Sometimes I wonder why we make it so hard to reveal our true colors, our struggles and challenges. But then I realized that with vulnerability comes feeling extremely naked, it feels like you are putting yourself out there with the risk that no one will get it. That’s exactly how I felt when it came to me finally telling myself…Girl, you have Postpartum Depression.
So as many of you have seen from my Vlog, I revealed that I dealt with postpartum after the birth of my son. I remember that feeling so clear, I just didn’t get the whole motherhood thing. I didn’t understand it. I wasn’t sure what I should be doing when it came to my son, wasn’t sure how to balance being a mom and a wife, oh and hey…let’s not forget about remembering how to be ME!
During the months after Carter’s birth, I fell deeper and deeper into a mild depression, my spirit and personality wasn’t even recognizable. I wore my mask well, when it came to family and friends, kept up the ole’ happy, laughing, joking all the time Shontae’…but my husband knew my secret and deep down I did too.
I was unmotivated, didn’t want to do anything, and didn’t want to get out of the house, with or without my son. I wasn’t interested in getting back to work, getting on my grind as a therapist, or even doing things I enjoyed like reading a freakin’ book. Man, I was exhausted physically, and my spirit had taken a pretty big hit, because I had birthed this human being that I had no clue about, hell…I didn’t even know if I was doing it right.
There were times where I felt like I was a bad mom, because my husband was able to figure some stuff out about my son, that I didn’t. He was able to balance both being a dad, a husband, and a boss well, while I was stuck, crying in the middle of the bed, every time a negative thought crossed my mind.
I felt so defeated, so disappointed in myself…how could I allow myself to fall into this, what the hell is going on? I knew better…well did I? I didn’t know how to regulate my emotions, I wasn’t sure if it was my hormones from just having a whole baby, or if it was something more like Postpartum. After seeing my therapist, she helped me decipher between the two. She gave me understanding, validated my emotions, and encouraged me to trust my instincts.
I cried so many nights, I had so much anxiety, and I couldn’t dare speak that to anyone other than my husband. My own mother didn’t know, my best friend had no clue. I held onto that so closely to me because I didn’t want anyone questioning was I capable of being a good mom. I didn’t want to deal with all the questions, all the comments, and all the damn judgment. I was in a whirlwind of self-doubt, confusion, and at times anger.
I still to this day have some days that are overwhelming, days where I sit and cry in the middle of my living room while my son plays with his toys. There are days when I ask myself… am I doing this right? But through much self-discovery, self-evaluation, and therapeutic conversations I’ve come to the conclusion that I am not the only one and its okay. That no one does it all the way right, all we can do is do what we feel is best, trust our gut, build a strong support system, lead with love, and know that in the end…we are covered by God’s grace and mercy, and he wouldn’t dare put anything on me that I couldn’t handle. I am built for this. My body created life! I was specifically made, to be Carter’s mom.
And even through that I am learning…to never forget about myself! In order for me to be an awesome mom…I first have to be an awesome Shontae!