Saturday, March 13, 2010

A fake smile

I have spent the last 7 months in denial that something was wrong... Most new moms who are so in love with their children have super emotional days and feel that life is over, right? Most people with major life changes have major meltdowns, right? Most mothers who have a child with a speech delay constantly battle with comparisons to other children and wonder what they did wrong, right? When the months pass and things get better but I still can't get it together, well it's just hormones right? When things are really great and my life is great, but instead I see a very cloudy view of myself, trapped and almost numb to life, unable to figure out what to do... that's normal right???...
For so many years I had a very wrong idea of what depression was. I thought that if people knew Jesus they should be able to "get it together", and wondered why they had to turn to medicine. I now unfortunately completely understand what these people were dealing with. I now know how it feels to have days with no emotion while thinking about the amazing family I am more than blessed to have, and know how it feels to fight with everything in me, every second of the day, to keep it together so my kids, family, and co workers don't notice something is wrong. I know what it feels like to be angry because friends don't call to check on me or hang out, to be in a constant battle of wanting to have days of purpose but instead I am left feeling helpless, unsure of how to do that. I'm tired of taking every opportunity to leave my house and take the boys to the store just to escape my thoughts. I'm tired of being a wife that now has the time to spend with my husband, but would rather go to bed so I could escape life... and my only answer to his sincere question of "what's wrong", is always "nothing...I don't know, I really don't know." I'm tired of being ashamed of what I'm dealing with.
Feeling alone and helpless I finally had the guts to reach out to some friends only to feel abandoned and not better. I wonder if I'm crazy, can I really just pray and make it go away....I have found that I can't. I now understand this is real and I finally took the step and talked to my doctor, talked to people who will listen and encourage me and help me get through it. I'm thankful for others who are sharing their struggles so I know I'm not the only one. I'm thankful for an amazing mother in law who understands all my sadness and frustration and prays her guts out for me, and for my husband who knows I'm not weird or crazy, even though I feel that way daily, and encourages me that we will get through this.
As I go through the process of healing from post-partum depression I look forward to really living life again. I can't see it yet, but I know I will...and when that happens my smile will be genuine.


  1. Thank you for sharing this. Your honesty is encouraging to me. I have (obviously) never had to deal with PPD and I can only imagine a fraction of what it must be like, but it gives me hope that if there is ever a day where I have to look it in the face, that I don't have to be afraid to do so. I don't always have the best days and sometimes I feel like I'm missing something, but above all knowing that there's nothing "wrong" with being human and dealing with real life stuff is easier to handle when I know I'm not alone. And I want you to know that you are not alone either. I wish I was closer. I wish I had known you better before. I wish a lot of things, but right now I wish I could just sit next to you and hug you. <3

  2. Just know reading your blog...

    Proud of you Alanna...there is progress...there is hope...I keep telling my self 'inch by inch it's a cinch...yard by yard it's hard'. Bottom line: baby steps, do the next thing, one thing at a time.

    My house is a mess, kids are half in jammies/ half in clothes...but, my door is always open. C'mon over!

  3. Alanna, I just found out you have a blog...I'm such a stalker! :) I was looking at Kathie's and I saw your comment.

    I am so thankful for this post...I have dealt with depression too and I know a lot of people do. Thank God for understanding husbands and praying mother-in-law's. It's made a huge difference for me too! Well...that and large doses of chocolate and medicine. :)

    I can't wait to read more of your posts. You are a very talented writer. You are heartfelt and honest,I love it!!

  4. Oh...this is Jana Bishop by the way. Sorry I forgot to put my name. :)

  5. Hi Alanna,
    I love your blog..its very honest. As hard as it is..(and since this post was a few months ago, so I am sure you are doing better) I am really grateful to hear another person who feels like I have felt before. Even though I don't have kids yet, I've suffered with depression. I actually didnt know what it was for years. Ada eventually suggested I see a Physcologist, and since there has been a huge improvement in my life. I used to ask myself the same questions all the time, that you wrote in your post. Im on a very low dose of Sertraline...and it has really really helped. Though I know PPD eventually dissapates...I just want to say that I completely understand you when it comes to feeling the way we feel sometimes and questioning even though we know in the depth of us we do trust God. I'll be have a beautiful family!