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With a new baby in a new country without friends or family, I waited for my baby blues to get over and felt like I was losing myself, until…
My story begins seven months after I delivered my daughter in the US. By now, it was about not being able to get out of bed, despite having stayed awake all night. It was about not being able to recognise the person I saw in the mirror.
Plunging deep into postpartum depression, I remember feeling no connection with my daughter and even thinking of ending my useless, hopeless life.
Being all alone, with the husband out for 10 hours on weekdays, in a country that was still unknown to me, I felt it was time to end the pain. Every day was an endless struggle to feel better or even do the chores at hand.
Being a writer and a former journalist, I now felt like my life was meaningless. All I did was take care of my infant and failed miserably at that.
Life was bleak and I couldn’t find any meaning in it. It felt like it was all over for me as I tried hard to fight my emotions and PPD symptoms.
As I struggled with my emotions, and cut off all contact from the outside world, there were two things that kept me afloat. My Buddhist community that didn’t give up on me and the community of new mothers I got in touch with through social media.
As part of Nichiren Buddhism, I had strong women around me who checked on on me regularly even when I didn’t respond to their calls or texts. They kept reminding me how precious my life was at any chance they got.
One of these women, during one of her visits shared the following lines with me, “Buddhism teaches that because everyone has abilities that cannot be replicated. Each person is irreplaceable with an important role, or mission, that only they can fulfil.”
She also asked me to seek professional help and call up an advice nurse to share what I was going through.
I started meditating/chanting for a few minutes everyday for courage and wisdom. Every morning, I would make a fresh determination to give my best to my baby and respect my own wonderful life.
Soon, I was able to accept the fact that I was going through PPD and shared with my husband what I was going through for the first time honestly. He told me what a wonderful mother I was and that he was grateful for all that I was doing for our family. This gave me some confidence and I decided to call up an advice nurse and talk to her about my struggles.
I also opened up to a friend who was in therapy for many years and asked her how it helped her cope with her mental health issues.
She was most encouraging and told me to start jotting down the daily tasks in my diary every morning, however small they might feel to me. She also told me to take small steps towards writing down my emotions and to keep a gratitude journal. There was no judgment on her part as she had been there herself.
As a writer and an active Instagram user, I also came across many new mothers in the US who shared their raw uninhibited motherhood journeys. This gave me the confidence to share a small part of my life too.
I still remember the first message I got from an Indian mother in Europe. She shared with me that she was gong through the same frustration and anxiety that I was after delivering her son.
This gave me the courage to share more about my journey honestly. And to my surprise, I found so many women across the world who could relate to me.
For most, social media can be overwhelming, but for me it has been an eye opener. It showed me the power of sharing and I started writing about my own motherhood challenges on the platform.
I started getting messages from mothers, old and new, across the world, and that it was absolutely normal to struggle after becoming a mother.
All these things gradually gave me the courage to stop begrudging my own life. It gave me a sense of mission and purpose in the midst of my suffering. My condition became better as my advice nurse told me that I was on the right path and would not need any medication.
Women for women is not just a hashtag for me but a living proof that when we share our hearts, we are able to find our tribe and make progress.
Here are things that helped me turn my negative journey into a more meaningful and positive one:
Accepting the fact that I am struggling.
Seeking help doesn’t make me weak.
Never shy away from sharing my heart with those who truly care for me
Sharing my life with others brings a different perspective to my struggles.
Writing down my emotions helps me understand them better.
Following a healthy mind and body routine always leads to positivity in life.
When women support each without judgment, they create value and compassion not just for themselves but also for others.
I hope more women are able to share their struggles and seek help when it’s most needed.
Picture credits: Photo by Andrea Piacquadio from Pexels
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A former journalist, a freelance content creator and a mom blogger who can be found
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