Personally, I think it’s hard to recognize what depression looks like. I didn’t think that I could have it so I thought I was just going crazy after Evalyn was born– partially because mine was mixed Anxiety, which can make you feel completely out of control (because in reality, you are out of control of your body). It seems like depression is really hard to accept if you are the person experiencing it and/or it’s hard to diagnose if you are a loved one or a Doctor… Simply because it’s in the mind and brain. I say those two because they go hand in hand: the brain is the physical part of our body that can have physical illness or damage and our mind is what we do with that illness or damage– it’s our thoughts and much of what makes each of us uniquely us. I don’t know what you’re experiencing or going through with your postpartum recovery, I only know what I went through… But I can tell you that my brain and my mind were battling it out during my postpartum recovery. How? Well, first I would like to say that I am NOT a Doctor of any sort and I can only grasp what my Doctors have told me, but from what I understand my brain was ill after giving birth. Meaning that the natural homeostasis (balance) that it was used to was completely thrown off by birth; the sudden absence of specific chemicals and hormones that it needed were gone: now with my daughter, who was outside my body. And because my body was literally in shock from birth (I had a difficult labor) and physically depleted, it couldn’t replace those chemicals and hormones quickly enough. So my brain was completely thrown out of homeostasis!
Why am I going into this detail? Because I think it’s important to grasp the physical side of what happened to me– to know that what I was experiencing was part of living in a fallen, sinful world: we have to live with illness, physical pain, and disease. Not because we are ourselves are sinful or unpleasing to God, but because we are living in a decaying world– physically and spiritually. This world is not meant to last forever– it is not our home. Our home is Heaven with Jesus, where we will be eternal and there is no sickness and pain and disease. What a joy it will be to be there someday!!
If this sounds depressing to you, it is not meant to: it is meant to be an encouragement and uplifting. Truly grasping that we are living in a PHYSICAL world helped me to understand that I am not perfect (hello!) and that I am not above illness or disease just because I am a Christian. I got comfortable in my little life forgetting that although I have the umbrella of protection of God, I am still walking through this world. It’s hard to grasp this concept unless illness or disease has touched you personally or a family member. But it’s the truth. And although I had to walk through the valley of postpartum depression and anxiety, God was with me the entire way… He never left my side and I am sure it broke His heart to watch. Looking back, I can see His mercy in so many ways and it makes me appreciate that this world is not my home.
Because of God’s tender mercy, the morning light from heaven is about to break upon us