Grace at Our Arms Wide Open was one of the first PPD/Depression blogs I found when I began looking around. I was immediately taken in by her charm, her candor. Her complete honesty. Grace's story is one that needs to be shared - and not just with new mom's. Her's is a journey of strength and character building that you are going to find inspiring. Grace is one of the women who let me know that I wasn't alone. You're going to love her. I do. (and let's be honest. When she agreed to guest post? ::headexplosions::)
Going through depression never really leaves you.
Sure, you heal slowly, life returns to normal - a new normal - and you move forward.
But there is always that demon in the shadow taunting you, waiting to catch you off guard. With time, the shadow becomes brighter and the demon smaller and less intimidating. With time, you gain confidence in yourself, what you've learned, how you've grown, the strength of those who love you. And you move forward even more, from small shaky steps, to leaping with purpose.
My son just turned 3 last week. I can say I've healed. I can say life is pretty much back to normal. The demons are there, however, and they manifest themselves in fear, doubt and guilt.
I'm still learning on a daily basis how to overcome these things will tools like positive thinking, planning ahead, networking with other moms, creating a support system, forgiving myself.
Before becoming a mom I never imagined I would go through what we went through. Now in retrospect, I would not be the mom I am today without overcoming depression. Depression stole a lot from us as a family, but it also gave us gifts.
The gift I am most thankful for is the bond my husband and son have. I attribute this largely to the fact that my husband had to step up to parenting in ways much more intense than the average husband and father. My son received this gift with open arms.
Depression also taught me a new level of gratefulness. I see things through a new lens. I am thankful and don't take the little things for granted. I appreciate small accomplishments. I went into this second pregnancy with purpose, intent, sweat on my brow, and determination in my heart. I don't take any of this lightly.
Depression gave me a community of other like-minded moms, many of whom have gone through the hell we went through. There's nothing that bonds women more than motherhood, and nothing more than overcoming postpartum depression.
In the thick of your pain, the last thing on your mind is the reasons behind your suffering. But, let me encourage you, let me assure you, you will heal. You will emerge from this darkness a brighter person, a lighter person, a person with more purpose.
In October we welcome our second little boy. The name we chose for him means "warrior." I think we are both entering this relationship trembling. But we will fight together and win.