I looked up at women who talked about their emotional struggles postpartum. I still do. Just that, now my respect and admiration for them has grown by leaps and bounds. It is so soothing to find comfort in knowing that you are not alone when other women share their stories. But have you ever thought what it would have taken for these women to come out and tell their stories?
They must have fought the fear of judgement from unsupportive friends or family members who still (in this day and age) think that mental health issues are taboo and are mostly rich people problems. They must have tolerated the unsolicited pity of people on the internet! Greatest of everything, they must have braved their troubles, known to seek help and must be learning to cope with it every single minute.
Today maybe I should share my story of postpartum anxiety & OCD. I was very aware of something not being right. Before my baby girl was born, I told my husband to watch out for unusual behaviour and to get me help if he thought I needed it. Although we were prepared and very cognizant of such concerns, it still took me a year after my daughter’s birth to recognize my symptoms and to accept that I needed help.
It did help that my husband is extremely supportive and my doctor spent time to talk to me and get me the support I needed. On the outside, I seemed tired like any new parent would, but on the inside, I knew I wasn’t me anymore. After many hours of therapy, I still don’t think I am the same person yet – but I am trying.
To anyone reading this and thinking maybe they need help – trust me, if you think you need to talk to someone, you most probably do. I know this has been said time and again – but mental health is as important as physical health. Your smile can lie to the world, but lies within is the only truth and you should know that.
Maybe some day, I will find the courage to talk more about this. I aspire to get completely close to my usual self. But don’t think that my life is morose because I have a certain diagnosis! I am still a very cheerful person! I am still very happy! But just not as much as I would want to be!