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Honoring My Grandmother’s Legacy Means Taking Care of Myself

As I held my grandmother’s hand on December 2, sobbing uncontrollably, I promised her I would be OK as she transitioned into heaven. The truth: I was teetering on the brink of postpartum depression following the birth of my daughter. I knew the loss of my beloved grandmother could send me into a deep, deep despair if I did not closely monitor my medication and continue with therapy.

The days following her death, I had to make a detailed list to accomplish even the most mundane tasks. Get up. Eat breakfast. Put on real shoes. (It’s too cold for flip flops.)

I feared I’d once again be plagued with the irrational fears that took shape when my now 2-year-old was in NICU. Is she breathing? Are her infections back? Does she have a delay? Am I a good mother? Can I do this?

The biggest challenge of starting this new year as someone with postpartum depression is the realization that admitting you are struggling with this disorder does not mean you are a bad mother. In fact, it takes strength to admit you’re at your capacity and you need help.

While most people are setting resolutions and looking forward to a sense of renewal, I found myself, two years ago, trapped in the throes of a deep-seeded sense of urgency, anxiety and depression. These all-consuming thoughts prevented me from being my best self. I am determined to honor my grandmother’s legacy by first taking care of myself.

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