My girls are almost exactly four years apart. When my second daughter was born, she brought with her a breath of fresh air that cleared away the fog that I had been unknowingly living in the past few years. I looked back over those years and realized I was angry and irritable and apathetic. And definitely not happy. The first time I laughed after my youngest was born, the sound actually caught me off guard.
As I trained to become a postpartum doula, I learned more and more about perinatal mood and anxiety disorders such as postpartum depression and postpartum anxiety. I recognized many of the symptoms in myself. Unfortunately, when I took the step to reach out to my provider and support people, I didn't receive the help I needed. And so I began to create a space for others to receive that kind of support - while also doing the work myself to find the help I needed. With a combination of peer support, therapy, and medication, I feel like a completely different (much less anxious!) person.
I now provide peer support to parents in my area by facilitating support groups and connecting people with local resources.
If you or someone you know is struggling with a mental illness, please reach out. There are resources available and people just waiting to listen.
Get Help - PSI Helpline: 1-800-944-4773, #1 En Espanol or #2 English; or Text 503-894-9453
You are not alone. You are not to blame. With help, you will be well.