I’m Good. Thanks!

When people ask us how we’re doing why are we inclined to say, “Good,” even when we know that today is not a good day. In fact, it’s a bad day. It’s a really bad day. Still, when people ask, you put on your good posture and your good voice and your good smile and you hear yourself say, “Good”. Then you and your crappy mood walk away thinking, “I hate people. I hate all people.”

Is it because we know those people truly don’t care to hear our problems?

Is it because it’s entirely too much to go through a whole twenty minute conversation about our problem when we know that all they wanted to hear in return was, “Good, how are you?” or “Good, thanks for asking.”

Is it because if we told these people our problems we’d actually have to admit we had a problem? And then deal with it.

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I was in another bad mood. The evening wasn’t going as I’d meticulously planned so that I could prepare for my event the next morning and just like that, I’d gone from happy happy joy joy like Ren & Stimpy to Debbie Downer. As I carried Care Bear up the stairs Hubbae said, “On Black-ish the episode was about postpartum depression.”

The only response I could physically give was, “Oh.”

At my first wellness check-up after Care Bear was born I’d been diagnosed with postpartum depression but it hadn’t been a surprise. I had known something was wrong well before that.

My doctor sat across from me and I, on the examination table. She asked, “So how is everything going?”

Tears welled up in my eyes, as was normal these days, and I replied, “I can’t stop crying.”

She nodded, “Tell me what’s going on.”

“I cry all the time. I don’t know what’s wrong,” I sobbed, further explaining that everything made me sad. Things like not being able to do the dishes or my husband forgetting his lunch at home or the dog needing to be let outside all triggered unexplainable tears that left me crying in the bathroom or somewhere else where I could hide it. My family had dealt with my hormones during the pregnancy and I couldn’t face having to make them continue dealing with it so I hid it.

My doctor explained that some women experience the baby blues for about two weeks after giving birth but when it lasts longer it could be a sign of postpartum depression. Seeing as this was my six week check-up, she was concerned. “There are options that you can take. The first one would be speaking to a counselor about what’s going on. What you’re feeling doesn’t make you crazy. It just means you’re having a bit more difficulty adjusting and talking to someone would help. You had a rough pregnancy and those feelings can sometimes linger. The second option would be to prescribe medicine to you that would help stabilize things.”

The only thing I knew about postpartum depression was that it made women kill their babies and themselves (this is actually postpartum psychosis but who knew). I didn’t feel that way and I didn’t want to be associated with depression so I declined all the help and left without making the suggested follow-up appointment. I could get through this. Women had babies all the time and rebounded nicely. I’d been through worse and there was no way I was about to let a little sadness get me down.

But then came the Black-ish postpartum episode that I secretly watched alone. Watch it here and tell me what you think in the comments. I literally cried through the entire show because it was so identifiable.

I was withdrawn Bow sitting on the edge of the bed looking at nothing.

I was anxious Bow worrying and checking to see if the baby was breathing because I thought she’d die if I wasn’t watching her.

I was overwhelmed Bow at the grocery store crying over a sack of potatoes.

I was embarrassed Bow telling my hubbae that I was okay while wiping away tears that I told him were only there because I was “tired”.

Hubbae was Dre trying to give me compliments to make me feel better.

And as you know, I was hopeless Bow crying to the doctor.

Three months later, at my last doctor’s appointment, my doctor checked-in with me to see how my bad days were going. “I’m doing much better. I’ve probably had two bad days in the last month.”

“What’s a bad day look like for you?” she asked.

“Crying.”

“And what triggers these bad days?”

“Stress? Maybe? I don’t really know. Like, for example, Black-ish recently had a postpartum depression episode and I cried through the whole thing.”

“Did Bow have a baby? I didn’t know that.”

Kudos to my doctor for watching my favorite show and knowing Bow’s name. I love my doctor.

“She did,” I replied. “She was my pregnancy twin. And I like to say Bow is my sister.”

We all laughed and then my doctor got back to business. “You said you didn’t want to seek help or take medicine. Have you thought about that any more?”

Truth was, I had. After speaking to my friend, who is also a certified counselor, days before my appointment, I had realized that I could benefit from talking to someone. Plus, Bow was my sister and if she could get help, so could I.

I don’t know how the help will go but I’m ready to not have anymore bad days. I’m ready to no longer have postpartum depression. I’m ready to no longer identify with Bow’s words,

“Motherhood is the most natural thing for a woman and I’ve had four kids and somehow I am struggling right now…I feel filled with anxiety…I feel weak…I feel embarrassed…”

I’m ready to feel good about God bringing me through another storm. Lastly, I’m ready to say, “I’m Good,” and mean it when you ask me how I’m doing.

9 Responses to “I’m Good. Thanks!

  • Thanks for sharing. The title itself makes one feel good.

  • It shows that many of us go through a similar problem and many failed to see how others survive struggling when a person is going through a tough time in their life. Constant judgemental outlooks.
    ~ Thea Topaz (www.theatopaz.com) #theatopaz

  • This is really interesting.It happens to everyone.Sometimes we say we are okey even its hurting inside.Keep writing and sharing…

  • This article is really good and it happens to everyone , but the confidence in you makes you to write and hope you are holding that confidence and moving ahead , all the best for you

  • Thank you for being so brave, raw, and honest about PPD and baby blues.

  • Joyce Marie
    4 months ago

    I am def one who when I am hurting I don’t let others come in my world but I am slowly but surely learning to let others into my world. It’s so important to the healing process.

  • I never ask “How are you?” as a greeting. I only ask people who I have a genuine relationship with and from whom I would love to hear the real answer.

  • Thank you for sharing. I went through postpartum with all three of my children, though mine manifested through extreme anxiety and panic attacks. It’s so hard to ask for help, but I did through counseling (and medication), and I’m glad to hear that you’re taking the step to feeling better as well.
    – Christine

Trackbacks & Pings

  • My Postpartum Depression Update – Genuinely Ever After :

    […] about getting help for my postpartum depression (read my original postpartum depression post here) then I wanted to see and share these ugly worms. “How would I know if I need to get on […]

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