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Postpartum Anxiety Made Me A Better Mom

Mama

May 4, 2016

1 year ago, if you told me I would be writing a post about the ways Postpartum Anxiety has made me a better mom, I might have been tempted to trip you while you walk by. (No offense. It was a tough time.)

At the time, when I felt stuck in the fog and consumed with the fear that I would live in that darkness forever, I could not see the benefit of going through PPA. Hell, I wasn’t even convinced it was something to go through. It tricked me into thinking it was my life. Not a month or a season, but the whole damn calendar.

And now, 1.5 years and 25mg of Zoloft later, I’m able to see what I couldn’t back then. I’m able to appreciate what I’ve been through. I can pat myself on the back, while showing off my war wounds with pride. And I’m even able to see how PPA has made me a better mom.

5 WAYS POSTPARTUM ANXIETY HAS MADE ME A BETTER MOM

1. I don’t sweat the small stuff (as much). As a mom, there is a A LOT of small stuff. Every day all day there is small stuff that has the potential to add up to big stuff that can lead to a mama breakdown. Going through Postpartum Anxiety has given me perspective. Yes, it’s super annoying when Harper asks for more cottage cheese during dinner, just to whip it across the room moments later. But it’s not the end of the world. I’m less worried about the rough edges. The wrinkles under my eyes? I earned those bad boys. No time for a shower today? There’s always tomorrow. 

2. SO MUCH GRATITUDE. There’s something to be said about going through hell, and coming out the other side. I am filled with gratitude. I appreciate small moments with my girl. I can take it all in. Even while going through PPA, I searched for one thing every single day for which I could be grateful. I focused on it and it’s changed the way I think. Gratitude can change everything.

3. I’m more open and willing to talk about the hard stuff. Going through PPA has made me more vulnerable. I want to talk and connect with other moms. I want us to learn from each other. I want to talk about the hard stuff, probably even if I just met you. (Consider yourself warned.) Because that’s the stuff that means the most. It’s the stuff that connects us and makes us feel less alone.

4. I know my strength. If I can get through PPA, I can do anything. Simply put, I’m a badass who is capable of amazing things. (And, so are you.) I will raise my daughter to believe she’s worth the fight. Because it’s the truth. We are warriors, mamas.  

5. My faith has grown leaps and bounds. Family support has helped. Finding a wonderful Dr. has helped. Zoloft has helped. But none of my healing was possible without my faith. PPA has brought me closer to God, and that has made me a more loving and understanding mama.

If you’re in the middle of the battle, here’s what I will tell you: IT WILL GET BETTER. You can get help. You can talk to your husband, your mother, your Doctor. And you can pray. 

There is a light at the end of the tunnel and it is brighter than you can imagine.

How Postpartum Anxiety Made me a Better Mom

Read about my experience taking Zoloft during pregnancy here!

  1. Sarah Grace says:

    I agree with every bit of this! I wouldn’t wish it upon anyone, but I love the way you came out stronger! Thanks for sharing your heart today!

  2. Jen says:

    This really resonated with me. It’s so true. Without what I’ve gone through, I don’t think I would have the appreciation for all the small moments of life that I do. Here’s my most recent post about my issues with depression and anxiety: http://www.jennadesigns.net/little-depression-check/

  3. cara says:

    Love this! I think when you go through rough patches or dark moments, you truly learn your inner strength and it makes you a better person because of it. It also gives you more patience and courage to get through things that once seemed so difficult. You should feel proud of what you’ve been able to overcome! Cheers to you, Mama! 🙂

  4. I can relate to everything in your post. I also know you are very brave to write about it. I know I couldnt.

  5. Ashley says:

    I absolutely love this post. Going through hard times is just that….hard. Reading your take on what it is like after the darkness and being able to actually appreciate that darkness is very inspiring. Thank you for sharing your story!

  6. This is such an important topic to talk about, and I admire you for sharing your story. I know it will help many other moms out there. What you said about feeling like this was your life forever and not just for a season–I think many new moms feel that way but are afraid to admit it, because it seems like those around you don’t understand. Pinning this excellent post!

    • suzanne says:

      Thank you so much, Anne. That means a lot. And it’s so true. I know I’m not alone with these feelings – the good and the bad. 🙂

  7. Diana says:

    This is absolutely a mirror of a real mom life. Your story is so inspiring. Thank you so much for sharing. It brought me back to my senses the value of a woman as a mother.

  8. katie says:

    This is such a great post! I am really struggling with anxiety – though not post partum and it’s good to know there is a light at the end of the tunnel!

    ​xx katie // a touch of teal

    • suzanne says:

      Thank you, Katie! I’m sorry you are struggling. Anxiety can be a beast, but you are stronger than it will ever be. There is definitely a big bright light ahead. 🙂 xo

  9. Lynn Mayola says:

    I didn’t realize I was going through the same thing until my sister pointed it out. It’s not the best part of being a mom and I felt it diminished my capacity. Once I was able to sort it out, it did make me better. This blog post resonated so much. Thank you for putting the turmoil into words! 🙂

    • suzanne says:

      Thank you, Lynn! I totally know what you mean. Once I found out there was a name for what I was going through, it helped me tremendously.

  10. Ashley says:

    I love this post so much. Our first is due in July and I already struggled with depression anxiety before I got pregnant. I’ve been so worried about how it might affect me once our babe is here, but it’s nice knowing that there can be an upside to it!

    • suzanne says:

      Thank you, Ashley! It’s always good to be prepared going into it. You will be great 🙂

  11. SJ Snelson says:

    Fab article – I couldn’t agree more with you. It is so hard to see any light through the murky waters of depression let alone with a small and precious human at your side.

    Well done for being able to ask for support and grow your strength – a real inspiration.

    • suzanne says:

      Thank you so much, SJ. It’s pretty amazing what those little humans inspire us to do 🙂

  12. This is a good post. Its important to know that it’s ok to be going through this and you aren’t alone

  13. Kateryna says:

    Whatever doesn’t kill you makes you stronger !!!! Amazing post!!! It’s always amazing to know that we are not alone in our battles, millions of people go through similar things every day.

  14. Corina says:

    Each of those points was really good! I’m so glad there is a silver lining to hard times 🙂

  15. Such a great post! I went through it bad with both my kids and it is literally a one day at a time process to get over. I am still on the meds because I don’t want to feel that way again, especially feeling so helpless with the kids.

  16. Tamara Goyette says:

    Thank you for sharing about this. I wish more would. It really does impact you, and if you can learn from it, grow from it, and come out all the better it is a blessing.

  17. Melissa says:

    I just found your blog via Instagram (you liked my cranes photo) and I’m so glad I did. I have a 13 month old and struggled with PPD but Now it’s turned into PPA. We just moved for the second time across the country (er ocean rather!) And the move just brought out ALL my anxiety. I have been feeling so awful lately but since we just moved I don’t have a doctor yet. I really want to see one soon because I know what I’m feeling isn’t normal. I basically can’t sleep and have constant tightness in my throat. I really hope it does get better! Thanks for sharing about this. It’s not talked about enough at all.

    • suzanne says:

      I am so glad you found me, too! Anxiety is such a trickster. It fools us into thinking there’s a problem when there’s just not. I’m so sorry you’re going through this. I hope you get settled soon and are able to find a doctor and get some help. It makes a world of difference! Big hugs, mama. xo

  18. rachel moore says:

    love this!!! i never heard someone talk about post partum anxiety until my baby was over a year old and i was just about out of the woods. i definitely think it’s GREAT to share since we don’t have enough time to learn everything the hard way. and if you have another my worries were not nearly as insurmountable with my second 🙂 xo

  19. I came across your post on Pinterest this morning and your words really blessed me! I consider myself a pretty positive person but have never thought of the silver lining of my PPA. I agree that it has totally made me way more grateful and way more open and honest about the hard stuff in motherhood, rather than always sugar coating the truth! Thank you so much for sharing your heart!

    Best,
    Lindsey | http://www.sparrowsandlily.com

    • suzanne says:

      Thank you, Lindsey! I’m so glad you found it. PPA totally sucks (that’s an understatement) when you’re going thru it, but it does get SO much better. xo

  20. Brittany says:

    I agree with all 5! After going through postpartum anxiety I have learned many ways to avoid negative thoughts and to worry less. I have always had anxiety but instead of dealing with it I would distract myself with work and tv. After becoming a mom and having another loved one to worry about I knew I had to deal with my emotions and learn how to overcome them. I think you will find my tips for managing and overcoming postpartum anxiety helpful https://www.thriftybrittany.com/manage-postpartum-anxiety/

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