Through the Storm, Rainbows are Found: My Journey through Postpartum Depression

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I have had 4 children in 5 years, including a set of twins. I also have had three different births, a c-section, a VBAC with an epidural and a VBAC without any pain medication. Each of my pregnancies and deliveries taught me so much.  I had always envisioned pregnancy and the postpartum period to be filled with bliss and peace. A time where I would be connecting with myself and my unborn on a deeper soul level, and while this connection did occur, I also suffered from severe morning sickness and a whole host of other health issues, which included postpartum depression after each pregnancy.

Because my pregnancies were fairly close to each other, it felt like I would get breaks from the depression, only to be hit with it again. My postpartum depression would come in waves and has been one of the hardest things I have ever gone through. It robbed me of my ability to connect with myself, with my family, to think clearly and make decisions. I lost my ability to reason, to remember and to be patient. Postpartum depression filled me with guilt, shame, and self loathing; as well as decimating my self esteem to a point where I was unable to feel like I was doing anything right or even able to look at myself in the mirror. I also suffered from Postpartum anxiety, intrusive thoughts and the desire to self harm.

My youngest child is almost two years old, and I am just now walking out of the dark forest that is postpartum depression, and into the full light of wholeness and healing. It has been a very long road, but one that I was able to walk and gain strength from. Taking medication for postpartum depression wasn’t an option for me, so I followed my inner guidance and intuition to take the steps needed so that I could heal.

Prayer, positive affirmations, mediation, rest, connecting with God and allowing His love to surround, fulfill and uplift me, yoga, tea, writing, and being patient and gentle with myself when my methods didn’t seem to be working fast enough, or at all, helped me to recover and have a deeper love for myself through this process. Depression is an illness. It is debilitating and can be quite destructive, but it is possible to make it through and become whole. It is possible to feel like yourself again, and to just feel again.

I am living proof, that the greater the storm the more beautiful the rainbow. I can now face any storm with the confidence that trouble doesn’t last always, and that through every storm, rainbows are found.

The Art of Surrender

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Let us face the facts of life on this earthly plane head on. It is not always easy and can sometimes be down right hard. There seem to be a billion and one things to do at all times, and not enough time or energy to get it all done. Humans are driven to continue to do more, be more and experience more at all times. While this is not a negative at all, the constant busyness and hustle and bustle of daily life, can serve to inhibit our connection to the Great Divine.
It is important that we slow down and surrender to feel the fullness of God’s glory in our day to day lives. In order to do this, we must let go. Let go of our expectations. Let go of the plan that we have created for our lives. Let go of our to-do lists. Let go of the million tiny and big thoughts that swirl through our minds constantly. We have to let go of the idea that we are in control. Let go of the notion that we have to be in control of every moment of every day.
We have to give ourselves permission to cast our cares unto the Lord. We have to give ourselves permission to surrender our desires, thoughts, needs, and wants to God, and have faith that He will do just as He has promised, and that He will take care of us. We have to remember that our true nature is love, and surrender unto that love. We have to give ourselves permission to slow down and breathe. Breathe in the security that is the Lord, the security that allows us to surrender so that we can be made whole. Surrender is a gift that we can give to the One who gives so much to us consistently and constantly. Surrender allows us to release the need to have all of the answers, all of the power, all of the control, in favor of allowing our Heavenly Father to take the lead.

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Because God is the epitome of good, of love, and of light, we can always be sure that surrendering to His will, and way, will only manifest good, love and light within our lives. Letting go, allows God the space He needs to work things out in our favor. We can hinder our own blessings and miracles by our desire to hold tightly onto things which we are not meant to hold tightly onto. We produce stress, and unwanted dis-ease, by thinking that we have to be God in our individual worlds and get it all right all by ourselves, when in fact, God wants nothing more but to ease our burden and to make our hearts light.
We cannot lighten a load that we refuse to let go of. Surrender is a constant process, we have to begin each day with a heart that is willing to let go and give to God. We have to make the conscious decision to let go of worry, anxiety, disappointments, irritations and the million other emotions and situations we may encounter, in favor of a lighter heart, a clearer mind, and a spirit that is filled with love and joy.