The early days of a blog are generally about getting to know who the writer is, at least I think they are. In my last post I made a slightly-more-than-passing reference to postnatal depression. I also mentioned that though most of the trouble has passed, I still have the occasional tough day and that same day was one of them. As a result, I don’t think I was focused enough on what I wanted to say about that. So just a little more now….
I didn’t talk to my doctor about it. I mentioned it to the midwife during appointments when she asked how I was going, but I didn’t make a big deal of it. I really rather shrugged it off as just the normal hormonal changes of emotion. I probably should have been less afraid to speak openly about it, especially since I’d been through the same thing with both pregnancies.
So, because I never was professionally diagnosed with postnatal depression, I don’t want to say that I definitely suffered it. But I know things weren’t right with me, and hormones certainly played their part in the whole matter. Stresses did as well; I was (and am) very homesick with all of my family on the other side of the world, and I didn’t have any clue what I was going to do with two kids. It was more than just the famous and short-lived “baby blues,” but I don’t want to offend anyone who’s taken that next step and spoken to a doctor to be treated for postnatal depression, so I won’t self-diagnose.
I also willingly accept that my heart was wallowing in bitterness and discontent. To put it another way, I didn’t live like God was strong enough for me. C.S. Lewis once said, “God allows us to experience the low points of life in order to teach us lessons that we could learn in no other way.” Just like the old saying, “there are no atheists in foxholes,” we so often come to God (or back to Him) when we’re at our lowest. It was a couple weeks before my surgery that the light came on. I asked myself, “how much of this is me doing it to myself?” This is in no way a slight or accusation to anyone suffering postnatal or any other form of depression, but I had to recognize my part in my particular situation. From here I have been able to grow again in Christ’s strength. I have a long way to go still, but I hope you’ll come with me. Can I show you what I needed to learn?