This is the first day of the rest of my life, I told myself as I stepped cautiously down the stairs I couldn’t see through my tears. This is the beginning.
Her office had been so calm and comfortable. It even smelled safe. I sat on the couch and said things to her I had never uttered before in my life, but it felt right. It was time for someone to know.
She nodded her head when I described the emotions. Raw, frightening emotions. She handed me tissues. The flood gates of words and tears opened.
…until I just can’t stand to hear the crying anymore. I turn the volume up on the car radio so loud that it hurts even my ears. Anything to make the sound go away.
…my blood pressure and heart rate literally skyrocket. It’s like a trigger, a switch that gets flipped at the very sound of it.
…so I slammed the door to his room, turned the fan on in the house, put in my ear plugs and turned the TV volume up to 37. I had to make it go away.
…so much so that I don’t even feel like myself. It’s not even me hiding under those pillows. I am blinded and can’t see the world around me.
…no one told me about this part. The weepy and the too sad to get out of bed stuff, sure, but this? This fear? I must be the only one experiencing this.
…Can you make this stop? I can’t make it stop. I have tried. For nine difficult and dark months I have tried to do it on my own, to bring myself back, but I can’t. And it’s time.
‘Yes,’ She said calmly. ‘We can make it stop. We will fix this. You are not alone and we will make you feel like yourself again. We will. It won’t be instant and it will be hard, but we will get you back with God’s help.’
And so we are. We being my husband, my therapist, my doctor and above all, my God. We are fixing it, and it’s about time.
“Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.” Matthew 11:29-30
I apologize to those of you for whom this feels odd to hear about for the first time from my blog. It’s just that I didn’t really know how to call you and tell you, as if it were an announcement to make. Thank you for understanding.
I will surely tell you more about my struggle, but for now I just needed to tell you, period.
You have lots of people behind you, rooting for you. I appreciate your openness, as I’m sure this wasn’t an easy topic to blog about. We are all praying for you and wish you the best!
Thank you so much for sharing. This is so brave of you to talk about. I absolutely believe you’ll get through this.
Praying for you, Dan, and your little one, Allison. As many people have said you’re not alone and you have the Great Comforter who is always with you.
Sending good thoughts to the O Family and that you have a safe, speedy recovery from this down time in your great life you’re experiencing.
Big, huge hugs, Allison. PPD is scary and isolating. So glad you’ve found a great team to help support you as God leads you through this struggle.
I’ve found during the past few weeks as I’ve struggled with big, huge emotions that are so overpowering and terrifying that God has really held me. I pray He holds you, too. Big, tight, encompassing embraces.
You are incredibly brave and If you ever need to chat please mail me. Xx
Thank you for sharing this. I would imagine that this is scary it probably seems like you’re all alone in this. I’m so glad you’ve found somewhere you feel safe to talk about all of this.
Allison, I’ve been reading your blog for a long time now, but haven’t commented before. I have always appreciated your honesty and vulnerability in your writing. My husband and I welcomed our second baby just over two months ago and I am also struggling with PPD. Through it all, I have realized (like I’m sure you have) that seeking help is such a hard, but needed thing to do. I have also found the support and prayers of family and friends so helpful right now. I know what it’s like to try and make it through the next hour of the day (sometimes even the next minute). God will continue to give you the strength you need… I have found reading through the Psalms especially helpful (particularly Psalm 40). I’ll be praying for you. You are not alone!
Allison, I really respect and admire you for being so honest. I imagine there are a lot of other women who have struggled, or are currently struggling with the same thing. It’s good for everyone to have a support network and know they are not alone! I will be praying for you. =)
I truly admire your honesty and determination. You are in my prayers!
Some people say admitting it is the hardest thing, but for me, it was IDENTIFYING it. I went through PPD after my first AND my second. But it wasn’t until I came OUT of it with my first that I realized I was even IN it.
Good for you for identifying it and seeking help. You aren’t alone, there are others out there feeling the same way and experiencing the same thing. You ARE a wonderful, beautiful, amazing Mother – the Mother God chose for Obaby. He knew. He knew.
Much love and hugs…
I’ve known many of those feelings, as I’m sure most moms have. You’re definitely Not alone. Motherhood is such a huge change. I’ve never had “PPD”, but from what I’ve read of those who have been officially diagnosed, I know I’ve felt much the same way, many, many times, especially with our first baby. He was so hard. He would cry every time we got in the car, and I mean, Every Time. We always had a hard time getting him to sleep at bed time and nap times. I tried so many things to get him to sleep. He wouldn’t even “cry it out”, it just made him worse! I know I left him in his crib a few times and went to my room and shut the door because of the crying!
The thing is though, is that things WILL get better.
Once our first baby started walking around, he didn’t really want me to hold him that much. At around 9 or 10 months he started getting better about not crying so much in the car. Once we started facing him forward at about a year old, he really improved and one day, at about that time, we all of a sudden realized “hey, he’s not crying very much anymore in the car”.
He absolutely hated his crib with a passion, so once he started walking, at 10 months, I put a mattress on the floor for him and had him sleep on that at about 11 months, instead of his crib. It made a HUGE difference! He slept sooooo much better!
This stage of their life only lasts a short time. You’ll find that probably in the next couple months, things will improve tremendously as far as Obaby goes! Just keep hope and know that God is there for you to turn to Him for help! Stay open about your feelings and don’t keep them inside to fester!
I’ll be praying for you, and I hope things improve quickly for you! Make sure to get lots of rest, and don’t set high expectations for yourself during the day.
I used to take naps with our first during the day since it helped him sleep for nap time and it helped me to get some physical and mental rest. I don’t know if you do that, but if you’re feeling stressed, you may want to just do that instead of trying to get things done while Obaby’s sleeping. The house can wait, and I’m sure DanO will be more than willing to help around the house when he’s home or on weekends, so you can have some recovery time and not feel like you Have to get up and clean this, or do that, or go here.
And Don’t feel like a failure for asking for help! Just take the help that comes and let yourself enjoy it!
And always remember….this will pass, this will pass, this will pass….. In a flash, Obaby will be 6 years old and ready to start first grade(as my first baby is now). He’ll be getting his own clothes on, helping with some of the household chores, going to bed easily at night, and talking your ear off wondering “Why, why why?”.
It’s okay, honey, it’s okay. Praying for you and for all of us who go through this. HUGE hugs.
Thank you for this post. Thank you for being brave and seeking help.
A dear friend of mine took her own life this past Saturday. She was 25, with 5 kids, ages 6 and under. We suspect PPD being the leading cause, although we can’t be certain.
She never reached out–she appeared happy and life was good. She had faith. But the darkness was too much…
God will get you through this. Continue talking about it. I just wish I could hug you. But I will pray for you–you have my word.
You are so brave. It is time. Good for you!
I love you. I’ve been thinking of you so much. I totally get it. Anytime you want to, I’d love to hear your voice over the phone. Just so you know.