I have so much to say to you. I don’t even know where to begin. And I’m not even entirely sure what’s important to share to be honest.
I’m sorry I’ve been missing a bit lately. The truth is about 4 months after the twins were born an awful case of Postpartum Depression set in. It took me another 2 months to identify it. I would have called it fatigue. I kept using the phrase “drowning in babies.” Doing things I normally enjoy (going to the lake, reading, playing with my kids etc.) just felt empty to me. I had to drag my body into motion everyday and I had to force myself to do basic care on everyone (myself included). We are low on funds (my husband is a student) and have no family nearby. So there isn’t a lot of wiggle room for date nights, spa days or even an hour at the coffee shop alone. I was teaching 6-8 yoga classes a week and on the first week I didn’t practice I felt a DRAMATIC drop in mood. It was then that I realized something was up. Thankfully, I was able to see a great therapist right away.
We agreed a low dose of an antidepressant was in order. Combined with higher amounts of omega 3s, b vitamins, and vitamin D. I started to crawl out of the dark hole that is postpartum depression. And what I realized is that I am not as qualified as I want to be to meet the needs of mothers. I want to provide the mental health care to women they deserve. And so I started my application to grad school for clinical mental health counseling.
I found my stride as a new mom of 3 people under 3. And then this election happened.
Some women I have talked to don’t understand the feelings of fear many other women are experiencing. But they have been the minority of my encounters. Many women (myself included) feel a sense of betrayal and fear. Feel that strangers we might see on the street, our own family, and even churches have chosen to passively condone sexual assault (among other things) by electing a man to the highest office that brags about it. I have talked to women that feel triggered from very real trauma they have experienced in their lives and feel fearful of what others might now feel they have license to do. The worst part is, many women who voted to support him now tell us, this diverse group of hurting women, that our feelings aren’t real, they’re just whining. Our experience is unrelated, created by media, and we should just “get over it.”
And I crawled back into that postpartum depression hole for a few days. Feeling isolated, gaslighted, and unsure of our future, of my daughters’ future.
This post is not political. It’s personal. As women, we need to hear each other. We need to honor each others’ experiences, feelings and points of view. We need to come together, now more than ever, not under the new president elect, or under anyone for that matter, but as sisters. With empathy. With compassion. With open ears and hearts. It’s what we must do.
As mothers, as women, we can so often call our trauma or struggle something else. I’ ve known mamas who found it too difficult to call their birth “traumatic” though they clearly felt traumatized. I’ve known many women who didn’t realize their experience was rape until they were much older. I’ve known women to committed suicide from postpartum depression and others who continue to blame themselves for feelings and behaviors that they don’t even know are caused by postpartum depression. I know many who don’t know that perinatal depression (depression before birth even) exists. We can do better. We must. We must be here for each other no matter what’s trying to divide us.
I am taking a break from coaching work to focus on my herbalism training, my family, my private yoga clients, and my graduate school goals. I am here for you though. In the facebook group, in my yoga classes, for coffee. When I return to working with women in a bigger way, it will be as a holistic therapist to meet the physical/emotional needs we all have. To help with healing as a whole human being. We are going to need it now more than ever.
I love you all.