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.
As I read about The Emily Effect and about Emily’s personal struggle, I got a pit in my stomach–I could relate on a very deep level. I think back to 8 years ago, which is when I was newly pregnant with my daughter, while also caring for a young son. It was such a dark time; no one I knew could really understand.
I started not being able to sleep, which caused anxiety and major panic attacks. It was unlike anything I could explain. After ER visits and even therapy, nothing was helping. I couldn’t function as a mother, let alone a normal human. My husband was at a loss. I wanted to die because I couldn’t imagine feeling peace ever again. I would be out in the sun, yet feel like I was under the darkest cloud. My heart wouldn’t ever beat at a normal rate–it was as if I was constantly jumping off of the tallest building. My adrenaline would kick in and felt like it never came down. How was it possible for someone to never fall asleep? People would always tell me that eventually my body would fall into a deep sleep, but it wouldn’t. My family would try to take me out, but instead I would lay in the fetal position. This was nothing like how I typically was. I used to feel like a happy wife, mother, daughter, friend, and sister.
As much as I wanted to have my daughter, I also wanted to get an abortion because I felt like I couldn’t handle another child. At this time, I couldn’t look in the mirror. It took too much energy. I would stay awake night after night watching the clock while everyone else slept.
Finally, after beginning medication and getting a lot of help, slowly I got better. I still have glimpses of anxiety and depression from time to time, but overall I am healthy. After additional recovery efforts, and even after a divorce, I am waking up every day happy. In spite of this improvement, I feel 100% able to say that I know EXACTLY what Emily must have felt. It breaks my heart.
We all deserve to feel safe and healthy while trying to raise a family. Postpartum depression and anxiety is unfair. I am so glad Emily is at peace, but I know she might have been here with her family after finding the right help. Thank you for sharing these heart-wrenching stories.