This morning my son asked me if I was happy, and I lied.
“Mommy is happy!” I said, smiling and hugging my beautiful two year old.
I fought this battle with my son two years ago, and now it’s resurfaced with my youngest. It feels like a dark filter is covering my eyes, darkening my view. It feels like a weight in the pit of my stomach is holding me down, making every step heavy and tiring.
My head is foggy. I don’t feel the clarity and sharpness that I used too. My thoughts and ideas are out of focus.
I’ll miss my exit on the freeway. I’ll pick something up and forget why. I won’t have the energy to leave the house, and convince my kids to watch just a little more television.
But it’s the emotions that really get to me. This ugly voice has reared its head inside, and it’s set on bruising and punishing me.
“You’re a terrible mother.”
“You don’t deserve this.”
“They would be better off without you.”
The voice eats at me, gnawing away bite by bite. Tearing me down. Laughing at my weakness.
Postpartum depression is a mean, nasty spirit. It knows your darkest fears and it digs right in. It squeezes at your heart, and it compresses your chest until you’re struggling to breathe. It talks you to the edge, telling you things won’t get better. Telling you there is no hope.
Yesterday I cried. I cried because I should be happy. My kids are healthy and smart and joyful. My life is everything I’ve ever wanted. I cried for not being more grateful. I cried because people are mean. The news is disgusting. And the future looks bleak. And I cried for no reason at all.
I know PPD. I’ve been here before and I’ve heard this voice before. I know it’s full of shit. Things will get better. I am a good mom.
I need to get out of bed, and kick this spirit out. Stomp it to death. Rip it from my body. It’s grabbing on for dear life and it’s strong. But I’m stronger.
Yesterday, I let it beat me but now I will fight it, and I will win. Starting today.