postpartum depression happens to the best of us. even the most mentally hygienic women have silently struggled. and i am suddenly one of them. after weaning the twins last week, i feel like i have been on one wicked ride of vicious emotions. i know it sounds weird to say postpartum since the twins are 13 months now, but steve said this happened when i weaned davith, as well as around 6 months postpartum & at different points prenatally with each pregnancy... i just never remember these things. and so i thought i would write myself a little post, a little checklist of remembrances if there should happen to be a next time to help equip me out of the 'depths of despair'.
battle thought #1: postpartum is a pilgrimage worth progressing through
i love the idea that we are always progressing, always pushing forward, always pioneering and the thought occurred to me that both pregnancy & postpartum shouldn't be excluded from those principles. so i may not be where i think i should be. i have & i am progressing regardless of my feelings, from strength to strength & glory to glory.
battle thought #2: drink deep of the well of my salvation
now is the time to buckle down & know who i am... not who i feel like. i need to meditate on what God thinks of me, the truth. i actually caught myself melodramatically crying 'hope where art thou?' until i heard Him say 'I am right here beside you'. there is nothing to fear. my hope is Him. author & perfecter. He's not done with me yet, He hasn't forsaken me. and i am worth it to Him. i have definitely appreciated the sweet intimacy with my saviour who is ever so gracious.
battle thought #3: my reality is overrated
i find myself excruciatingly sensitive during this process & it helps to just recognize that there is a possibility that that person didn't just call me fat. realizing that what seems so real in my brain isn't alway what happened in reality, helps deflate offense. and to return to #2, know who you are and be secure is a nice little reality check.
battle thought #4: stick with the strong
surrounding myself with loads of worship music, tons of reading material & lots of people to build me up have been such a strength. people don't even necessarily have to know what you're going through, they just need to be positive, non-life sucking, pleasant people. i really have to force myself to read & pray during this time, as i just found it helped restore some dignity, truth & vision beyond what i am feeling at the moment.
battle thought #5: be thankful
take nothing for granted. thank God for every seemingly menial thing. for cowlicks, for cheerios, for quiet moments, for loud moments. be thankful.
battle thought #6: this too shall pass
it always feels like it's going to last forever. but that is the tricky thing about hormones is one day you feel at your lowest & the next your back at the top of your game. it doesn't necessarily mean months & months of darkness & struggle. and on the dark days, you just recognize it for what it is & take it all at face value. i know i may not just leap out of the pit suddenly but i can build steps by taking every decision captive & eventually reaching the top again. as both a parent & a leader, i don't really have the luxury of revelling in these emotions. i know i have to either grow up or be swallowed up. they are impossible decisions at times but i know it is just a time of chiseling and sharpening. it's not a waste. surely my redeemer & restorer has something to say about that!