Wednesday, 31 January 2018
As most of you know today is #BELLLETSTALK Day. A day created by BELL in 2010 to promote conversations about mental health. Unfortunately there is still a stigma attached to mental health. Especially in the black community. Some are afraid of offending the person, some are just uneducated. Regardless, it needs to be discussed. Here’s some stats: -Every year, almost one million people die from suicide (Worldwide). -There is one suicide death every 40 seconds. -Among those aged 15-44 suicide ranks in the top 3 causes of death. -In the last 45 years suicide rates have increased by 60% (Worldwide). -Suicide accounts for more loss of life in the world than the total number of deaths from war, acts of terrorism and homicide combined. You read that right. Now that I have your attention, I’ll tell you my story.. Before CJ Was Born I have always been quiet about my struggle with my mental health. I by no means had a hard life. I have been through a lot though. Especially in the last 2 years. Let’s bring you back to March 2016. I just find out I’m pregnant. My mind is everywhere. I’m turning 23 and the man I was with since I was 18 wants nothing to do with me or my unborn child. I’m told many disgusting and hurtful things. I knew what my choice was from the beginning and I prepared myself to be a single mother. Little did I know what the next 9 months had in store for me. I’m still working, saving for my baby. My days off I would bring my Dad to his chemotherapy appointments. Other days I would visit him in his long-term care home. I would bring food and we would just talk for hours. I learned so much from him in only a couple of months. He relived his whole life, his visits to Italy and Morocco and other West Indian countries. He was partially blind at this time so his words painted a picture for me. These conversations really helped me cope with his death in September 2016. I was 7 months pregnant at this point. It was the hardest day of my life. A couple days later my Mom gets news that my God Mother had a heart attack while on vacation and died. At this point I really don’t know how much more I can take. A few days later my sweet Princess (Childhood pet) who I had for 15 years passes away. I am broken at this point. With less than 8 weeks left I continued to stay strong. November 29 2016 at 8:49 am my precious son was born. Unfortunately I did have some complications during labor. He was born with the umbilical cord around his neck and wasn’t breathing. It took the nurses some time to let me hold my son. When I did get to hold him it was the most amazing feeling. We made it!! I created this beautiful human being. It was and will always be the proudest day of my life. After CJ Was Born. To be brutally honest, the first couple of weeks of motherhood was a blur. My eyes were dark from the lack of sleep, I was gaining weight and I wasn’t producing enough milk for CJ. On top of that the relationship with his father wasn’t healthy. I was constantly put down, called names and argued with. I didn’t ask for anything from his father because I knew from the beginning I was doing this on my own. I handled my business and continued to try to be the best mother to my newborn. After weeks of eating excessively , crying and severe mood swings I knew I had to do something. I researched symptoms of postpartum depression and I quickly realized I had it. I wasn’t myself. I wanted to bond with my baby but I couldn’t. It was the most hurtful feeling. I carried this tiny human inside of me for 9 months and I can’t love him the way I want. I realized it was because I didn’t love myself at the time. I was disappointed in how my life was going and that my son wouldn’t know his father. It took a lot of praying, self reflecting, self healing and self motivating to help me get to this point in my life. Christian’s first year and everything I conquered with him inside of me was for a reason. It was to shape me into a better version of myself. A Mother, his Mother. I’m happy I could tell my story on January 31st 2018 about how I conquered postpartum depression. Tomorrow someone won’t be able to tell their story. Listen to your family and friends. Special thanks to my amazing support system. My Mom & Family. Thank you all, I love you.