After I had my daughter, I suffered from postpartum depression (PPD). It was so severe there were times when my husband had to peel my off the bathroom floor. I got so dark, so fast, and had no control over the things that crept into my brain — including suicidal thoughts. Some of the ways society shames moms dealing with suicidal thoughts aren't conducive to any real healing. If anything, it only stifles a mother's attempts to get well. At least, that's what happened to me.
When the time came for me to deal with my depression (and this was only after my doctor suggested I seek immediate, drastic treatment), I didn't realize the perception others actually had of me. I only knew what I had imagined. I assumed they felt the same way I did — that everyone would be better off without me. I felt sad and hopeless. as if every dream I had for my future, and this family I'd just created, vanished. I believed I wasn't good enough or deserving enough. I thought no one cared about me, and that if I vanished no one would notice.
By the time my partner tied to convince me otherwise, it was too late. I couldn't hear him, or anyone else, because they were blocked out by the chaos and noise my intrusive thoughts were continually making. I became twisted up in them, doing whatever they told me to do, feel, and think. It was an awful way to live. In fact, it wasn't really living at all. Somewhere inside I had already died, and I had no idea how, or if, I would be able to put the missing pieces back together again.
Even with all this going on, I was faced with confusion and cynicism from unsupportive family and friends, as well as lingering stigmas from which society continues to draw from and perpetuate. No mom struggling with and through depression should feel anything less than supported and loved. Here are some of the ways I felt shame from the world around me, when all I needed was a little compassion and understanding (and maybe a hug).