Knowing When You Need Help

I read an article on Facebook this week about a mother who was holding her newborn child and burst into tears. She was horrified. She didn’t want to open up to anyone about it. When she finally did reach out she was told that “it’s normal” and “all mothers go through this.”

Now, she very well may have been suffering from a hormonal swing that does occur with most mothers, her feelings may be very normal.

I just wonder how many women are silenced and who suffer because they are told that possible PPD is just something that moms have to deal with when they give birth.

It’s certainly more appealing than digging deeper into yourself and admitting that you need help. That realization can be painful for women; they may feel that they are alone in this, that they are weak, that they are less than a mother, or that they are defeated by something inside of their head.

Do you know what we are, friend? Do you know what we all become once we admit to ourselves that we need specific and scary kind of help? We do not become victims, slaves, or failures.

We become warriors.

Once you admit that you need help, you are handed a sword; you are assigned an enemy. You will soon find out that you are not alone in this; that it is okay to be verbal about your struggle. It is okay to be sick. You will find other people—men and women—flocking to your banner to help you in your battle.

Internalizing your true feelings and fears will only make you fold into yourself. You will start blaming yourself or your baby. You may be scared to be alone with your child. You may entertain suicidal thoughts for reasons you cannot verbalize. You are fighting an enemy blindfolded and with no weapons. It is that moment that you do become weak, victimized, defeated. Do not let this monster gain any ground on you.

You must have courage against any kind of monster—postpartum depression included. You must admit that there is something going on in your brain that is foreign and unwanted. You must expose yourself to a doctor who you have never met before. You may have to take medication that you have never taken before.

There is no shame in this, warrior mother. This is what true bravery looks like.

So, before you swallow the passive “it’s normal” pill that some people may serve you, make sure that you admit to yourself what is truly going on. You have the power to say “No, this isn’t normal and I need help.”