Postpartum Depression: Everyday Struggle Just to Survive

January 29, 2018

You probably can’t tell by looking, but when this picture was taken I was struggling with postpartum depression and anxiety. I experienced multiple panic attacks daily, extremely low self esteem, loss of interest in everything, and every little thing set me off. I can’t tell how many things I broke by throwing them into the walls. I was so miserable! It was hard to bring myself to get out of the bed and do even the most basic tasks, like brushing my teeth, or preparing food. I felt so exhausted. At the end, I lost so much weight that I started to look anorexic. I felt completely out of control.

I was so angry and frustrated I was feeling this way because I was supposed to be the happiest person on earth. Once I wrote to my girlfriend to talk about all that shit, and before I even started, she told me that she doesn’t understand why I complain because there’s obviously nothing wrong with my life. She was right though. But I couldn’t help but feel the way I was feeling, even if I knew that I hurt my family that way.

I constantly questioned myself. Maybe I felt depressed because of a childbirth trauma? Maybe because I felt isolated? Maybe because I missed my pre-kids life? Or maybe I was just unhappy about the choices I made and with my life in general?

I was trapped in a dark cave and it felt like there’s no way out of it.

At the worst times, I imagined the worst scenarios. I remember how I called my mother and said that I can’t do it anymore. She asked me: “What’s wrong?” and I answered: “I have very bad thoughts, mom!” “Which bad thoughts?” And I said: “I imagine myself in the bath, laying dead under water.” I was so scared.

I can’t explain why.

I still struggle with guilt for the way I behaved. But postpartum depression was real, and I couldn’t just snap out of it. You just can’t wake up and be “normal”, no matter how hard you try. One woman said that for her it was like she was watching herself react badly to every day situations, without the ability to stop herself. I felt exactly the same way. It was like I was outside of my body looking in.

I don’t know if this is over or not. There are still bad days when I break down crying. But now my mental health is the top priority. Even if that means to bring the girls to their grandparents on weekends, to hire a nanny, or to ask my husband to come home earlier when I feel like I’m losing control. I can’t be the mother I want to be. My family needs me healthy and happy.

Postpartum depression is a serious illness that is more common than you know. It doesn’t have a single cause, but likely results from a combination of physical and emotional factors. Once I asked for help on my Instagram page and I was surprised how many women and men struggle every day just to survive. I received around 300 comments and 60 messages from women around the world, saying that they suffer or have suffered from postpartum depression and anxiety. I received help and support that I needed, and it helped me feel less lonely.

Postpartum depression is scary and it can feel like a never – ending battle, but you can get through it. Recognizing that you’re struggling is the first step toward getting better and feeling like yourself again. Remember, that there’s someone in your life that needs you!

11 Comments

  • Reply Eleonora January 29, 2018 at 8:46 pm

    Thank you for your words.
    I’m close to you and I understand you. it is very hard to take back one’s life.

  • Reply Ieva January 29, 2018 at 9:03 pm

    So what helped you to get through depression?

    • Reply Jolanta January 29, 2018 at 9:11 pm

      Support from my husband and mother community on Instagram. I received so much love and I finally felt understood. We hired a nanny, booked the tickets to a sunny place, sent the girls to their grandparents very often so I can simply relax. Also, I think there were moments when I simply crossed the lines with my miserable behavior, and that helped me understand that I don’t want to be the kind of person I was at the moment. I’m not saying that it’s all over but I work on myself very hard every day. I don’t want to see my family being unhappy because of me.

  • Reply Cloé January 29, 2018 at 9:23 pm

    En plus d’avoir accouché le même jour, nous avons également ce point commun: être passé par ce mal être si difficile à comprendre et à surpasser.
    Si jamais tu le sentais revenir je ne peux que te conseiller d’en parler à un médecin/psy… c’est ce que j’ai fait et cela a été salvateur!

  • Reply Tiffanie Anne January 29, 2018 at 10:37 pm

    Jolanta,
    I am so incredibly proud of you. PPD is not only difficult to cope with, but it is harder to come to terms with. I denied of having it for more than half a year and I can’t believe what it took to have me finally admit to having it. I had suicidal thoughts, similar to what you had, and I am glad to hear that you reached out to your mom about it. I am sending you all the loving and positive vibes to you to provide you that extra strength and love to get you through each and everyday. You are wonderful mom, wife, influencer, and woman. DONT YOU EVER FORGET THAT! You are so strong and brave to write this, because people need to be aware of this and be more compassionate and understanding to others.

    Love you!

  • Reply Kiki January 29, 2018 at 11:25 pm

    Kā es tevi saprotu. Es visu laiku domāju, ja būtu par to iepriekš lasījusi, vai es būtu tam gatava. Domāju, ka nē. Tam nav iespējams sagatavoties, kas nāk. To nekad neviens nesapratīs, ja nebūs uz savas ādas izjutis. Es domāju, ka nekad, nekad vairs nebūšu normāla, ka es nekad vairs nebūšu es. Sliktākais, ka tāda bija arī visa grūtniecība un es nekam tādam nebiju gatava. Biju gatava vemt, palikt apaļa, bet ne psiholoģiski kļūt cita persona. Es pat mēnesi pēc dzemdībām lietoju antidepressantus, bet nezinu, vai tie man palīdzēja, vai vienkārši laiks. Tajā laikā neviens man nevarēja palīdzēt, lai gan ar mani ļoti daudz runāja un mierināja. Tagad bērnam ir gads un trīs mēneši un es gandrīz esmu atpakaļ. Ļoti reti vēl uznāk bailes, vientulības un bezjēdzības sajūta, lielākoties no rītiem, bet arvien retāk. Turies! Pāries! Tie sasodītie hormoni!!!

  • Reply Prachi January 30, 2018 at 5:46 am

    Hi Jolanta,

    I have been closely following your insta page and landed up on this post from there. I have seen my mother battle stress and anxiety due to her poor health. We sought medical help and trust me it really helps to speed up the recovery and healing. Please do consult a good mental health practitioner. A little medication and small lifestyle changes will really help to get rid of PPD.

    Love from India.
    Prachi.

  • Reply alexandra tardy January 30, 2018 at 6:04 pm

    It is a beautiful and very brave post! I hope you are getting better!
    I am trying to write a (kind of) blog myself but very starting…if you ever take a peek:
    thesweetlife.blog/

    xx Alexandra

  • Reply Imaya February 5, 2018 at 6:46 pm

    Jolanta, one of my favorite qualtabout you is your authenticity. In a social world that seeks to one up each other in perfection you are a breath of fresh air. This is a very brave post and one that needs to be shared and shared.

  • Reply ildze February 6, 2018 at 1:15 pm

    Es izlasiju so un sapratu ka es tiesi ta par jutos sini vasara. Es dzivoju Portugale un sobrid esmu skirudies un zinu cik gruti dazreiz ir but ar bernu vienai kad nekur nav kur pasai likties. man loti patik tavs blogs un atradu nejausi.

    • Reply Jolanta February 6, 2018 at 1:19 pm

      Mīļš paldies! Es pat nezinu, kas ir trakāks – ikdienas grūtības un viss, kas nāk klāt, vai tā neizturamā vientulības sajūta.

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