Has anyone ever noticed a change in themselves? I mean, yes we make slight changes to ourselves. But I am talking about a change that you really can not describe, knowing it is not your normal self.
So, I ran a cross “I’m okay but I’m not okay” with myself. Meaning I’m okay I think, but something could be wrong. Well, I recently gave birth to my third son “Maliq Johnson” on November 8, 2016 and I felt normal as I have after my previous child births. So I thought. The day he was born I was excited, emotional, blessed, grateful, and all the above. I went along my day with normal duties, until I started noticing my different actions, moods, feelings, and other things. So, I’m like, yea Brittany that’s just you anyway, lol. But it wasn’t my normal “that’s just you” mood swings or normal actions. I started moving slower, I started randomly getting emotional (crying), not answering phone calls, text or even group texting, and my eating habits. You know when you notice your eating habits, then something is wrong. Lol. But here I am still thinking that it’s normal, after every birth things are different and I’m okay. So as the weeks went by I was still going about my days. Until someone close to me ask “why haven’t you posted a picture on social media of the baby”, just out of nowhere I started crying. Not even during my pregnancy did I post any pictures of my stomach (I’ve always posted pics of my pregnancies as well as my previous child births). So my response was ” I don’t know”. I was not ashamed or embarrassed I just was not proud. I absolutely love being a mother but I just never embraced it. When I came to realize I then knew “I was not okay” because I wasn’t even okay with myself. I started noticing the different things, events, and tragedies happening in the world. I’d come across one that brought tears to my eyes, because the tragedy occurred back in my home town (Jackson, MS). It was a young lady of three boys that committed suicide. I began reading the story and the news started talking about everything she was going through before she decided to take her life. The young mother was currently going through a divorce and depression. Immediately, I started reading and researching signs of depression, and questioning God like “How could she be selfish to leave behind her three boys?!” As I’m researching and looking at the different descriptions of depression I had come across some of the signs that I saw with in myself! But me I’m like…… I don’t think I’m depressed or really feel depressed, because I am not thinking about suicide, hurting anyone, let alone I’m not wanting to do any harm to my boys. So, since I don’t fit that description then I’m good! I was then approaching my six week postpartum check up, of course I was excited to be getting out of the house, lol. The next week (Tuesday) I went to my check up, excited. My check up began and my blood pressure was up that day, no idea as to why. So they checked it again 5 to 10 minutes while I was waiting on my doctor to come and finish my check up, but it was still high. Again we waited. Doctor came in, did my physical check up and then asked me if I was dealing with “postpartum depression”. Of course I’m like “no I’m good”. Then she said ” Do you notice any different signs in your daily activity, your diet, or even moods?”.. so I was like yes but I think it’s my normal ( in the back of my mind I’m saying to myself, it’s not the normal you) And she goes to say “are you sure your okay”. I end it laughing saying I’m sure. As I’m leaving my check up and everything went well I started questioning myself. Am I okay? Is this really the normal Brittany? Could I have postpartum depression? Seeing that I NEVER dealt with depression or postpartum depression I didn’t consider or even speak it on myself that I had an issue. But I reached out to my sister/best friend and asked her about it and we talked. So I brushed it off. But the thoughts still played in my head and my actions, emotions and changes in my diet were still the same. A week went by and I was still just okay. Spoke to my sister again and said “I don’t want to be the one that over look an issue, if there is one.” So I decided to reach out to my doctor again and she referred me to speak with someone. Finally, went to speak with someone and I suffered from a beginning stage of postpartum depression. I was scared to hear that, but I was glad I knew what was wrong and didn’t over look it anymore.
I wrote this blog post to say, depression is real. Whether it’s major or minor case, you can not over look the issue. In our community as African Americans we always over look mental health issues because we or they think that we will be okay. And as a firm believer in God I know he can heal me in every aspect of life, I went to him in pray but I also reached out to someone for psychological support. But I still read my bible and pray, as well as reading my book ” Battlefield of the mind” by Joyce Meyers. And it’s okay to do! After my first therapy session a heavy weight was lifted from me. Being a person that’s not too open, I shelter my feelings and emotions, I close out the world and the people that love me when I going through something. It felt amazing! I didn’t want the antidepressants (my choice) because I didn’t think I was in a severe state that I had too but just to have a therapy session to talk to someone, was the best.
My goal for this year and the years that are ahead, is to become a healthier ME so I can produce a healthier life and relationship!