How an attitude of gratitude helped me overcome postpartum depression
“Four years ago, if you had told me an attitude of gratitude could change my life, I would have laughed in your face. In fact, I am pretty sure I snorted some coffee while I read such advice on a postpartum depression (PPD) self help page online. How could I keep a Gratitude Journal, a daily record of three things I’m grateful for, when I hated my life and couldn’t stop thinking of ways to end it? The whole concept seemed a challenging, pointless waste of time, yet I knew I had to do something to get out of the dark pit of despair I had fallen into.”
To read the rest of this piece, please see “Finding Gratitude During Postpartum Depression”, a Fill Your Bucket submission for March 2015, on BonBon Break.
A lot of people don’t realize that anyone can be afflicted by depression. Before the birth of my second child, I was sunny, active, and resilient. I had weathered an international move, nasty breakup, complicated family issues, and the deaths of my Grandma and Father. Through tough times, I had been been sad, but never depressed. Somehow, in the postpartum period, something in my brain just clicked, and suddenly, I was sad all the time and easily overwhelmed by daily tasks.
Postpartum depression is prevalent, but rarely spoken about. It wasn’t until I admitted my struggles, that a few close friends shared their experiences. It was heartbreaking to hear of their pain. If only I, and others, had known, we could have helped them! When I was at my worst, one of my best friends took me to yoga and out for coffee once a week. It was a time to relax, and laugh, and I looked forward to it. Small acts of kindness can go a long way!
I tried a lot of different things to feel better, and in the end, going back to work and having a regular schedule, being more active, and cultivating an attitude of gratitude helped me.
If you don’t feel like yourself, and think you might be depressed, I urge you to speak to your spouse, friends, and doctor. It’s hard, but the people that love you want you to be well. You can and will feel better!