I wrote those words, that fight song, over the course of nine month. It grew, and formed, and transformed in the home of the notepad app on my iPhone. That is the culmination of random bouts of emotions flowing through me at any given moment. I would find myself typing away at a stop light, on my lunch “break” or in the dead of the night. I just had to be able to put my struggle into words so that I could look back one day and realize that I defeated it, my monster, my pain.
It’s been almost exactly a year since I was diagnosed with postpartum depression (PPD). I wish I could tell you that I’m passed it all and made it to a good place. But I can’t. I’m still in the thick of it, every day wondering what action or comment will set me off in a tailspin of emotion completely ripping me apart at the seams and leaving nothing in its wake. That’s what PPD really is, an unexpected tornado, unapologetically rapping your emotions and leaving you for dead with each and every episode.
I can tell you that I’m in a steadier place now, thankfully, where the flood of emotion doesn’t quite knock me off my feet as abruptly as it once did. Now I can see when it’s coming, and with that insight I can prepare myself for what’s about to hit. I credit that sense of awareness to the coping mechanisms my therapist/counselor has imparted on me, and for that act alone I cannot boast enough about therapy. But if you want to know about that, you can read my thoughts here.
It’s hard to hide such a traumatic experience. I think that when I shared the original post, I was hoping that speaking out might just be the cure-all I needed – not just a bandage fixing that particular week’s wound but the antidote to what I’d been feeling for so long. Three months later and I’ve realized that it wasn’t an antidote at all, and that’s okay. Instead it was me blaring my fight song – shedding away dead skin – ripping away a mask. Doing so with hope, hope that I hadn’t felt in a long time. And that sentiment alone has done wonders to my soul.
Depression is a secret battle if you let it be – it is an invisible battle. It’s an illness that no one sees if you don’t let them, if you hide it well. But it doesn’t have to be hidden in the deep, dark depths of your soul. I won’t let it defeat me in silence, I can’t. So today I speak. And on that random November day I spoke. And I will continue to speak. I will speak for those that are scared to and that are ashamed. I won’t let my monster shame me into thinking I’m alone in this because I’ve learned that I don’t have to be alone.