I found myself wondering today why PPD happened to me. What did I do? Did I miss being pregnant so much that I actually became depressed when I wasn't anymore? Hmm, that's probably not it.
Was it pre-existing conditions? Perhaps. I struggled with SAD (seasonal affective disorder) in high school, and in college was diagnosed with anxiety and put on Trazadone, which I weened off of and haven't touched since meeting my amazing husband just a little over five years ago.
SO WHAT HAPPENED????
Five years ago I met this guy in a bar. This really annoying, drunk guy in a bar that wouldn't stop texting me. But after months of his clingy and odd personality, I came to really like him. I didn't need no stinkin' meds anymore! He was my anti-drug. My anxiety literally did not exist once he was in my life.
SO WHAT HAPPENED???
How could Hubs have been my anti-drug for five years and then all of a sudden get hit by full blown, paralyzing depression?!
I may have moved on and accepted the cards I was dealt, but there's a part of me that just can't get over the why. Why me? What did I do? Why did I deserve this? Am I being punished? Is this some sort of sick lesson God is trying to teach me? Is this a relationship test to see if Hubs can once again magically cure me by just existing? You're right, probably not.
But seriously. What the hell. Where does PPD/PPA/PPP come from? Many women diagnosed with the disease have no previous history of depression or anxiety. Sure, you can blame the hormones, but if it wasn't a problem before pregnancy, why is it a problem after pregnancy? Sleep deprivation? Maybe. But I get plenty of sleep at night. On weekends I get undisturbed naps. I drink coffee and tea and love my vitamins and fruit. I'm healthy. I run. I am no different than you. So how come non-pregnant me was given PPD and non-pregnant you are perfectly fine?
Sometimes I find this to be a blessing in disguise. That I am somehow suppose to use what I went through, the rawness of feeling so empty you literally have no words to describe how incredibly empty and numb you actually feel, to help others. That I need to make a difference and assist others out of the darkness and show them the light that is having a family. I can do that. It seems easy. Mostly because I want to help others. I want to hug every pregnant, new and seasoned mom and tell her it's okay and not to fear the truth; I don't feel like moms get enough of the actual truth, instead they get filled with bullshit of how amazing being a mom is and that they should instantly fall in love with their baby the very second they lay eyes on them. (Psst - mama, if you don't, that's okay!).
I think I will always dwell on the WHY. On if I did something that could have possibly caused me to slip all the way to the bottom, unable to get back up. I will always wonder. I won't ever get the answer, but that doesn't mean I'll give up on wanting to know what it is. What I can do though, is take what I have learned, face the truth head on, not fear what happened or what could happen, and take the hand of that new mom in the diaper aisle at Wal Mart and tell her it's okay and no one will judge you if you have a glass of wine tonight, or fake diarrhea just to have a few minutes alone to herself (oh yes, I have done that, and I am not ashamed).