5 steps to understand and overcome Postpartum Depression
Postpartum depression starts with a poor understanding of self-love. My entire life I had this strong idea that I knew exactly how to love myself. I was confident that I was doing that every day. What keeps us locked in what we don’t know. The things we do that are in opposition of what we want to do.
In therapy I have been asked many questions about the things I thought I was already doing good. The challenge is always to find out the truth about your core beliefs.
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And slowly I have found out that I was giving my energy to things and people that were not supporting my self-love. I had severe post-partum depression. That I didn’t even knew I had. It went so far as two and half years after giving birth.
When we have children since they are so dependent on adults, we think that there is no other way but giving them all of our time and energy. When you don’t even have a support system around you. With friends and family to help there is really no other way. When you don’t have a job to go to. Motherhood becomes your prison.
Step 1. Postpartum depression starts with imprisonment.
The difficult part is to admit that your life situation is indeed a prison for you. We don’t want to admit that our job is our prison. Or our family, or our children, or even our relationship. It took a lot of effort to admit that my daughter was my prison.
Step 2. My daughter was NOT my prison.
But what I was doing as a mother was the prison. The idea that I formed for myself about motherhood was so limited and dogmatic, and built out of trauma. Not rational. I wanted to breastfeed as much as I could, and I did it until she was 16 months old. That was crazy hard on me and on my body. But I was convinced that I was supposed to sacrifice myself like that.
Step 3. Where I took this idea of motherhood.
Usually is from what your mother did. Mixed with the opposite of that. All wrapped up into this new identity. I know is messed up. These are two contradictory thoughts cohabiting your subconscious. Imagine the mess in someone’s mind.
Step 4. Give up on my fake motherhood identity.
This was a scary thing to do. Because we think with our conscious mind that if we give up on that there is nothing left there. We see emptiness. But the reality is a whole different idea. There where we believe is emptiness lies the essence of who we really are. The essence that had never seen the light of day. The true you.
Step 5. Rediscover myself as a person in conjunction with motherhood.
Postpartum depression help me to create new ways to be ME most of the day, while being a mother. Give up on constantly caring for other and caring for me. Ask myself every hour of the day “What do you want now?”. I become “selfish”. But in a good way. I cared more about me than anybody else. Not even about my daughter.
Read here about Toxic Parenting or Toxic femininity.