I still remember the day I broke down sobbing on my best friends kitchen floor. You couldn’t tell by looking at me but I had been suffering from prenatal and postpartum depression for months and had neither told nor admitted it to myself or anyone.
I had just embarked through pregnancy and motherhood alone. I was emotionally numb and could not find the joy when I should have been my happiest. I struggled my entire pregnancy through the decision of abortion, to adoption to ultimately deciding to go through having my baby, without his father. I hid my pregnancy from majority of people and family for six months. My postpartum depression didn’t really hit me until a month after Blu was born. I did anything and everything to distract myself. A few months had passed, I began to slowly heal through fitness, which later become an obsession and resulted in becoming bulimic. Every morning I woke up and eventually I overcame that and finally found self strength and some inner peace.
It has been three years since the birth of my son. Although I am emotionally in a much better state, I still struggle with the symptoms through everyday challenges. Luckily for me my symptoms have not been so extreme as some women suffer so severely it engulfs their entire life which leads them to physically harming themselves or their child. Some days are harder than others and at times, I can feel alone and overwhelmed. But I know at the end of the day I need to take care of myself and be strong for Blu. Which would not be possible with out the continuous support of some incredible people.
Postpartum depression is a very lonely and isolating illness and sadly very little attention is paid to a mothers mental health. I sadly don’t recall ever being asked, not even once if was happy, if I needed a hand or how I felt being a newly (single) mom. As a result many women stay silent and struggle on their on because of the lingering stigma against mental illness. On top of that I still have to face societies judgement and biased opinions against single mothers.
It is 2018, yet we are still afraid to openly speak up. We live in constant fear of our actions and hide parts of our lives because we are afraid that we will be judged and labeled as a failure, weak or as bad mother. If we continue to stay silent, people will continue to suffer.
No one should have to fear seeking help or feel ashamed of their story.
If you or a loved one are affected by postpartum depression or any other mental illness looking to seek need help or info you can visit the CMHA website at www.cmha.ca.