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Starting in mid-October, our family has had one stressful event occur after the other. From physical injuries and illnesses to hospital stays for both my mom and father-in-law, and the 3-months of hell ended with the loss of my beloved cat of over 16 years. Oh yeah, and during this time, I continued to be a Girl Scout leader, transitioned my children out of cyber school and into a homeschooling routine, and have tried to keep my blog afloat. While I appeared to be able to do it all, what no one saw was the countless days and nights where I could do nothing more than sit here and cry overwhelmed by life and everything going on around me. I found myself getting angry, a lot. And I was no longer the best version of myself.
Something had to change or else my world was about to come crashing down on my shoulders.
As you probably noticed, things went unusually quiet. I posted once a week for the Sunday Dinner Bell, and that was about it. I didn’t have the energy to do much more than that during the week. I couldn’t focus long enough to get out a complete, coherent thought.
During all of this, I was incredibly aware of what was happening. I spoke with friends and more importantly with my husband. I knew what I had to do. I needed to start the fight all over again.
Postpartum Depression: Round 1
You see, after having my second miscarriage in 2010, my life spiraled out of control. I was diagnosed with Postpartum Depression. I began seeing a therapist, and started taking antidepressants to get my head back on track. It took a little while, but it worked. And in August of 2012, I was officially in remission. I never said I was cured because I knew it could come back at any time – especially if I was to ever get pregnant again. My therapist, Joyce Venis, reminded me that Postpartum Depression can show its ugly head anytime within one-year of having a baby, a miscarriage, or the conclusion of nursing so I made sure to be aware of my how I felt and “check in” often, especially after having my third child in June 2013.
I thought I was in the clear after he was born and for several years after. Even when my step-father passed away in 2015, I didn’t go back on medication and I pushed through it. Grieving and sadness is normal.
Postpartum Depression: Round 2
But this perfect storm of events that began in October was enough to push me back over the edge. It was also just over a year since I had stopped nursing, and only about 9 months since my milk had dried up entirely. This was the trigger that brought my Postpartum Depression back into my life. I was no longer in remission.
I have now been back on antidepressants for about 6 weeks, and I’m starting to feel like myself again. I have good days and bad days but don’t we all. The last week has been particularly hellish because I’m hormonal & have PMS moodiness on top of trying to get control of everything again.
I’m fighting my way back. I know this won’t happen in a single day, or even in a single month. Hell, it could take me over a year like it did last time, but the most important part is that I have recognized what I am going through and I have asked for help instead of suffering in silence until I can’t take it anymore. There is absolutely no shame in admitting you need help, and then getting that help so that you can be the best version of yourself.
One thing that happens to me when I go through these rounds of depression is I decide I need change. Changing things up in some way usually helps me to begin the process of regaining myself and getting back on track.
Where homemaking, homeschooling, and homesteading meet.
As you have noticed, Happily Homegrown has a new look and a clearer focus. For the first time in a few months, I’m excited about blogging again and I am looking forward to writing. It’s so nice to finally be feeling like me again, even a little bit, and I feel like writing is me coming home. Thank you for allowing me to continue sharing our homemaking, homeschooling, and homesteading journey with you. I feel so blessed to have this amazing community where I can share my experiences.
We are as near as a text, email or phone call.
You are not alone.
Stephanie, thank you for this post. Its very inspiring.