08/ 08/ 2017

My experience with postpartum depression and anxiety

For a little over the past year I have been in the depths of postpartum depression and anxiety. Even though I was surrounded by loving family and friends, I felt so alone in my struggle. I either felt anger or nothing. I hated when I didn’t feel. I would curl up on my couch and cry until my tears stung my cheeks because I couldn’t feel anything. I would clutch my arms, rock back and forth while my heart screamed for anything other than neutrality.

The longer I struggle with depression and anxiety, the more open I’ve become about it. But THIS, putting it out on the internet for anyone to read has been really hard for me. Putting your struggles on blast is a lot less intimate than talking with a friend who has gone through the same struggles or with someone who “gets it.”

A few months ago I read an article by Chrissy Teigen about her experience with postpartum depression and so much of it resonated with me. I’d like to include a section that knocked the breath out of me and made me stop as soon as I read it.

“Growing up in the nineties, I associated postpartum depression with[…] people who didn’t like their babies
or felt like they had to harm their children.
I didn’t have anything remotely close to those feelings. I looked at Luna every day, amazed by her. So I didn’t think I had it.
I also just didn’t think it could happen to me. I have a great life. I have all the help I could need…
But postpartum does not discriminate.
I couldn’t control it.
And that’s part of the reason it took me so long to speak up: I felt selfish, icky, and weird saying aloud that I’m struggling.
Sometimes I still do.”

Chrissy gets me. It has been so hard for me to get past the selfish feeling and admit I struggle with postpartum anxiety and depression. Especially when I logically know everything in my life is good and I have the best husband and kids. Something about speaking out makes me feel ungrateful for the wonderful life I have – it’s a weird type of guilt. But Chrissy’s right, depression (postpartum or “traditional”) doesn’t discriminate. It gets everyone no matter your walk or stage of life.

I am so incredibly grateful for Cory and for the constant source of strength he provides me. He literally picks me up when I don’t have the strength to move. He is always and forever my rock. Reminding me I’m strong, brave, smart, and most of all – enough – when my brain is trying to convince me I’m not. I’m thankful for my sweet children who love me unconditionally no matter my mood. Who never stop asking, “what about a biiiig hug and kiss?” Who have wiped the tears from my cheeks more times than I can count. I often feel unworthy of their love and kindness, but they are constantly showing me the goodness in my world when I can’t always see it.

For those of you who are suffering openly or silently, I hope you know I mean it with all my heart when I say I am here. Sometimes all you need is one person on your team when everything else feels stacked against you. I will always be on your team. Always

I don’t know if depression ever leaves, but I’m learning how to cope with it each day.
I’m trying and I think that counts for something.


4 responses to “My experience with postpartum depression and anxiety”

  1. Fern Cloward says:

    Dear BFF (Brissa). You are so flippin normal…we all have been in your shoes at one time or another. Can I tell you, as “old” as I, I still get those darned feelings of inadequacy–the comparing myself to others, the WPT (what people think). I still have my “pity parties” then—wow! I have days, even weeks, that I think I’m really okay. Hang in there, gal! You’ve made a huge step in your life by recognizing and doing something. Many won’t ‘fess up. Know that you are loved by so many (me at the top of the list-well, maybe down a bit –you know–Cory, the Kiddies, your Mom & Dad –why did I start this list?) anyway… I can rattle on and on. Just believe me but most of all, believe yourself! Love you…❤️❤️❤️Fern (BFF)

  2. Whitni Poulsen says:

    Ohhhh Brissa. Thank you for sharing. I know that wasn’t easy and I know dealing with this isn’t easy, as I have had my own struggles as well. I hope you can find comfort in the Atonement ❤️

  3. Erin says:

    Thank you so, so much.

  4. ashley says:

    thank you, thank you, thank you. just so much THIS. <3 dealing with anxiety is the HARDEST thing i've ever done. asking for help is so hard, and it's such a lonely journey. the world needs more people like you willing to share and be open and honest and admitting that life isn't perfect. i loved every crying second and don't for a minute feel ashamed for sharing your imperfections!

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