Monday, February 24, 2014

Pregnancy and Depression

I have never been the kind of person to sugar coat anything. I am open, honest, and transparent most of the time. And yet my pregnancy has been an incredibly difficult thing to share with people. Early on in my baby journey I deleted my Facebook. I haven't done the typical "weekly bump photo" like most bloggers love to do. I thought I would too! I have limited myself to using Twitter and Instagram and even those things I rarely post anything on. I have been so very protective of my pregnancy and I think it's because my pregnancy hasn't been what I'd hoped or what others expected it to be.

Society in general has this image of pregnant women as these glowing, feminine goddesses. *GAG* oh sorry, did I just ruin it for someone? Pregnancy for me has been miserable and not just because of the usual pregnancy symptoms... because while those are horrible and I do mean horrible... they aren't the worst part. The worst parts are the moments when someone tells you that something might be seriously wrong with your baby. Or when you completely loose any attachment you ever had to the child growing inside of you. Or the moments when the antepartum depression sinks in so deeply that you truly see no reason to exist anymore.

I was talking to a friend of mine today who struggles with depression as well and I told him that I think one of the hardest things to deal with these days is that people see me as weak. They think I am overreacting or that I just don't "handle" pregnancy well. That maybe if I fought a little harder, I could beat the depression. If I were stronger then maybe I wouldn't be so miserable. As if I have a choice in it all.

But see, that is not how depression works. Depression is not a choice or a mindset that you can choose to overcome. It is not something you can pray away or give a pat on the back and expect it to disappear. It is not about mental toughness or about your will to fight. Trust me... coming from someone who has overcome so much. It is no lack of will or strength or tenacity that is getting the best of me. This friend of mine told me something today that made me smile and I even felt a little bit proud. He said,

"The thing is that the people I know with depression are some of the toughest fuckers on the planet. I would go through hell with those people. I'll take someone who battles depression and can still be a success over anybody. There's nobody tougher."

Amen friend. And thank you for reminding me of that truth.

I am thankful for people like him. People who get it. People who reach out despite the fact that I am no bowl of cherries. People who aren't afraid to include me in their life because of where I am. People who don't just ignore it or me because it is uncomfortable for them to face. I am struggling with depression and while it may not be fun and I may be different.... I am still me. I am still here. Still fighting. I still get up every single day. I go to work. I take care of myself and my baby. I clean my house. I fight to live even on the days where it feels pointless. If that isn't toughness or resilience I don't know what is.
I'm hoping that on the off chance that someone stumbles across this post and is struggling with depression... especially pregnancy related depression.... I hope you know that you are not alone. But more importantly, you should know that if you are still waking up every day and choosing to live... you should be proud. You my friend are a badass. 


  1. I'm so proud of your honesty. Your openness, and your friendship, is such a blessing.

  2. xoxox. You are strong and amazing. Sending you love.

  3. We should also encourage our friends who are battling depression to seek counseling. It can be highly beneficial.