Tuesday, March 6, 2012

suffering in silence-part 2

Staying strong while trying to overcome Postpartum Anxiety/OCD wasn’t easy, to say the least. I had to decide whether or not I was going to let it swallow me up & take me down or if I was going to hang on for dear life & fight harder than I ever thought I was capable of doing. I had a baby who needed me & other than dealing with this mess, I was a pretty happy person. My decision was easy. I was going to fight & I was going to win. I didn’t care what it would take.

I began researching on my own. At the time, I didn’t want to take medication so I tried numerous holistic alternatives. I saw 3 different doctors that specialized in alternative medicine. I tried reiki, yoga, daily exercise, acupuncture & hypnosis. I gave a shot at a gluten free diet (as best as I could anyways) driving hours with a newborn baby to grocery stores that actually had this type of food. I believe incorporating positive & healthy choices in my life helped a bit, but I wasn’t “cured.”

I ran around in circles for almost 3 years trying anything I could to make the anxiety & intrusive thoughts disappear. Eventually, I began to lose hope that I would ever recover from this. I was alone. It hurt to think that I would never have more children or that I would never feel OK again.

Tossing & turning in bed one night back in September, my mind began to race with a million thoughts. Anxiety & panic crept in so fast I had no idea what just hit me. I am going crazy, I am never having any more kids-this is too terrifying. The panic & anxiety lasted almost a full 24 hours before I had any relief.  At this point I knew I had to do something. I didn’t want to live like this anymore.

The panic attack led me back to trusty old Google in search for some hope (again). I somehow came across Postpartum Progress & noticed Katherine Stone (creator of Postpartum Progress) had also gone through PPOCD & suffered through some of the same intrusive thoughts that I had. At that moment, I realized I wasn’t alone anymore.

Thoroughly reading as many posts as I could on Postpartum Progress, I came to the PPD Blogs listed on the website. OMG…there are tons of women who have gone through/are going through Postpartum Mood Disorders. This is amazing. Not amazing that there are millions of us suffering, but amazing that I just found women who get it! Tears filled my eyes. I wasn’t crazy & unfortunately this really does happen to people… a lot of people.

This was the beginning of the road to recovering. Postpartum Progress & these amazing blogs gave me the strength to reach out for help. They saved my life in so many ways & I couldn’t be more grateful for the women who share their stories & put it all out there for everyone to see. Lives are being saved & lives are being changed for the better because of this.

I never thought it would have taken me almost 3 years to let people in on the painful details of what I was experiencing. I had to push myself to limits I never even knew existed. I had to be stronger than I ever thought was possible. I kicked & screamed my way through this. I am finally learning about what it is that happened to me & for the first time in years I can finally say that I see a light at the end of that dark & scary tunnel. 

Read suffering in silence-part 1 here.

4 comments:

Janet (ocdtalk) said...

You are doing a great service by sharing your story. I haven't read your whole blog yet so I don't know if you talk about how you overcame the postpartum OCD and/or if you still have it at all? I look forward to reading more when I have some more time. Keep up the great work!

Anonymous said...

Thank you for sharing your story. Mine is very similar. My daughter is three and I still suffer from intrusive thoughts. I want more children, but am terrified and don't feel like I am still back to my old self. Good luck and we will get through this!

:) Dee

Anonymous said...

This story is almost like I could have written it myself. I did go on medicines after a couple of weeks because I was scared if I didn't that I would hurt my baby. My husband still has no idea that I went through this and I am still scared to tell him because I don't think that he would understand. Even on the medicine I still have a good amount of intrusive thoughts but I am able to push them out of my head easier. I cannot wait until these thoughts go away for good I hate them and I feel guilty for even having them.

Andrea Balcunas said...

I am so glad that you knew to get help & get on medicine. I waited a few years before I did that but once I did, it was the best decision I made.

I completely understand what it feels like to not tell your husband, it took me a long time to tell him or anyone.

I do still get the intrusive thoughts every once in a while, but nowhere near what it was like back then. I can deal with it now & they usually come in & leave very quickly. They don't torture me now & they don't take over my life anymore. I hate them too & I also felt guilty for having them, but know that this is NOT your fault, this happens to so many of us & you seem to be on the path to recovering from this & I wish you the best.

If you ever need to chat, you can always email me.