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The Lie I've Told Everyone, Including Myself

Sad girl in bed, backlit scene. Desaturated image.
Photograph by Getty Images

I gave birth to my second child around seven months ago. And I'm really not OK.

It took almost losing it recently for me to admit that I have actually been struggling all these months after the birth. It didn't just start; it has been happening for weeks and months now. Just about every time someone asks if I’m OK, I lie. I say that I’m fine.

But I’m not fine.

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It wasn’t until I watched singer Melanie Fiona’s video confessions that I realized how jacked up I am.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m not embarrassed or anything. I don’t feel like my thoughts and feelings are more legit because a celebrity is also going through the same thing. But without telling you too much that was mentioned in that video, I can honestly say that she fell right into my brain.

A little makeup, cheesy smiles, fake laughs. These all do a great job concealing the truth.

It’s funny when you’re stuck in the same sinking sand that is called postpartum life. Here you are thinking you’re the only one going through these tribulations. How crazy is that? In this big ol’ world, we seem to think that we may be the only one who is swamped, cramped and almost drowning.

One woman’s pregnancy, labor and delivery, and postpartum experience opened up the door for me. Fiona's experience was so unique but also so very relatable. And it made me wonder why we always think we’re so alone.

Social media is supposed to be so incredibly social. But I find it incredibly lonely. I’ve been wanting to reach out to friends, but I don’t want to worry them. I’m also afraid of the judgment and assumptions. Really, I’m just now learning how to let go and admit where I'm at.

I think this is the toughest part about postpartum blues, about depression. It's so easy to make it look like I have it together. A little makeup, cheesy smiles, fake laughs. These all do a great job concealing the truth. If I wear the right eye cream, no one can tell that I cried before I even opened my eyes this morning.

It doesn’t matter if your child is 2 weeks old or 2 years old. Your feels are valid, they matter, and it’s time to wake up and get yourself some help.

But who am I helping by concealing it? How does this heal me and allow the people who really want to help me to actually help me?

Sadly, I’ve got all these questions but very few answers. That's depression, too.

I do know that I’ve found some comfort in knowing that what I feel is normal. I can get help. Help is available. So here I am. I am a mom. I am vulnerable, and I’m having a tough time. I’m dropping how I “think” I should feel, and I’m putting it all out there so I can free myself and help free other moms.

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So from one depressed mama to another, listen: You aren’t alone. It doesn’t matter if your child is 2 weeks old or 2 years old. Your feels are valid, they matter, and it’s time to wake up and get yourself some help. I know, I know. You thought you could do it alone. You thought those feelings would go away, and you’re pushing through each day hoping it gets better. Maybe it will and maybe it won’t. Either way, know you aren’t alone.

I think it’s time we get ourselves some help. Join me, will you?

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