Opening up about PPD to Non-Mama Friends

Your friends may just surprise you with their reaction. It may also be what you need
Your friends may just surprise you with their reaction. It may also be what you need

I will be one of the first to tell you how isolating it can feel to be the only mama among a group of friends that are either back at school or conquering their careers.  During this time I felt like all I really needed were other mamas.  Someone to commiserate with about sleepless nights, ways to keep breastmilk supply up, or just someone to understand the overwhelm that comes at times.

I haven’t told many of my close friends about my battle with PPD.  Mostly due to fear of not being understood and just being seen differently. I’ve decided to be more open about it because well, this is who I am right now.  A second time mama trying to find ways to continually shut down the heavy criticism and self doubt that overcomes me.  Someone who is trying to do give her all and best for her kids, husband, and those she holds dearest to her.  For anyone that is dealing with PPD, or anything like it, can attest to how tiresome it is to carry it all so close to you.  Not being able to, or allowing yourself, to confide in friends is exhausting both physically and mentally.

One of my good friends, the godmother to O and someone who has managed to give so much optimism and faith in my life, only recently found out. I hate that I waited so long but it always felt like it wasn’t the right time.  I found myself blurting it out and fumbling over words one afternoon while she was visiting. She had W in her arms while he was bouncing around while I was trying to wrangle in O.  I couldn’t look at her directly after I just spilled it all at once.  I wasn’t sure what to expect but I really was taken aback with her reaction.

“You’ll get through this.”

She said it so simply and matter of fact.

She acknowledged what I said.  She genuinely understood.  She sympathized.  She was encouraging.  She was optimistic for me.  More importantly, she looked at me no different.  I was taken aback because we’re in different chapters in our lives.  I, the second time mama. Her, conquering her Masters and career.  In my mind I was more than certain only a mama would understand and be so encouraging.  In my mind I thought she would not be able to connect the previous months of isolation I put myself in with my struggle with PPD.  Thank you dearest friend for proving me wrong and sincerely doing your best to understand.  Thank you for not looking at me differently or treating me any different since finding out.  Thank you Lord for allowing such an understanding person be part of my life.

What she gave me was even more strength.  Strength that I can continue to get through this.  She was able to provide me a perspective coming from a someone who is making her way to the chapter in her life that includes children.  Telling her gave me the ease of knowing that I have support from a person I hold close.   Being able to tell her and receiving support and understanding has given me the ability to breathe and continue to push forward.  More importantly, she showed me that I need support from not just my Mama friends but ALL my friends.  It truly does take a village to not only raise a child but maneuver through this motherhood journey.

Mental Health Quote

8 thoughts on “Opening up about PPD to Non-Mama Friends

  1. Is there a way to send hugs on here? Sending one…now! Thank you so much for sharing about your PPD and I’m so glad you were able to tell a friend and that she was able to help. You’re amazing, mama!

  2. Oh goodness. I know we only have the pleasure of knowing each other in this blogging village, but please believe me when I say I understand everything you are describing. PPD is a huge weight to carry alone, and yet the irony is, it keeps you from letting anyone in to help shoulder the weight. I am so proud of you for sharing your truth, not just with your friend, but with all of us here, too. Using your voice not only gives you strength, but it gives all of us who are struggling strength, too, because we don’t feel so isolated in this. I love how you acknowledge that this is just who you are right now. There is such beauty in accepting ourselves as we are. You might feel broken at times (I know I have, especially lately), but you are strong and courageous, too. Keep going, mama. And keep writing your truth. We are here for you!

    1. Thank you, Aimee, a million times thank you. I can’t even begin to express how much gratitude I feel for you taking the time to read this post, comment, and just say everything you did. PPD can definitely be a huge weight but it’s something that is hard to share. Thanks for the encouragement, I definitely appreciate it <3

      1. Of course! I love reading what you write and am so glad that I have found you here. We have to support each other as mamas, it is just to rocky a journey to travel alone.

  3. Thank you so much for opening up and sharing! I think it’s something everyone hears about as a big topic, but rarely real life stories! Hugs mama, you are amazing!

    1. Thank you so much for taking the time to read! I agree, it is a big topic with so many different experiences surrounding it.

  4. Thank you for sharing your experience. I think many women who read this will be encouraged to speak with their friends and family as well. It is vital that we continue to raise awareness about mental health issues in our communities so that people can feel less stigmatized and get the help they need. Found your post at #BFF Friday

    Nicole | The Professional Mom Project

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