Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Out Came the Sun and Dried Up All the Rain.

I cannot help but think how blessed I am to have this little boy in my life. Since he was created, my life has forever changed. My way of thinking, my priorities, every aspect of me is different and I am so grateful that he is here. Being a mom is one of the things I know I am great at but have struggled while adjusting to my new role.

I am a caretaker. I am a very giving and nurturing person so it was easy to adapt to the mommy role. I love everything about it until I began to spiral out of control and not have answers for what I was going through. I became very emotional, irrational and angry all of the time. I had a temper that appeared out of nowhere and began to have severe panic and anxiety attacks. I feared anything that was out of my control and out of our daily routine. Some days I actually thought about how my son's life would be without me. I honestly would ask my husband if he would know what to do if I were gone. I thought this behavior was normal and it was just my hormones talking so I ignored all the signs.

I let this go on for six months. I thought that I was just a lost soul and needed to find a hobby. I had been laid off in April 2008 and have been home with Jack since so my husband thought that it was a career issue. I knew it wasnt. I loved being with him and staying at home, teaching him and celebrating every milestone in his first years. It was for me...but i didnt feel like myself.

Jack's first birthday was a major turning point in my life. I made a decision days later to seek help from my general practitioner, therapist, family and friends. I was diagnosed with postpartum depression and today is the first I am talking about it...writing down my thoughts...5 months later. It's hard, let me tell you.

For someone who always likes to feel in control of things, the one thing that was out of control was my thoughts. Seeking help made me feel like I finally had an understanding of what was going on and I was now in control of my body and was getting the help I needed. And I have Brooke Shields to thank.

I remember seeing Brooke Shields on Oprah talking about her book about her experience with postpartum depression. I always thought that the new mom had postpartum depression after having a baby and it was associated with not having a connection with your child; which clearly wasnt the case with me. I began to research her book and ended up buying it at Barnes & Noble. It saved me. It gave me the information that I so desperately needed. What I never knew was that postpartum depression occurs wtihin the first year of the child's birth and that there are several different aspects of it. Things began to make sense again and this book lead to me seeking help from a professional.

After my doctor appointment, Lexapro perscription and several therapy sessions, I began to feel like my old self again. I started to make positive changes in my life. Changes that directly affected my health, emotional well being and mental state. It started with the company that I keep. I seperated myself from those that didn't  support me and my family at my best and certainly couldn't at my worst. I realized the lesson of quality over quantity and that family means everything!

I am so thankful for what I went through and am continuing to battle. It has opened my eyes to everything that matters and makes me realize how great I really have it. This has encouraged me to turn over a new leaf. I now take more chances. I laugh as much as I can. I am not afraid to show my child-like enthusiam. I make more effort with my great friendships. I am making new friends with common interests. I am creating a strong support system. After a downpour, finally...out came the sun and dried up all the rain.

If you are experiencing any of the symptoms that I have or think that you may be experiencing a form of postpartum depression, please seek help. Talk to your doctor and your family about your feelings. Never feel embarrassed. You will feel like a better woman and mother for doing it. If you need someone to listen, email me at kelleylegler@hotmail.com. Thanks!

1 comment:

  1. Kelley-you rock and are a strong person, I think it is great that you are willing to share your experience and even if it helps even one mother out there-it's worth it!