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Editorial Post: A Mother’s Struggle With Depression

21 Jul

I’ve felt so alone. There’s been an emptiness that I haven’t been able to quite grasp. It’s made me angry and bitter. For months now, I’ve felt the pain of something I can’t change. So many “what-ifs”. I spend so much of my time second-guessing every decision I’ve ever made and it all started two days before my son was born. I was sent to the hospital with pre-eclampsia and told that I’d have to be induced. It took nearly a week for the truth to sink in.

I felt like a failure. I hated myself for every stupid decision I’d made. So many things raced through my mind…if I’d only taken my pre-pregnancy obstetrician seriously about stress testing and my risks for complications; if only i’d been more strict about my prenatal regime; if only I had stuck to a healthier diet the last few months of my pregnancy; if only i’d not gotten the epidural and just stuck it out; if only i hadn’t had to have a c-section; if only i’d done more research on breastfeeding. It was utter torment. I blamed myself for everything. I hated myself so much that I just couldn’t bear to draw breath.

I still beat myself up for my choices. But then I remember the old expression: ‘Hindsight is 20/20’. I couldn’t have known that all of this would happen. I did the best I could against stacked odds. I fought with every breath to do right by my son. I had to make the hard choices even when I wished I could just lay down and die. Needless to say, it’s affected my marriage, my relationships with my family and friends, my confidence, my self-worth.

It’s made me afraid to choose because what if that choice means another failure? Could I handle more failure without falling apart completely? I never was much of a coward, but failure has made me one. I detest failure. It makes me doubt myself too much and causes me too much anxiety. But I have a son. I don’t have the luxury of breaking down and giving up. I need to fight because what am I teaching him if I won’t fight for myself and my family? I won’t teach him to quit. I won’t teach him to lie down and die when things get hard. He WILL be stronger than me. He WILL be better than me. He’ll learn from my mistakes and he’ll build a better life for himself.

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Posted by on July 21, 2012 in Editorial, Post-Partum

 

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