*Thank you to Jackie Maxey for this guest post sharing her struggles with anxiety and overcoming postpartum depression.
I’ve always had anxiety and a small dose of depression. I tried medication, counseling, self-love activities, all of it. Nothing ever seemed to work. I stayed worried about everything but learned how to get by. I knew how to survive.
I survived for a long time. I just got by for a long time. I got married, got my master’s degree, got my dream job of being a special education teacher, won teaching awards, got a divorce, and started my life all over, all while having no real emotion. I just survived. I had plenty of friends, but they were all kept at arm’s length distance. No one really knew how I felt about anything because I didn’t even know. I just smiled and kept moving on.
My little six pounds, three oz baby boy, Noah, was born on December 13th. He is my hero and came here to save my life. I now look back at all of those wasted years and see how sad and lost I truly was. I never knew it because I knew how to cover up and hide for so long. He has given me joy and hope and love that I never knew existed.
I can’t say that my anxiety has gone away, or my depression. That would be a lie. There are days that are so hard, and I don’t know how much more I can “survive” but I look beside me and see this little baby boy who needs me. He needs me to be present and to be happy. He makes me want to get in a workout so that I can stay calm and happy. He makes me want to change careers and take a leap of faith so that I can be home more. He makes me want to pause and see all the phenomenal blessings I have right in front of me. He is my hero. Noah has taught me a love I never knew existed. He has broken down walls that I’ve had my entire life, without me even knowing. He has taught me how to accept failure and imperfection. With his help, I now know I can’t live life with a calendar and everything planned out. I have learned how to “go with the flow” a little easier. He is my hero. He has saved my life.
Moms, I know it’s hard. I know some days feel like they will never end. I know some days you barely survive. But, you do survive. You do get through those hard days and your little baby is there with just as much love, cuddles, and smiles. Mom life isn’t meant to just get through. Find what helps you and get it. Whether that means getting in an hour to workout, with or without your baby, taking a super long bath, enjoying every bit of that Chick-fil-a dinner, medication, or counseling. Find it and own it. Babies don’t keep, and I know I want to be a present, happy mom for Noah. Not just so I feel better, but he deserves it. Noah saved me and I will forever be grateful for my little blue-eyed baby.
About the Author
I am a mom to a cute 8-month-old little boy. I went from being a special education teacher to the owner of Baby Boot Camp in Summerville, SC. Overcoming postpartum depression, I want to provide moms with a supportive community and a voice to know, it does get better. I am a lover of all things at Target and Chick-fil-a!