May is Postpartum Depression awareness month. That means something to me having experienced postpartum anxiety for a few months after I gave birth to my Darya. Drawing awareness to the issue means being authentic with my experience with it. It means joining the solution, not continuing the problem by denying and ignoring the reality of what it means to become a new mom for many, many women. When we deny what postpartum is we isolate the mama’s who are currently experiencing it, making them feel alone and misunderstood. We add to the stigma and to the need of appearing perfect. Perfectionism and the idealistic depiction of motherhood breeds loneliness and it keeps us separate from one another. Postpartum anxiety, for me, grew stronger, in fact, when all I saw were images of mom’s appearing perfect. All. The. Time. Because that image of perfection didn’t align with my personal experience and [my birth] as a new mom. And so it’s important, I think, to show the whole range of emotions that can occur. Yes there is bliss. Yes, of course, there is love. But there can also be anxiety, sadness, confusion, loneliness, etc. It’s necessary not to just show yourself at your best, even if this society begs for just that, because it’s begging for a lie. The human experience is not meant to be perfect, its not meant to look perfect, it is not meant to be easy. That’s why it’s also beautiful. It’s the whole range of it. Not just parts of it. And as much as I, too, want to only show the best of it because I am a true believer that focusing on what is good, helps it expand, and focusing on what’s negative, well, breeds negativity. As much as that holds true, this is different. In this particular instance, only showing the positive and the glorified aspects of being a new mom, contributes to the problem. It contributes to the stigma and THAT is negative.
I am hoping to light the candle of hope for friends of mine or women who I don’t even know, who are suffering silently or out loud. I’m hoping to shed light on what is considered to be very dark and cruel. I hope it lights the way, I hope my being authentic and vulnerable with my experience will allow you to do the same. And I also hope it serves as a reminder that we are warriors, as women and as mama’s, and we overcome the hard parts. And you will, too. #Notapreexistingcondition #postpartumanxiety