Gratitude and PPD. These two concepts might seem like an odd pair. But in my experience, they are closely linked. I’ve read some posts and articles in which women actually stated that they were grateful for PPD. They explained how it helped turn their marriage around, led them to care for themselves better, showed them how strong they could be in difficult situations, and uncovered an underlying issue that needed to be addressed. On the other hand, other women responded to these statements, stating that they were not at all grateful for having had PPD. They explained how it was a miserable time and that nothing positive came out of it.
I want to honor those two differing perspectives regarding PPD and gratitude. Obviously, neither opinion is right or wrong, but I do want to bring up another point about PPD and gratitude. I found that gratitude was my saving grace as I pulled myself out of the panic and fog PPD led left me in. When I managed to make it through one day without obsessively worrying about something, I would congratulate myself for this progress and count it as something to be grateful for. When the insomnia settled and I was able to fall asleep easily, I was eternally grateful. When friends helped out by taking my dogs for walks, I thanked them profusely.
For some reason, even though I was so sad and scared about my illness, I was able to recognize my small steps towards healing and cherish small acts of kindness. While the depression and anxiety I experienced when my son was first born has lifted, my gratitude has remained. Though I wouldn’t state that I am grateful for having had PPD, I do believe I am a more grateful person now than I was before PPD hit. I am grateful for compassionate friends. I am grateful for my wonderful family. I am grateful for a clear mind. And most of all, I am grateful for my strength which carried me away from the dark clutches of PPD and has guided me through many experiences since then.
Has PPD affected your gratitude? Please join #PPDChat tonight at 830pm to chat with us about this topic!
-Ana Clare Rouds