Can I be totally honest??? It had been a tough year or so! When I say tough, I mean TOUGH. It has been very challenging personally and workwise too which has led to me having to be signed off work after just 6 weeks of returning to work from maternity leave and I still dealing with the struggles.
Being a mum is a wonderful thing! It is amazing to grow another human and build a special bond that only you and your baby will share over 9 months. Most people think pregnancy and birth is the hardest part, but, the real work starts once baby is here and boy can it change things 360 degrees.
Depression and anxiety is REAL and women, especially after birth are very much prone to it. I was one of those women. I had difficult time during pregnancy with personal issues and this meant that I spent most of that time worrying, fretting and constantly crying. Worried about how I would cope with two children, if I would be a good mother second time around, will I ever have a life of my own or would I just be ‘mum’ once my baby was born. I was a walking wreck. The worst part of it all was that as things were getting worse, I was hiding it even more and pretending to family and friends that everything was ok.
Fast forward to after the birth of my daughter. I was ok the first few days then the worry and anxiety started to kick in again. I felt depressed. I was faced with the challenge of dealing with a new born, dealing with a very active toddler and a whole other bunch of issues. I was down. Very down and depressed.
I let go of myself, I let go of my passion, my dreams, my drive and depression took over. It is quite easy to cover up at first when you don’t want anyone to know, especially with family but the cracks began to show. I would cry when I felt the pressure build up, when my son started acting up, when I would see other women looking amazing and all dolled up when I was out. I hated the way I looked. I hated myself. I doubted my ability as a mother and just felt like I could not cope most days. Any little thing could trigger it and I would stay down for days at a time.
So why did I not get help you may be asking at this point? Simple answer, fear. I was scared of being judged as an unfit mother. I was scared that my beautiful children would be taken away from me. I was told many times not to say certain things around doctors and health visitors because they will get social services involved. So, I did the only thing I knew how. I kept pressing on with my task of being a mum and hoped that the feelings and worries I had would go away.
It wasn’t easy, but I had to trust God, that He would bring me out on the other side and help me along the way. A lot days I did not want to even get out of bed. I struggled in the mornings to get out of bed but I had my children depending on me so I knew I had no choice but to get up. I pushed through while dealing with a whole lot of issues and God helped me. He was consistent in every moment, through every challenge and helped me to where I am today.
Has it completely gone? No.
I still struggle from week to week, especially when I have a rough day with the kids. I try not to wallow in feeling down and appreciate that I am alive and healthy with so many things that many around the world could only dream of. However, trying to get through depression by yourself is very difficult. Depression tests you in so many ways and it is draining emotionally, physically and mentally. I am still dealing with mine and have finally found the courage to seek help via counselling to help me through it. I know it is an ongoing process to deal with it and results will not happen over night. I just felt very compelled write a post about this for many of you out there who may be dealing with something similar or who can relate to this in any way.
I just want to say that it will get better. You will get through it. Don’t be afraid to get help. The stigma of depression causes many people not to seek help and therefore use other means to get through it and unfortunately in some cases leads to loss of life. If you believe in God, pray. He hears your prayers even when He seems far away. If you can’t pray, get a journal and write it down. I do this myself and it is a helpful release for those times it felt like my lips were sealed. The devil comes to steal, kill and destroy and this is one way he does it. Let’s be victorious and overcome depression.
I hope my story resonates with someone and encourages them to seek help when things get to much or too heavy. Don’t be afraid, speak up.
God bless you all.
Ohemaa Beauty xoxo