Over the summer the postpartum depression I experienced after the birth of our fifth child took a nosedive into unbearable. In hindsight I believe I experienced it with all of our children, although I didn't know until it had passed. Suddenly, around the nine month mark, I would begin to feel a renewed energy and hopefulness, only to realize I couldn't remember the last time I'd felt like singing or smiling without effort.
This time was different because it was worse. It was bad enough that my husband encouraged me to seek help, which I did reluctantly and only briefly. I'm a terrible patient. But each day is better, and throughout the process, the Lord has sewn badges of honor onto my heart, stitch by painful stitch. Symbols of suffering and the lessons learned therein, lessons I wouldn't have understood any other way but walking through the valley in humility.
Casualties on the Postpartum Battlefield
In the eyes of another mother today, I saw a reflection of me
Like staring in a mirror, barely here, a shell of numbness and grief
Blank expression, listless gaze, trying to find her way out of the maze
Of sleepless nights, an infants cry, her whole world turned around
Even mad at the baby and wondering if maybe they made a big mistake
Because what the books don't tell you, what everyone fails to say
Makes you feel quite crazy, like a failure, in the worst possible way
You wonder how you'll get through it, these days barely staying afloat
The raft drifting farther and farther from shore, no hope of ever getting out
The people ashore can even see you're gone, standing there so helplessly
They don't know what to do, how to help, immobilized by uncertainty
Sometimes when you've floated so far, it seems no rope or rescue could reach
The depths in which you're drowning, no longer visible from life's beach
Days feel like years, soul weary, eyes sleepy, and mind unable to function
The after school craze creates a mental haze, a heavy fog of suspended chaos
My mind starts to tremble from overstimulation, unable to process the imput
Like an overloaded circuit internally imploded, my rational mind turns mushy
Liquified sanity runs out of my mouth, uncontrolled, unrestrained and nasty
There are no winners here, not one is unscathed, just a mess of tears and apologies
Always hormonal in desperate search of normal, tomorrow hopes for healed
The dawn cries and I arise; I take my medication and pray.
Maybe this dark and heavy cloud will find flight and lift today.
This post is part of a series I’m writing for the month of October called, Walking in Humility: Learning to Abide with God in the Everyday. If you’re interested in the reading the rest of the series, you can find it here. Enjoy!