grace

Hooray for Wednesday…and another Sluiter Nation Recruit!  Don’t know what the mess a Recruit even is?  Check here for the 411 (do people even say that anymore?)
This week’s Recruit is one of my very first bloggy friends.  Her name is Grace and I truly believe it was grace that brought her to me.  She was in the first wave of people to find Sluiter Nation after I admitted I suffer from postpartum depression.  She does too.  She blogs about it at Arms Wide Open.  She and I very quickly bonded over our little boys, our ppd experience, the fact that she lives in Mexico and I wish I could visit and practice my Spanish, and just trying to make it through this life with a smile.

She is probably one of the most beautiful souls I have ever “met”.  So here she is, sharing something very close to me…

*************

I remember.
January.
Nights and days passed without sleep. I was imagining what it would be like to not exist. To simply vanish.
I remember.
In the mornings I was hysterical. My husband tried to rationalize with me. He was slowly sinking into himself, and me? I was disappearing.
I remember.
It got so bad that he took me to Urgent Care.
“We need help. She has lost her ability to sleep. She is going crazy.”
I frantically told the doctor I could only take something safe for breastfeeding. I cannot stop breastfeeding. I cannot hurt my baby. I cannot take medication.
I remember.
We left with a prescription for Valerian Root. An herb.
I took it and cried. I felt nothing. I paced the cold tile floors. I hid from the shadows. I stared into the streetlights. I slowly disappeared.
I remember.
I ventured out to a playdate.
February.
By now I was on a strong sedative to survive. No more herbs. No more homeopathic droplets that vanished from my body like fingerprints on a steamy shower door.
I remember.
Somehow the evil words emerged. I don’t remember how they oozed into the conversation like poison. Postpartum Depression. Anxiety.
“I just don’t understand it. I have never felt anxiety about being a mom. I want four kids! Or maybe I’ll just keep having kids until we have a girl!” She said matter-of-factly.
I remember.
I slowly disappeared.
And that night I tossed and turned and tears peeked out from the corner of my eyes, quickly stifled by the little white pill I reluctantly swallowed.
I remember.
I told my psychiatrist it wasn’t really getting better. I still had anxiety almost every single night when it was time for bed. My bed was my trigger. I couldn’t shake it. I confided in him what my husband had earlier told me.
“You have to just get better. You have to.”
May.
I remember.
He pulled out his prescription pad and wrote me another pass. Another pill. Capsules this time. Green and Blue.
“You’ll be back to yourself in no time at all. I give it four months. Tops.”
I remember.
August came and went. September was washed away with the rain.
I wasn’t better.
And even more…I slowly disappeared.
Today, Two years later
I have a 3-year-old beautiful boy and new life in my womb. The tiny kicks remind me I survived. I am healthy. I am happy. I am present. I am mom. I cannot imagine my life any other way.
I am proof that this, too, shall pass.

*************

Sigh.  Grace is such an inspiration.  You should follow her on twitter and read her blog.   Here is a sampling of her lovely…

Her recent thoughts on our babies growing up…stages.

On being a boy mom…times TWO…the reveal.

On healing from depression…a heart melting kind of love.

See?  Beautiful.  Thank you, Grace, for always being you and for being such a lovely friend.

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About Katie

Just a small town girl...wait no. That is a Journey song. Katie Sluiter is a small town girl, but she is far from living in a lonely world. She is a middle school English teacher, writer, mother, and wife. Life has thrown her a fair share of challenges, but her belief is that writing through them makes her stronger.

Comments

  1. I’m so, so glad you found your way back. Depression is an ugly, terrible thing. I hate that so many of us have to fight it.

  2. PPD – so tough. So rampant. So scary. So heavy.

    So glad you fought through it and came out on the other side, Grace. And what a beautiful name. Congratulations on your new life (meant in more way than one)!

  3. Oh I love you Grace and your beautiful strength. You truly are an inspiration to me that I too will one day be better from this. Thank you friend.

  4. I LOVE Grace. She finds the beauty in the most simplistic things.

  5. WOOT! I love Grace. She is totes in my reader =)

    And now I love her even more because she’s a boy mom x2 just like me. What? Boy moms unite!

    • i remember your comment on my Reveal post – “I was destined to be a boy mom.” I love that, Molly. You helped me realize that I, too, have always been destined for boys.

  6. What a struggle. What an inspiration. Thank you for sharing.

  7. Wow. Grace is such a beautiful writer – thanks so much for sharing her with us.

  8. Chills. What an amazing post.

  9. What a heartbreaking yet hopeful post. PPD sucks. I’m glad you’ve found your way through, and congrats on your pregnancy. Im sending tons of happy no-PPD energy for this time around.

  10. You were named appropriately…what a beautiful honest post. You know when you share things like these, you help others who are going through it, or you find people who can relate, that is a blessing you give.
    But, you also give those of us who don’t know an understanding and compassion…and for that I thank you. And Kate…thanks for sharing yet another inspiring writer and person with us.

  11. Grace your name holds a special place in my heart because God’s grace is what gets me through every day.

    Thank you for beautiful words from a beautiful soul. The encouragement you left me with lifts my chin up a bit higher today.

  12. Phew, that was wrenching and, unfortunately, all too familiar. I hope the second time around is easier. I think it will be — knowledge is power, right?

  13. I have just emerged out of depression, I think it was postpartum, but anyway I didn’t know I was depressed, I just truly thought my life sucked and was unchangeable. When a doctor recommended hormone therapy I was offended. Now, after having another baby, I realize I was in need of help. Anyway, I think that the idea “this too shall pass” is so key to getting over that panicked, helpless feeling. Thanks for sharing.

    • I’m sorry you didn’t get the help you needed at the time. I wish it was more socially acceptable to treat depression appropriately. I had a hard time with the treatment aspect too… Took a LONG time.

  14. Grace, your posts ALWAYS make me tear up–happy, sad or otherwise. I always find that familiar tickle in my nose when I read your words.

    So glad you made it.

  15. This was so beautifully written…so sad, and at the end triumphant. Thank you for sharing your journey with us all.

  16. Grace, congrats on hanging in there and making it through. You have an amazing way with words. Your piece was heart-breaking and beautifully written. Knowing that you are brave enough to add another baby to your home gives me hope that someday I will be ready too.

    • Lori, I loved the series you just wrote. With such a supportive man at your side I know you guys can do it. Just wait until you know it’s time.

Trackbacks

  1. […] she was struggling with postpartum depression. Part 1 is here and part 2 is here. And our friend Grace also wrote about her experience 2 years ago with PPD in a guest post at Sluiter Nation. The information on this site is for educational, advocacy purposes only. It is not intended to […]