie
Angie

Wow...thanks for sharing this with us. Although I didn't experience postpartum depression I do remember how horrible I felt after my Rachel was born. I felt like a horrible mother who couldn't take care of my child (I wasn't able to breastfeed, which turned out to be quite a blow to the whole motherhood ego thing). I've fought depression for years and understand where you're coming from. Thanks again for sharing and have a happy SITS day. :)

Marie Cole
Marie Cole

Just talking about it, I am sure helped.

leah
leah

Wow - what a great story I have just read. Whilst not diagnosed with depression I have struggled particularly over the last year namely this last winter (I'm in Australia). I am under the guidance of a naturopath and like you I have started running again. These two things have helped hugely and for the first time in years I feel see the light at the end of the tunnel opening up and getting bigger. I have also begun being kind to myself which is much easier said that done! I have four children (all born within four and a half years! so yes I feel your pain) and quite honestly since I have become open and honest about struggling through some days I have discovered that many more are becoming open and honest. I am sick to death of 'sugar coated mums' - mothers who constantly feel the need to inform everyone how great their life is ALL the time - rubbish I say. Keep up your great work. I find it incredibly refreshing to find an honest mother out there. Who knows the impact you have made on women who are feeling exactly what you have been feeling but not felt 'safe' to come out and declare their depression. If you have helped one mum go and get help for herself then you have done a wonderful job. To quote one magnet on my fridge - "The first 40 years of parenthood is always the hardest!" I'll be sure to call back again and read your posts.

Jennifer K
Jennifer K

I am dealing with PPD as well. Something about the third child that just really knocks a Mommy on her ass... I've been taking Prozac since Scarlett was 6 weeks old. With my parents splitting up, the stress of working, being a mother of three, and my hormonal issues I just couldn't handle life anymore. I've basically been living day to day, and it certainly has not been easy. But hang in there sister- you and I can be in this together, for we already have the same Doctor!

Taslima
Taslima

I just came upon this post...WOW thanks for your honesty. The way you have described PPD is amazingly accurate. I wish I could just sit down and chat with you regarding what us women are going through. I too have struggled with this. Somedays are not bad and other days I think I am going to loose my mind. Thank you a million and to the other ladies who have commented.

jdzjane
jdzjane

I had depression after my second child was born. It was really bad. I hated my life, my husband, my daughter, and my (at the time) new baby boy. I didn't know what to do, who to talk to. I thought nobody would understand how I felt inside. It wasn't until I had fully surrendered to God and fully gave my depression to him, and let him be the one to take it from me, that he delivered me of it. I know you know what ppdt feels like, so I don't have to try to explain that to you. But to have God's Love and Joy surround you and inside of you is so much more that words can explain. God can take this away, he can heal the wounds, IF you let him. Revelation 3:20 says, "Behold, I stand at the door, and knock: if any man hear my voice, and open the door, I will come in to him, and will sup (eat)with him, and he with me. (Here's what it means - 3:20 I stand at the door, and knock - Even at this instant; while he is speaking this word. If any man open - Willingly receive me. I will sup with him - Refreshing him with my graces and gifts, and delighting myself in what I have given. And he with me - In life everlasting.) If you let Jesus into your heart, he can set you free from the chains of this world. You don't have to deal with ppd. I hope and pray that this helps you. And I will be praying for you.

Sarah
Sarah

I just came across your blog today because of the holiday crafting bonanza and I'm so glad that I stayed to read more of your posts. I'm 2 weeks away from giving birth to my 3rd child and am trying to gear myself up for the challenges. Just the other night I tried to explain to my husband about how my independence will be seriously cutback once this baby is born--no more perusing through stacks of fabric at the store, no more leisurely reading--I will be lucky to be able to stay awake long enough to read a runners world article, I will be housebound for at least 2 months unless we are going to relatives' houses for dinner, and the baby will not be unattached from me for more than 2 hrs for quite some time--all while having a 22 mos old and almost 4 yr old to raise. It is quite daunting and I'm not sure he gets the challenges we face. Right now I'm just trying to get in some "me" time, some one-on-one time in with my kids and a little bit of couple time all while trying to finish projects that should have been done months ago. Thanks for the reminder that I don't have to do it all and I shouldn't believe that I NEED to do it all. Good luck in your recovery progress.

Jessica
Jessica

Thank you for writing this. It took me 18 months after I had my first son to admit I was suffering from PPD. It's really nice to see I'm not the only one and I wish you the best of luck.

Stacia
Stacia

First of all... a few posts up in the comments from "Judge Dread" - I was shocked that someone would say that. DON'T click on it, it needs to be deleted. It is a very inappropriate site you do NOT want to go to. :( Second, I too suffered and am still suffering. I went over a year with it before getting help after practically tearing my family to shreds. It is an awful feeling and something that can hardly be explained. It will get better.

Candice
Candice

Just stumbled on your website (so creative!) and then this post and wow... can I relate. I didn't realize I had postpartum depression until I was back to work, more than one year later. So I'm healing too and feel like talking about it and reading about it is all so very therapeutic. Love your blog :) and hang in there!

Yvonne
Yvonne

PPD, you mean theres a name for this, the way ive been feeling! My gosh your post has me in tears, and all these comments! Could I have PPD even if my baby is already 18 months old! I see myself in your post and alot of these comments! Im so afraid of meds, how do I get help, where do I start! I want to begin living my life again, not jst watching it float by! Thank you, thank you, a million times thank you!

Sonora
Sonora

Oh I can so relate. I feel like the last two years have merely been about survival. I have recently just begun wondering if I should find something to take. It is hard being at home with a bunch of small children, but it is also something I am so thankful I can do. I hope you find a way to feel better, and I hope I do too! :)

Lindsey (aka modchik)
Lindsey (aka modchik)

Ahhh Kelly we most definitely HAVE to get together, I know you are probably a stone's throw from my house. We have lots in common and were stronger in numbers. I really look forward to the day we get to connect IRL until then keep fighting the GOOD battle and remember one thing for sure ... the sun WILL rise again tomorrow. ((HUGS))

EmmieJ
EmmieJ

You're awesome. Thanks for sharing this. I had PPD with my first but honestly didn't even realize that was the problem until much later. I'm so proud of you for being open about this. I hope things get better and in the meantime, just know I think the world of you and I know you're helping others with PPD by talking about it. <3

Breann
Breann

I suffered as well. Wow you're a trooper for holding out that long. I remember the cycle of crying, telling myself I should be happy and have nothing to cry about, which made me cry cuz I felt bad about crying. It IS terrible exhausting. I am proud of you for stepping out of the dark.

Mama Bub
Mama Bub

I'm so glad you're writing about this, for yourself and for everyone else whose postpartum experience isn't like what movies/books/television would have you believe. Having just had my second baby, and spending more time than not dissolving into tears, I can understand on a tiny, tiny scale what you're going through.

Caryn B
Caryn B

Kelly...I can't even imagine how difficult it was to share this...As a mom of two little ones, I understand how challenging and overwhelming it can be. While I've never personally experienced ppd, I have experienced the stress, loneliness and demands of having a husband with a very difficult job that keeps him away from us many weeks out of the month. If I can ever be there for you...to talk...please let me know....I know we don't live that far away...

Shanna - My Favorite Everything
Shanna - My Favorite Everything

Thank you for sharing such a hard post!! You are a beautiful and amazing person! I'm honored to have met you and have loved getting to know you! As much as you feel you are on the side lines, you are so absolutely inspiring to me with your 3 little ones and all that you keep rolling!! I hope you'll come over for shrimp tacos and play time soon! My door is always open!! Huge hugs to you!! xo Shanna

Paige
Paige

Thanks for sharing. I know there are so many people online who love you and don't even know you, like me. I hope blogging helps you with healing. Blessings to you.

leslie
leslie

glad you're back kelly, you're so brave for talking about your pain. i hope blogging can help get you out. your blog looks amazing!!

Christie
Christie

I am so sorry, Kelly. It is so hard having three tiny kids - they need and take so much that at the end of the day, there's not much left for yourself. Trust me when I tell you, it does get better. As soon as you get one or two in school, your life will drastically improve. You just have to hang in there until then. Get out with girlfriends. Go see movies by yourself. Shop. Do all of these things with no kids in tow. It will help recharge your batteries a bit to give you the strength to deal with it when you get back. You are doing a good job and should pat yourself on the back. P.S. Love the new blog - gorgeous!

Laura B.
Laura B.

The year after I had Grace was the darkest of my life. SO many of us can relate to that gnarly, awful place you're in right now. But it DOES get better! And you can do it! Glad you're back to blogging. You were missed!

Polly
Polly

sorry I have to comment again! wow! who was that last commenter?! Anyway I loved Heidi's comments, just have to say that- sometimes things do have to be put on hold, but life is long and that's the beauty of it, you don't have to do everything right now. Just roll along and learn from everything you are experiencing! Heidi has lots of wisdom! loved reading what she had to say.

Judge Dread
Judge Dread

You stupid whore shutup and get back in the kitchen. See what happens when we let women use computers.?

whoorl
whoorl

I think this post is a huge step towards your healing! And for what it's worth, I find you to be one of the most creative and FABULOUS women I've ever had the pleasure to meet! xoxo

Julie {Angry Julie Monday}
Julie {Angry Julie Monday}

Ohhh my friend, I'm so happy that you were finally able to open up and get this out. It has been quite the year. Now if we could get those muscles of yours to heal too. I think this is going to be a great summer especially after our conversation today!

Heed
Heed

Kelly, Supermoms are the worst. Who made them supermoms anyway? Why do we do that to ourselves. They're totally not real. And the truth is, you are superMOM to Charlie, Owen and Gavin... gimmee a break. They worship the ground you walk on just by default. God made it that way on purpose, you just have to love back and the relationship is made. It's revamping and all this ever changing stuff that happens to us moms. It is hard to be so up and down hormonally, physically, mentally. It is a bad boat ride that I often want to get off and just be that cute babe on the beach for a while. It really sucks to always be manipulating your life around motherhood. It doesn't always work... my biggest struggle in life is giving myself up to just be a mom. I don't think I have to give it all up ALL the time, but it really is a huge sacrifice that I have to make every day, (isn't that sad?) And I feel like I have to recreate myself with each new phase of childhood. My outlet is always changing. I could read a lot when the twinks were little, but not so much any more. I could set up the sewing machine a couple weeks ago, but there's no way I can do it during the summer. And what about traveling, photography, floral arranging, my marathon... I mean I have a list of things that I'm dying to do. I hate having to put myself on hold like that. Especially when the person next door doesn't have to. It's so hard. Dealing with that as well as having something in your body bringing you so down, does not help! I'm so sorry. You're not alone. You're a part of a big club. You'll make it through, for sure. You're still inspiring the runner in me, and one day it will really be a reality. Give us ten years and maybe we can run a race together. No kids, no nursing boobs, no pregnant bellies. Just the amazing flubby leftovers with half a brain on the loose. It sounds fun. Till then, hang in there.

Kelly
Kelly

oh Yvonne! I am so so so sorry! I wish I could reach out there & just give you a hug! We are all in this together. & YES! it could be ppd, even if your baby isn't quite a baby anymore!

Kelly
Kelly

Caryn I can’t even imagine having two little ones & hubby away from home… you inspire me. Thankyou!

Kelly
Kelly

thank you for the sweet, kind words! YOU are the beautiful & amazing person. i am lucky to know you.

Kelly
Kelly

thank you! thank you! you have no idea how much your kind words mean to me!

Kelly
Kelly

thanks for all the compliments leslie! i've missed you!

Kelly
Kelly

thanks for all the advice! & i love hearing that it will get better. life really is good... except for the damn depression, not wanting to do anything & total lack of motivation!

Kelly
Kelly

thank you for the encouragement. i know i'm not alone, but sometimes it sure does feel like it.

Kelly
Kelly

so true... sometimes we feel like we have to (& want to) do everything right this very second.

Kelly
Kelly

ahhh! thanks for the encouragement. i guess there's always a hater.

Kelly
Kelly

thank you for all the compliments, but seriously - you met me for all of 5 seconds... i'm a pretty good pretender for 5 seconds!

Kelly
Kelly

so excited for all our "plans"

Kelly
Kelly

heed - i LOVE you. thank you!

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