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Disclaimer: The following article mentions the topic of suicide or other sensitive subjects, which may trigger negative thoughts and feelings for those currently suffering or still recovering from a mental or mood disorder. Reader discretion is advised.

I was diagnosed with severe post-partum depression about 4 months after my second daughter was born. With a 2-year-old and a newborn, I felt exhausted, overwhelmed, and defeated all the time. I didn’t want to get out of my bed–even the simplest tasks like getting my girls dressed seemed hard and overwhelming. I just wanted to sleep all day. I felt super anxious about small things, such as leaving the house. I would worry about little things like, “What if I’m at the store and the baby starts crying? What will I do? What will people think of me?” I started to have intrusive and suicidal thoughts, which really scared me. I felt ashamed for even thinking these things. I had a great, helpful husband and two beautiful, healthy little girls. How could I be so selfish and have such dark thoughts when I was so blessed? I tried to seek spiritual comfort through prayer, yet I still had intrusive thoughts. This wasn’t at all what I signed up for or thought motherhood would be like.

I dreaded the day that I had to go back to work. Besides dealing with this overwhelming mental health illness, I was also getting horrible cluster headaches. I wanted to quit my job so badly, but unfortunately, we needed the money. I eventually reached my breaking point; my suicidal thoughts increased, and it got to the point where I was admitted to the hospital. Soon after, I was able to find a medication that started to help, and I felt so much better! I could finally see the light at the end of what had been a super dark, seemingly endless tunnel I didn’t know how to get out of. I had hope again. I started to enjoy my girls again. I enjoyed being their mom and was soaking up everything good life had to offer me. I felt more spiritual connections and had immense gratitude towards those who had pulled me through those hard weeks.

If you’re battling post-partum depression, I see you. You aren’t alone. I know it hurts and it’s unfair, but you can get through this. You are so much stronger than you think. Your baby needs you, and only you. Fight and get the help you need for them. You will be so glad that you did; I’m here, cheering you on. You’ve got this, mama!