Each season of motherhood is different; some seasons are easier than others, and some are more joyful than others.
We love to showcase our happy moments all over social media, but rarely do we tiptoe into dialogue about depression and how it affects our relationships with friends. In the seasons of life where I’m going through the pits of depression, I’m absent and anxious. I feel like an empty shell, trying to survive each stage of the day. It takes everything in me to muster up enough happiness and energy to put into my own family…and then my friends come next. And because of this, many times, they are neglected.
I don’t text back immediately because I process and second guess what I’m about to say, and then suddenly, my mind is preoccupied with overwhelming nervousness. The baby starts to cry. I realized I forgot to pack my son’s lunch. Someone’s at the door. I need to fold the towels. There’s so much going on and I’m carrying so much of the mental load that I can feel myself going numb.
I skip girls’ night out because I haven’t washed my hair in a week. I feel ugly. I feel sad. I just want to lay in bed and cry. Depression can make you neglect yourself in so many ways. I become a recluse. I fold inward and stay there.
I have dealt with anxiety and depression for most of my teenage and adult life. However, after becoming a mother, postpartum depression hit me like a ton of bricks. It has been especially difficult during the Covid19 pandemic and the chaos of society. Postpartum depression is ugly. There have been times where it has consumed me. There have been times when it has totally taken over my personality and turned me into a monster that no one could begin to recognize. And other times, I have been able to hide it behind makeup, smiles, and toxic positivity. Please, if you’re struggling, call your OB now. Don’t wait.
And ladies…don’t forget to check on your strong friends. We are fighting invisible battles and some of us are experts at hiding it.