watching the horror of what britney spears is going through right now is bringing back a lot of my own story and pain from my own battle with postpartum depression.
after buck was born it hit me hard. we were living out on a dirt road in a town of 400, working for a church that hated my american soul and liam was working on the average of 70 hours a week between his job at the high school and the church. i had a 2 year old and a newborn and began the darkest slide into the biggest, blackest hole i have ever experienced.
dooce blogged this morning on her own journey with postpartum. it too reminded me of my own. what few people realize is that the break that happens in the mind of the mother is so severe that nothing in life makes sense anymore. the desperation is terrifying and you can't even remember what normal felt like.
there is no hope, no light at the end of the tunnel, no realization that there even is a tunnel. no understanding that this just might not be your fault. the shame and the despair is so crippling that it seems there is no future to be had.
looking back i can remember how it felt to regularly place my crying son in his crib and have to close the door and walk away because my own hands wanted to shake him till he stopped. hiding under the covers to escape each day. the thoughts of drowning my children in the bathtub so that they could go to heaven and have a better "life" went through my head more times than i can count. i was steps away from being one of those women you see splashed across the headlines. i loved my children more than life itself, but hated and loathed myself for my inability to be the mother they needed.
my addictions were out of control and my life bottomed out into such a dark, dismal place. no one knew. no one cared. no one stepped in to say 'hey, are you okay"? no one loved me enough to give me a break. get me some help.
so please, please if you think about her, pray for britney. i don't mean this in a syrupy, churchy way - i mean this in a 'change your own heart' kind of way - i believe that by praying for her your own heart will be turned to notice those in your own lives that have this kind of struggle, are facing this kind of shame and confusion.
it happens every day. you have someone in your life who is struggling with this.
maybe it's you? please know you are not alone. it's not your fault. tell someone. tell me. call this hotline, get some help. you don't have to do this alone like i did. you are worth it, and your babies are worth it. there is hope and a future - reach out. please.
Postpartum Support International (PSI)
Wikipedia - Understand Postpartum Depression