I have PPD (Post Partum Depression)

I shared a heart felt and personal post on some Mommy groups on Facebook last night. I wanted to get this off my chest. That’s how I do it, I express myself on Facebook. It makes me happy and helps me deal with things.I shared my struggles. The outpouring of love, support and comments from others who are also suffering was overwhelming. It made me realize that, as mothers, we need to talk about this. We need to shout about this from the highest mountain. No Mommy should suffer alone when there are so many of us out here willing to offer support, love and help.

I realized that the post on a private Facebook group wasn’t going to be seen by anyone other than the group members and that this needs to be OUT THERE.

I realized that moms have their own stories to share. They have advice. They know of some amazing groups and websites that can help.

I’m sharing my post here. PLEASE share your story below in the comments. Share your support. Give your tips on how to deal. This post is your post. It’s for all the mommies. It’s for us to show our sisterhood and our love.

Here is my post:

I want to share something with all of you here.

Some of you already know, but it’s not something I’ve gotten around to sharing publicly yet.
As you might already know, my son was born in August of 2012, and then my daughter was born in October of 2014. 

Having babies is difficult! VERY difficult. It’s wonderful and joyous but comes with a whole set of challenges that can’t even be imagined until you’re in it. 

I had heard about ‘post partum depression’ but I knew that would never happen to me. I was the happiest person I knew. 

After Finn was born I looked up what post part depression was to see descriptions of women who couldn’t get out of bed or hold their babies. That wasn’t me. 

After 3 1/2 years of suffering and keeping my symptoms secret for fear of someone taking my children away, after 3 years of struggling alone, when I FINALLY started to ‘come out of it’ I was able to see – I suffered from post partum depression for 3 1/2 years.
I started to ‘wake up’ from the fog last October and then made huge leaps in recovery starting in January of this year. I now have more good days than bad days. But it doesn’t take much to send me back, although it no longer lasts very long. 
I suffered from post partum depression. I got out of bed every day, I loved my babies, I bonded with them, I never saw a doctor. I still worked and smiled in front of people. 
My symptoms involved horrible images in my head that scared me beyond measure. I thought my daughter was ugly for the first year of her life. I couldn’t connect with people. I couldn’t bear to make plans or go to events. 
I am healing. I am getting stronger each day. I learned who my true friends were, and they are fewer than I imagined. 
After 3 1/2 years of struggling to keep my head above water to breathe I can now say that I am healing. I can talk about this. I was THERE and it was ugly. 
No woman should go through that. I now reach out to new moms and I share my story and offer my ear. I will never judge. Trust me, I’m in no position to do so. 
Reach out to people. Ask for help. Don’t suffer in silence, like I did for 3 1/2 years. Life is too precious.
~Gemma



I’m adding to this:
Here are a few things that helped me handle the horrible images that would flood my brain
1.) I would stop and ‘check in’ with myself. That vision was horrible. Do I really want to do that? As long as the answer was ‘no’ I knew I was still ok.2.) My husband and I had a code. If the answer was ever ‘yes’, and I did want to do the horrible thing in my imagination, I was to lock myself out of the house (the kids safe inside) and call him immediately.3.) I PRAYED. I did not pray for God to take my horrible images away. If you have ever watched or read The Secret (and if you haven’t please do ASAP) you know that your mind does not process the negative. It’s like when a person tells you NOT to think about elephants. What do you think about? ELEPHANTS. This is true when you pray. Praying for the BAD thoughts to go only brings more bad thoughts. I prayed for God to fill my mind with loving and positive thoughts. I prayed for thoughts of healing. I prayed for thoughts of love. I prayed for peace in my heart and my soul. I prayed for kindness, I prayed for patience. I prayed for all the things I DID want.
When the horrible images would appear I prayed feverishly for the good thoughts to come and be bigger and stronger.

And, let me be crystal clear, I am still dealing with this. I am not all of a sudden ‘ok,’ I’m battling daily to be my best self. I just try to do my very best every single day, sometimes ‘my best’ means that I publish a book, clean the house and get 4 new clients. Other days ‘my best’ means I wear my pajamas all day, sit on the couch and eat chocolate. They’re BOTH ok. As long as I’m doing the very best that I can for that day I’m ok with that.

These things helped me. Please share below what helped you. The world needs us to speak up. Thank you.

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One Comment

  • Hi Gemma! I LOVE that you posted this. I LOVE that you have found the strength to climb out the dark of PPD. I too, suffered from PPD in silence for 15months after the birth of my twins. I wasn't sure where to turn, or if what I was feeling was "normal" like everyone told me. It changed me, it changed my marriage, and it changed my life. Now, I am 6 months into treatment with group support and my therapist, and though I still have plenty of days where the darkness tries to make its way back into my life, I am doing MUCH better. After my diagnosis, I decided that I too wanted to be a voice for PPD, and do my part to make sure other moms don't slip through the cracks like I did. Today, I am the reigning Mrs. Florida Galaxy, using the crown and sash, to promote PPD as my mission and my platform for my year. It is because of the strength of women like you, who come forward and do your part to make a difference, that we stand for ALL moms who fight the monster we know as PPD. Thank you for sharing your story. You are a warrior mama <3

    https://blessingsfromthedarkness.wordpress.com/2016/03/21/finding-purpose-through-the-pain-how-ppd-became-a-blessing-in-disguise/

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