Brave: Battles Within

For a while now, I've been contemplating how I should approach this subject and if I should even post about it. It's very personal, so it's hard to talk about even though it has affected every part of my life. Since I try to be open about my life on here, I feel like it's something that needs to be shared...and, as always, it's my hope that sharing will help someone else in the process.

Before I go any further, I want to say this: If you read this and think, "I never knew; why didn't you say anything to me about this?" know that it's not because of you. It's because of me.

Many of you know that Joe went to NTC this past February. Millie was still brand new, and we had just discovered she had colic and reflux. Add a toddler to that mix, and I was beyond overwhelmed. Before he even left, I had anxiety about the 5 weeks I'd be alone. The first day he was gone (true to Murphy's Law), I all but had a breakdown. I'm not sure I've ever cried more in the span of 12 hours than I did that day, just from anxiety.The entire time he was gone, it was one thing after another. I took Millie to the pediatrician at least twice. All of us caught a cold. Then there was the ice storm, which resulted in a 72 hour power outage. The first night we were back in the house, there was an earthquake. (No, really.) Millie was barely sleeping at night, and Charlotte was...being a typical toddler. 

I was the epitome of exhausted. I didn't want to do anything but sleep. But then I also had a hard time getting to sleep. I would hear Millie grunting over the monitor, and my heart would pound because I just knew she was going to wake up and need to be fed. If she didn't wake up, I had a hard time going back to sleep. When she did wake in the middle of the night, it took forever to get her back to sleep. Some nights, I had thoughts that would terrify anyone. I was inexplicably angry.

During those 5 weeks, I assumed the feelings I had were because I had a toddler, a colicky newborn, and was doing it all alone. Sure, I had been able to get friends to come over and watch them when I went to get groceries, but the rest? That was all me. I figured that it was a combination of hormones and exhaustion. I reassured myself that once Joe came home, all would be well again.

Well, he did come home. We survived, although I'm still not sure how. That time is a complete blur. (With the exception of that stupid ice storm. I may never forget that one.) And yeah, things did get a little bit better. I had some help! Help getting them fed, bathed, and in bed. But at the same time...things weren't all that much better. I still didn't want to do anything but sleep. I rarely posted on my blog, or anywhere on social media. I just...didn't. Which is kind of rare for me. The inexplicable anger was still there, too. 

It wasn't until Joe started asking me, "what's wrong?" that I started noticing something was going on. It wasn't until I realized I was angry at Joe for no apparent reason that I started to think I might need help. It wasn't until I lost it with Charlotte that I truly recognized the problem.  

Like any good blogger, I headed for Dr. Google first. I scrolled past a few articles until I found one that looked right. The list of symptoms hit me straight in the stomach. I was at once relieved and scared; hopeful and embarrassed.

Post-partum Depression.

As soon as I read those words, I decided I needed to talk to Joe. He was very supportive, and we agreed that I should call and talk to my doctor. The next day, I put a call in to my OB/GYN. Thankfully, she agreed to call in meds for me and advised me to talk with my PCM.

It's been 4 months since that day. I initially hated the idea of being on medication, but I knew I needed something. And you know what? It helped. Although it does make me sleepy, I can avoid being a walking zombie by taking it at night. No longer do I feel overwhelmed by the simplest things; no longer do I feel inexplicable anger. I don't go from happy to extremely upset in 2.5 seconds anymore. I want to do more than sleep. I want to hang out with my girls and my husband, blog, post photos....all of what I did before. Do I enjoy taking medication? Nope. But I recognize that I need this...for now. There will hopefully come a day when I don't, but until then I'm thankful that it helps me feel more like me.

I've been planning on talking about this for a while, and with all of the 'hype' surrounding Robin William's death... I couldn't stay silent anymore. The entire time I was dealing with this without medication, I was in a deep, dark place. My lack of interest in things I normally enjoy, was like some sort of numbness. I just didn't care. The anger...was terrifying. There were times when I would be rocking Millie, trapped in anger, crying, and praying that God would help me not to be angry. I didn't want to feel the way I did, but I could not control it. 

I've seen so many posts in the last two days on depression that just make me sick. I couldn't control my depression - my anger, my numbness. I desperately, desperately wanted to. I hated the way I felt, the way I acted. I have so much regret for that moment I lost my temper with Charlotte. I didn't hurt her physically, but my actions spoke anything but love to her. For weeks, she reenacted what I said to her in that moment, and I was forced to relive it every time.

No matter what anyone says, depression isn't something you can just get over. I do believe in the power of prayer, and I did pray. But still the feelings lingered. Please don't assume that depression has a simple fix; it doesn't. If you know (or think you know) someone who struggles with depression, just love them and be supportive. Just because you don't understand their struggle doesn't mean it's not real. It's very real, very dark, very personal, and can be hidden from even the closest of friends.


  1. Thank you so much for sharing your story. I know it's not easy to share something like this. I know I'm not ready to share my PPD story....someday, but not yet. I'm so glad that you were able to find something that helped you. There is no shame in taking medication Mama. You do what you need to do to be there for those precious girls of yours! And remember, you're not alone!

  2. I really wish my only Army wife friend in Augusta was still there (they moved to Germany). She had horrible PPD, and she would be a great resource for you. And you are very brave for sharing your story!

  3. I know it's hard, I had PPD too when Blueberry was born. Hubs also left at 2 months for NTC and I about lost it. If you ever need someone to talk to, I'm here. :)

  4. I am glad you were able to figure out what was wrong and address it. Although I can't imagine any of it has been easy, knowing you are on the road to better mental health I'm sure makes you feel beyond grateful. Please don't hesitate to let me know if you need anything.. ever.

  5. I know that cannot be easy to share, thank you for doing so. Keep the faith and do what is right for you (: You are a strong person and I've read your blog a long time (not the best commenter, I know) and I want to say thank you for writing this.

  6. Depression is NOT something that is easy to deal with or easy to get over. I'm glad you sought help when you needed it!