It’s been a non-stop emotional rollercoaster since 2016. I won’t go into too much detail because there is just… so… much. But if you’ve been on this ride with me or you are experiencing depression too, then you’re probably slightly interested in what’s been going on in my personal life.
I am writing this with the hope of encouraging or relating to anyone in a situation like mine because it is more common than people really know — and that is 100% because people don’t talk about it. There is a lot people don’t talk about when it comes to the not-so-glamorous parts of real life and I’d rather not contribute to that silence. So many women go through miscarriages and postpartum depression alone because of the shame that comes with these very natural and very common processes. I, myself, have only recently started seeing a professional for mental and emotional support; and with that, I am starting to see the beauty in reaching out, in relating to others, in the community of it all. I guess that’s why I am writing this now. There is a phrase I’ve heard before but now truly understand: it takes a village to raise a mother. Fuck. Yes. It does.
Before my first child, I lost a baby. It was the summer of 2016, right about when this blog went silent. I miscarried at 8 weeks. No symptoms, no warnings signs… no words. The weeks after I lost my first baby were filled with confusion; self-doubt; and so much intense, white-hot rage. I isolated myself and got angry with everyone and everything around me. I started dumb, petty fights on Twitter with girls from my industry, even some I cared about.
I was not okay.
I truly didn’t know how to cope. Even though he was so supportive and loving and held my hand through it all, I had a hard time facing my husband, Zack. I couldn’t face him because I felt like I had failed him. I had failed us — or so I kept convincing myself. So what did I do? I ran away to Europe for 3 weeks. Literally. Packed my bags and left for France, ended up drowning myself in wine and delicious food. It sounded pretty destructive to those closest to me at first, but it honestly ended up being a great healer. I was able to distract myself with the beauty of Paris on my good days, but I also stayed cozy in my Airbnb with wine and reruns of The Office when I just wanted to hide from the world. After 3 weeks and some train rides around Europe, I returned to Vegas, which is where we were living at the time and before I could even stress about where to go from that point, we got pregnant with Finn. It was like the universe was making it happen. I went from complete self-doubt to being this glowing ball (literally) of life. It was a huge shift, the first of many life-altering adjustments to come.
To make a long story short here, I’ve had 3 pregnancies and 2 babies in the past 2 years. All of my pregnancies were very rough and both babies spent significant time in the NICU. And with each birth have come these huge emotional waves of postpartum depression (PPD). Did I mention we have also moved 4 times in the last 2 years? Right. Okay. So THAT amount of compounding hormones and stress would surely do a person in. Well after the 4th move, I really snapped. I had finally reached my physical, mental, emotional maximums; and I was rapidly unraveling. The day before we arrived at the new house, everything went dark. I just could not visualize my life past that day… But I’m still here.
I’m still here because I was honest to those close to me that I wasn’t feeling like myself, but it was also pretty clear to my immediate family that something needed to be done. I was drowning.
I have recently started talking to a mental health professional who specializes in PPD. It’s not for everyone but it is already helping me so much. Talking it out with someone versed in my struggles and finding healthy ways to cope seems like the best route. I refuse to take prescription medication for depression so it’s up to me to actively find ways to be the best version of myself I can be, or who am I to my family? What kind of wife am I? What kind of mother am I? What example am I setting for them if I just wallow and stay miserable? I need to be the best for them, but in order to do that I need to take my health more seriously and stop testing my limits. I need to be better at asking for help and stop telling myself “I can do it, I don’t need help”. That is all incredibly isolating and it does not benefit anyone involved. It’s the whole “secure your own mask before helping others” thing. I get that now.
With all of this crushing pressure, this intense emotional weight I am bearing, I know I am in a period of transmutation. Each ugly, painful moment is shaping me into the woman I am capable of being. Grapes are crushed to make wine. Diamonds form under pressure. Seeds grow in darkness. That whole jam. I just can’t wait to be on the other side.
The figurative black cloud has not lifted. It’s still hard, but I’m taking each day as it comes. There are some days that I feel like Supermom. There are some days where I wake up and struggle fiercely until bedtime. On those days, we go slow: eat good foods, watch movies that make us happy, go for a walk to the playground. My oldest is 1 1/2 now and he is so good at keeping my spirits up. I am so grateful for him and his brother everyday.
I am still trying to catch my breath after all that the last 3 years have thrown at me, but if anyone is dealing with these feelings too then please reach out to someone you trust. Or someone you can pay to trust. Or my DMs are open for loving conversations.