I have just finished reading a book that a dear friend recommended to me about Brooke Shields’ journey through postpartum depression. What an eye opener! While reading it, her inner voice of postpartum depression sounded almost identical to the crummy inner voice I had heard just after Andy was born. I’m grateful however, that my postpartum voice didn’t harass me constantly; I would have a few days in a row that were really bad, then the cloud would lift and I’d have a few really good days. I can’t tell you how terrifying and sickening it had been to feel the way I did during those dark days. I’m so thankful that I had a very mild case and managed to come through it okay. But I understand how it is completely out of one’s control whether or not they ‘pull through’ the darkness.
I find it difficult to admit, even to myself, how bad things had been. I recall driving along a section of River Road where many years ago a colleague from an airline I had worked for at the time, had gone off the road and drowned. The thought had occurred to me at the time that it would be so easy to just slip off the road… This example was just one of many occurrences of self-destructive and terrible thoughts. I will not elaborate on the others. As Brooke had said in her book, she had envisioned terrible things happening to her little Rowan, I had also envisioned terrible things happening to baby Andy.
I’m just so grateful that time is over – I think. I hope I’m past the worst of it, but postpartum depression can occur at any time during the first year after delivery. A couple of months ago my doctor questioned me about postpartum depression when I took Andy in for a checkup – perhaps I shouldn’t have dismissed his enquiries so quickly. Maybe he could see something in me that I wasn’t acknowledging.
Anyway, now that the lousy inner voice has stopped and my own inner voice has returned, I hope to begin functioning a bit better.