When people imagine postpartum depression, they automatically think of all the horror stories such as mothers murdering, abusing, or neglecting their children. There’s a stereotype around postpartum depression. Women who suffer from this are afraid to speak out for fear they’ll be labeled mentally ill or be accused of hurting or mistreating their child—when that’s not the case at all. In fact, 40% of moms do not get help for their PPD. I’m here to share my story with you, and shed some light on this matter and show that PPD is very real, very scary, and doesn’t make me—or anyone suffering—a bad person.
Sometimes I feel like I was born to be misunderstood. Not many people get how I can be someone who deals with anxiety, depression, or even self confidence and body image issues. Someone like me who’s always the loudest in the room (or tries to be), someone like me who lives to make other people laugh, or feels the utmost happiest when the people around her are happy. You can meet me on the street and never be able to tell that I battle with inner demons every single day. I think a lot of people feel unwanted in their every day life but don’t understand why or thinks that nobody else would understand it. Well, I do.
Men’s mental health can be a large stigma and a quiet process to deal with. Most surveys and recent news have shown that men suffer from higher suicide rates and do not talk about their personal issues.
Maybe I didn’t get the cool art job I wanted in a museum and maybe I’m not with the hottest, richest man and yeah, maybe I could lose a few pounds and perhaps put some nicer makeup on and look more girly and maybe I could stop getting tattoos and maybe my stretched ears are too much for some to handle and maybe, just maybe I could stop comparing myself to all the fake lives posted on Facebook and Instagram with the fake smiles and fake poses and fake bodies photoshopped and set up photo shoots that make you look desperate for attention and likes.
We often go through life, and admire the people around us that are successful, that have that life motivation that we cannot think that we can ever achieve. But we rarely think that any of those successful people we idolize struggle, or suffer at all. In our mind, we are always the only ones that are going through it.
If you’ve ever experienced some degree of depression, you’ll know how hard it can be to crawl out of that darkness.
Depression and anxiety are mental illnesses that I wish upon no one. They both ruin your life. They both make you believe you're not worth it. You want to do something with your life but something is holding you back. All you ever want to do is lay in bed and sleep. You can feel sad and lonely even if you have people around. You don't like to rely on people because you think you're bothering them. You can walk out of your house and your heart begins to beat uncontrollably. Anything you do makes you overthink. You keep everything inside and that's slowly killing you.
I put on twenty layers of mascara and red lipstick before I walk out the door. You can't cry in red lipstick, and who wants layers of thick black tears running down their faces? I cry when I'm angry, I cry when I'm sad, and I cry when I'm happy. If I experience an intense emotion, it usually ends in tears. I drown in my feelings. I don't swim in them. Today I woke up gasping for air. I hope I don't go under again.
Having difficulties with your mental health can be very challenging. I have my good days and I have horrible days. I would go through weeks where I feel happy and it eventually hits me back with weeks of sadness. Sadness that I can't explain or control for that matter. I wake up and feel sad. I sometimes wonder what's the point of everything that I'm doing. I'm just another cycle in this world.
I was normal once. I know I was; I had a reasonably normal and stable family unit. I was loved and cared for; I never went without. I had everything I needed, although not knowing at the time. I never fell on hard times, but learnt life's hard lessons fast. I was never wrapped in cotton wool, but my parents tried to protect me from the harsh reality of the world.