Remember that friend I told you about, the one that asked me if I really didn't believe in God or if I was just mad at Him?
She is expecting her own little bundle of joy in just 5 short weeks and I am incredibly excited for her. Now that I am out of the darkness, I find that time with my daughter is delightful and cherishable, and I cannot wait for my best friend to experience this same feeling. But with that comes fear. I fear that she will suffer from PPD/PPA. Paranoid? Perhaps. Irrational? Not really. It can happen to anyone. I pray with everything I have that no one will ever have to experience or feel the things I felt in the first couple months of P's life, but I pray even harder that my BFF never has to.
I attended her baby shower this past weekend and was so happy I could share in this excitement with her, but I so badly wanted to warn her. Why didn't I? I am not ashamed of what I went through. I wish someone had been honest with me when I was pregnant. Given me some kind of warning....told me beforehand it would be okay. But I didn't want to ruin her day. Well, Me, way to coward out. Here I am, trying to be an advocate for PPD/PPA by trying to tell other women not to be afraid, that it's okay and completely normal, yet I didn't even have the guts to tell my own best friend. I did, however, write her a letter and addressed it to her for one week after she gives birth.
In my letter I disclose that I suffered PPD, and am still recovering. I tell her it's okay, that everything she is feeling, has felt, or will feel is normal. I assure her that I will be there for her and that she can talk to me and that if she does have these feelings that they will pass and not to be afraid.
But I am afraid for her. As her delivery day comes closer I become more and more nervous for her. Of course I want her to be happy and enjoy her new daughter and new family, but I am so nervous that those first few days at home will be too similar to what I experienced. It also makes me nervous that I won't be the success story I want to be. I want to admit to everyone what I went through. I don't care who knows. I AM NOT ASHAMED!
I didn't think I was. I am still in the midst of my recovery, so perhaps I just need more time? I can say anything in a letter, a text, a blog....but I fear I will never have the courage to say the words out loud. And I have yet to say the words to anyone. I can text it. I can write it. But I cannot speak the words: I have post-partum depression. Why?
I have set myself a goal. June 26, 2015. On this day, P will be 6 months old. Half a year. Six months of battling and recovery from PPD. I am choosing this day to share my story. I am choosing this day to stop being afraid and to be there for others in person, not just in writing. This is the day I will stop fearing and start making a difference.