My dad died the same day my second son was born.
Dramatic, isn’t it?
I don’t mean to joke, but sometimes, you gotta laugh at the “Murphy’s Law”-ness of life. Did I mention that I opted to have my C-section the day BEFORE my Dad’s birthday so that my son would have a day of his own—but then it became my father’s death anniversary. “So there,” life said to me.
And the list of these crazily timed tragedies goes on.
My first son was born on the anniversary of my father’s traumatic brain injury—which actually occurred the same day my brother and his wife brought their adopted son home to America.
My brother died the day after my birthday.
My grandfather died on Father’s Day, which also was my birthday that year.
I put my best doggie friend to sleep two weeks before my son was born.
I even have this one on the list—my grandmother was two days post-op from her first mastectomy in the same hospital while I was being born. Yay! It’s a girl!
I share this little list because I know everyone has one just like it. Life is just cray … and it throws us some mega-curveballs. However, all this being said, you don’t need a list like this to be in need of some personal mental care … especially if you’re a momma. Life—even on normal days—can get a little tough. And, sometimes, even when things are easy and all is well, it’s the monotony that actually gets to us.
It took some yucky postpartum depression and anxiety to force me to have a little mental check-in. Truth be told, I’ve had anxiety all of my adult life; I just ignored it. But when my second son was born—and I lost my dad the same day—I guess you can say I got a little overwhelmed. I was crying non-stop. All day. For no reason. And for every reason. So, I made a call to my doctor that I wished I had made a lot sooner.
He put me on a low-dose antidepressant, and I’m here to tell you, it has changed my life. Not only do I wish I had explored this possibility sooner, but I can tell such a difference in my own demeanor that I want everyone else around me to take it also. I don’t get as anxious or overwhelmed now, and I have an underlying sense of calm in all I do. Thankfully, as I mentioned, it’s a pretty low dose, so I don’t feel numb in the least bit. Things can still be hard, and days can still be rough, but I’m better equipped to face them now.
I share this story openly for one reason and one reason only: being on an antidepressant is no big deal. Mommas should continue to talk about mental health and normalize these discussions. Let’s be open about our mental health challenges with our loved ones and our doctors; and let’s work to remove the stigma associated with antidepressants, counseling, and other therapies. We need to talk more about postpartum depression and anxiety, and be assured we aren’t alone in these fragile emotional states. I know my PPD case was very mild compared to some … but it could have gotten worse had I not discussed it with my doctor. I just felt so much better so quickly that I want to be sure every momma knows how much something like this could help. It made a world of difference for me.