July 7, 2020

6 days post op and still healing.
This is the face of continued physical pain.
This is also the face of emotional pain.
Our brains are so incredibly powerful. And when your mind is ill, the way it can work against you is astounding. I am grateful for the amount of healing that has already occurred, so I have been able to recognize the lies my mind is telling me, but nonetheless, it has still caused some increased irritability, sadness, and sleep disturbances. You see, my mind has drawn some parallels from my surgery recovery to the darkest points of my PPD/PPA. My brain has been telling me the following:
“Oh, you are isolating and not socializing? That’s because you don’t matter and are too much of a burden for others to deal with. Oh, you are tired and hurting; you don’t feel like getting out of bed, so you lay there most of the day? That’s because your life isn’t worth living so you should just stay there. Oh, you aren’t holding Olivia and spending time with her? Well of course you aren’t! You just feel like her babysitter and feel nothing but emptiness when you hold her anyway.” And so on.
But the beauty in treating my mental illness is that I have been able to recognize these lies for what they are. And I was able to understand why my mind is finding these circumstances similar and drawing conclusions based upon them. But those conclusions were based on old information.
So to my mind, I say: “Yes, I am isolating while healing, because I do matter. And rather than burden my own system by trying to go out, I am filling my need for connection and fellowship by asking friends to come visit me here at home. Yes, I am spending a lot of time laying in bed while recovering, but that’s because I just had a fairly major surgery and this fatigue is not due to my depression. My life is incredibly valuable, and in order to take care of it, I require rest right now. Yes, I am not getting to hold Olivia and spend very much time with her, it’s true. And it’s actually quite heartbreaking. You’re correct, mind, in that this wouldn’t have bothered me before. But over the last several weeks I have finally begun to really develop a bond with her and I really enjoy holding and cuddling with her. So no. I don’t get to hold her, and I won’t get to for five more weeks. Its crushing when she reaches out and says, ‘Mama’, but I will get to snuggle her again soon and love every minute of it.” My mind’s version of events is way off course.
God has blessed me so much. Yes, I do continue to struggle. These perinatal mood and anxiety disorders are not quickly overcome. But I am healing and I can see God’s hand in my journey. He has also given me this ability to speak with other Moms that are struggling. Every day I am blessed with the connection social media provides to help other Moms know they aren’t alone and to give them resources, most of which is directing them to their state chapter of PSI and/or putting them in touch with Sage (the makers of #Zulresso). Recently that has also led to being asked to share the power of prayer and the light of the Lord. Through social media, guys!!! You just never know. And I am so grateful. 💜
If you are unfamiliar with my story and interested in reading more, please look back further in the blog, or search the Archives.
As always, please know I am here to support anybody that is struggling. Please check the “Resources” page for more help and know that I am happy to help you find any resources in your area or be a listening ear anytime. And I am open to answering any questions you have regarding anything in my posts.
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Sarah 6 days postop