Strength in defeat

I’m calling uncle.

I’m waving the white flag.

I’m giving in.

But let me be clear – I’m not giving up.

I’ve been struggling for the past couple of weeks. More than the usual struggle of three-kids-under-five. More than the usual infant-induced-sleep-deprivation struggle. More than the let’s-strap-a-15-pound-baby-on-you-and-drag-a-25-pound-preschooler-in-a-sled-for-forty-minutes-in-the-cold-twice-a-day struggle.

It’s the struggle of postpartum anxiety, depression, and the one that we hate to name, cringe to admit, are scared to talk about (because it’s scary before, after, and when it happens) rage.

The signs have been there for a little bit, but I’m reaching the point where the bad days, bad moments, bad hours are starting to blob together, where there’s little reprieve and few good, solid, confident moments.

My spirit isn’t bouncing back so easy, as if it’s as stretched out as my four-times-pregnant-three-times-c-sectioned belly. It is faltering, falling, slamming into the ground and taking forever to get back up. It needs some rest, some love, some care, and a break.

But that’s the trouble with the postpartum period. It’s filled to the brim with to-do tasks, with obligations, with needs that aren’t yours but are necessary to meet. It’s not an empty chasm ripe with opportunity for healing and restoration. Oh, if only it were.

So, I’m doing what I know is right and good and helpful.

I’ve called my therapist. She’s lovely. I’m looking forward to working with her on this, even though I’m SO angry I’m here again.

I’m asking for help. I even pulled a sister-favour from Jacqueline and Toni on Toni’s birthday.

I’m working on rest and quiet. These things are a rare commodity for any parent of young children. Young children do not, as a rule, sleep well or long, and are the loudest, most high energy creatures. Ever.

I’m going to up the exercising, because as we all know from Elle: “Exercise gives you endorphins. Endorphins make you happy. Happy people just don’t shoot their husbands, they just don’t.”

And I’m admitting it out loud, because I know there are so many moms out there struggling, or who have struggled, or who don’t know what is happening to them, who are praying for an answer or a miracle. I’m letting you know I’m with you, in the trenches, again, fighting, again, for what should rightfully be ours ‘naturally’. And it’s okay that we’re here. And it’s normal. And there’s hope. And we can do this.

Promise.

Because not only have I suffered through this twice, I’ve also beat the crap out of it twice.

So bring it on, postpartum mood disorders. Bring. It. On.

I’m ready to kick your ass again. After this nap.

Never giving up

~ Julia

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11 thoughts on “Strength in defeat

  1. Julia,
    You are strong, one of the strongest people I know. You’ve got this. We are here for you, in the trenches with you, on the sidelines with the water and at the finish line to embrace you. We love you and will always be here for you. Now go kick depression’s ass so it can never get back up.

      • I feel for you, though it may not be postpartum depression, I did go thru some form of depression after Courtney’s premature birth. I now have manic depresssion so I know how the lows feel. Having someone to talk to is extremely important, even if you are not talking about the big D. Resting is high on the list too. That will be hard with 3 little ones. But you have supportive sisters to step in and help. I had to rely on my mom. Praying does help though its hard to concentrate. Just wanted to let you know you are being thought of……from one depressant to another. Hang in there.

  2. Dearest Julia… as Kim said…and I will say it again… you are one of the strongest, most devoted, loving, self-less person I know. I am very proud to say you are one of my dear friends. Stay strong. You will win again. I think of you often. Let me know if you are still up to getting together with the whole gang, or just us and our babies, or declining the whole event. I am totally flexible and no offence will be taken with whatever decision you make. Honest! We love you my dearest Julia.

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