Sometimes not even the brightest smiles or the best laid foundation can mask the pains of life. Certainly that was the hidden truth of my life mid 2018. I had just had my third child, engaged, on maternity leave and suffering from postpartum depression. Yes, it is real and so highly stigmatized in my culture that I knew I was suffering but there was no one that I could comfortably reach out to.
And so… as my life spiralled out of control, as my frustrations grew…my pains intensified, my fears became potent; my tunnel became darker. Everything around me seemed to be closing in, everything. And when that happened…there was little I could do to pull myself from the abyss.
I was lost. I was lost. I was lost.
And that’s when the thoughts began. The constant thoughts of me feeling alone, having no real friends, no family, no support. All I had were my three kids. I was alone and abandoned. Friends knew, family knew. They all knew that I had issues going on, and yet no one was there for me; not one.
And I used to blame myself. I blamed the image of beauty, the well dressed, well out together SLUR. I blame the social life which I had created outside of my reality. I was smiling on the outside yet, I was dying on the inside.
And I had no one. They all knew, yet no one came, no one came, noone cared. And that feeling of overpowering and overwhelming loneliness crept though. It kept pushing through. The little light and the end of my tunnel was slowly being drawn out
And I knew it couldn’t continue and I couldn’t let it continue. But it was hard. Oh it was so very hard. And then the solution came to me. It seemed easy. It seemed freeing, liberating. I knew the thoughts were wrong. They were weak, they were a “sin” and yet, they were mine.
And as hard as I tried…. I was a victim of their grasp. For a long time I couldn’t let go. At that time, it was no longer just the post baby blues. It was way more, way way more. It was my sanity at stake. I had lost everything at that point. The stress had taken its toll. I was truly lost….and I wanted to take the easy way out.
And …. because I have three beautiful souls depending on me, I had no choice but to claw my way back to reality. I didn’t do it alone. I couldn’t have done it alone. I had help.
One September evening, my insanity and my sanity came to a head on clash. I couldn’t sleep. I was scared to go to sleep. All my thoughts were on that big S. All my thoughts were on justifying and relating to those who’ve became victims. I understood. I was at that place where I understood. I felt the hopelessness and that moment of insanity. That what if moment.
And then I turned over in bed and besides me were my guardian Angels. I knew then that my thoughts had to be curtailed. And so, at almost 3 am that September morning, I called my older sister…and she became my other saviour. She consoled me, she prayed with and for me. And when she couldn’t be up with me any longer; I reached out to my truest friend whom at that time was my friend I’d not spoken to in almost a year. But when I needed someone , she was the one. She knows me at my highest and at my lowest.
And I called her. And she stayed up with me. She walked me through it. She consoled me. And I cried. And I laughed. And I found peace that night. And I found my sanity back.
I am still a work in progress. It’s a process. My mind doesn’t go there any more. There’s no big “S”. There’s not even a small “s”. There are no thoughts. Sometimes I think that all I went through was just a figment if my imagination. But I know better. It was my reality.
So as this new season comes upon me, as the sun begins to shine down on me….I will still be all smiles and these days, my foundation won’t be hiding any pains. This is the summer that will be dedicated to my sanity and to my mental health. I’m celebrating my sanity and freedom from a depression which I almost lost myself to.
This summer, I’m dealing with surviving depression.
I’d ultimately like to bring awareness to the stigmatization of mental health in my community and circle. We need to recognize the signs.
If I could, my ultimate goal would be to show that sometimes not even the brightest smiles or the best laid foundation can mask the pains of life.