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To the Brave and Tired Mama Just Diagnosed With Postpartum Depression

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Dear brave and tired mama,

I saw you walk out of our doctor’s office today. You were carrying your crying newborn with one arm, and dragging a stubborn 2-year-old with the other.

Your face revealed your utter exhaustion. You tried to hide it with makeup, but I’m a mom too, and I could recognize the truth: six weeks postpartum means you’re still not sleeping more than a couple precious hours at a time each night. And that busy toddler who’s pulling at you and asking you for juice? I’m betting she doesn’t let you rest much during the day.

I heard the nurse at the front desk hand you a prescription for Celexa, and tell you to schedule a follow-up appointment for next month. Your eyes were filled to the brim with tears, threatening to spill over at any moment, and I read both shame and relief in your pained expression.

I wanted to run up to you, hug you and let you cry on my shoulder, and tell you I’ve been there too.

I wanted to tell you how, even though I know you don’t see it, you really are a good mama.

I wish you could see who I saw this morning: a woman in anguish who was still strong enough to get up today.

A woman who was overwhelmed with fear, but still brave enough to ask for help.

A woman who didn’t know if she was going to make it through the day, but still puts one foot in front of the other.

That’s what warriors are made of. That’s what heroes do.

Oh, brave and tired mama, I know. I know your feelings of frustration and defeat. I know how often you say to yourself, It’s not supposed to be this way. I hate myself. I can’t do this.

But you can. You can. You already are.

Stay in the fight.

No matter how hard it is now, keep fighting. I promise you, it will get better.

It will take hard work. You will want to give up. But if you persevere, you can be well again.

You will be yourself again, and you will be better than you were before. I know; I’ve been there, twice.

And I promise, no matter what your demons whisper to you in the darkness, you are needed, you are loved, and you are worth it.


Another brave and tired mama

Originally published: July 1, 2016
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