Baby Harry is almost four months old now, and post partum anxiety has found me once again.
PPA is a bitch, I tell ya! She moves in, uninvited and unwelcome, and she turns you into a person you don’t recognize, like, or want to know. She is tempermental, irrational, scary at times, and completely unpredictable. Yet she is not unknown to me. The difference this time is that I am getting help to rid myself of her.
PPA is far more common than PPD, and goes unnoticed far too often. Even when it is noticed, it isn’t talked about or dealt with. It is one of those things that just gets chalked up to a temporary change in hormones and is swept under the rug. This is not fact. We all need to know about it, for it affects too many of us. It is a serious diagnoses, and untreated can have even more serious repercussions.
There are counselors that specialize in treating the cause, and therefore curing individuals of it. I am seeing on of these specialists. I am not alone in my battle any longer.
It’s interesting to find that it not caused by a change of hormones, but rather by issues that have not been dealt with. The change in hormones merely brings the underlying issues to the fore, forcing them to either be faced and dealt with, or buried and run from. Of course, the latter option doesn’t do anything to safeguard oneself from it coming back at another time. I am not an expert, but I am learning a lot about what it is and how to deal with it.
As I sat with my counselor, I found my thoughts drifting to things I didn’t even know were bothering me: my niece’s birth and current medical condition is the biggest one. I feel guilty that I have healthy children while my brother does not; guilty that I could get pregnant so easily, even accidentally, when my sister-in-law struggled with it. This is what is causing me so much grief and lack of sleep and peace. I feel as though my SIL deserved what I got, and that I didn’t. It is not up to any of us what we get or don’t get. We are not being punished when bad things happen, and we don’t deserve punishment anyway.
When we do things that we know are not right, be it yelling at our children or putting them into another’s hands for care, then we are coping. Perhaps we are not coping in the right way, and perhaps we are. Either way, we are doing our best. That is all we can ever do.
Recovery can look like many things, I cannot say what it will look like, but can help you identify what it will not look like. It will not look like anyone else’s recovery. It will not happen in any specific amount of time; some people heal quickly, others take months or even longer to heal. It does not look like doing it on your own; it requires support. It does not look like ignoring it in hopes that it will go away. It does not look like refusing to admit that there is a problem. It does not look like other Pinterest or Facebook moms. It does not look like a clean house, or a messy house; it looks like what you are capable of. It does not look like the perfect family, wife, mother, husband, father, children, or friends. It does not look friendly.
I feel as though I am on the road to recovering from this ailment that has struck. I am on my way to evicting that bitch. I have begun to discover her weaknesses. This will take me time as I gather all of the evidence against her and get a restraining order. I will, at some point in the near future, watch that miserable woman, Post Partum Anxiety, pack her bags once and for all. I am not alone, I have all of you. I have my husband, my father, my children, my friends.
Finding these feelings hidden deep inside of myself will be painful, but I will be triumphant!