This post is very special to me, first Margie shared her story and allowed me to post it. She is an educated woman who wants to help others who experience Postpartum Psychosis. Please share this post with anyone you know who is pregnant or in the first few months of a baby’s life. M
Postpartum depression accompanied by Psychosis
This is not a war to win. It cages a soul and will not allow reason of any kind. I prayed, I begged and I pleaded. You can have me, but you cannot have my daughter.
On this particular morning, I thought I’d heard a knock at my front door, or was that coming from the back door? I trusted nothing. I sat in the nursery until the pounding stopped, and the sound of what I thought was my name being called, ended. Rocking my angel. I sobbed so violently. I wanted the voices and the visions to go away. I wanted nothing more than to save my baby from myself.
Something made me pause. Was that the front lock-set being opened, the door flinging open, were those real voices?
They found me. Jo and Priscilla. They found me, and they did not let go of me. One took the baby, and the other took the phone directory.
And every chance I get, I tell them, “Thank you.”
I spent the following three and a half months in a locked Psych ward.
Each one of us has a story that shames us, it can trap us in a sort of hell, but sometimes to escape hell, we must find words to express our grievance. I used to think this would be one that I could not share for fear of losing someone whom I love(d). Now I fear that if I don’t share it, someone may lose their way, they may find themselves lost, alone, aberrant, and of course, crazy. I would rather lose every friend I have for the sacrifice of gaining that one that reached out to me in need. The one that discovered hope, when they felt there was none left. But, if you can find clarity if you can trust that there are people in this world that care first for others, and second for themselves, then you, and they will walk with you through hell. When we have true friends, they don’t leave us when the going gets rough. They stop at nothing to see that we realize how important we are, in their life. They don’t call you, Pyscho, MisFit, or Crazy. They call you, Friend. That having us is a joy, a blessing, a God-send. A true friend does not judge, does not keep a scorecard, and knows that we are them, should they ever need us, and not out of guilt or because a favor needs returning. No, a true friend stands by knowing that without our connection we are only half of ourselves.
When others walked out, you walked in. You asked for nothing in return. You never used my illness to shame me, to discount me, to write me off. You stood beside me and carried me through my darkest hours. Priscilla, Senn, and Jo McCormack thank you for seeing me when I could not see myself. But more than anything, thank you for saving my Megan from the psychotic lunatic that I had become. We have fought hard to win, and without each of you, I would have lost. It took three and a half months, out-of-state, in a mental institution, a number of medications, and therapy sessions, but I came home, loving and vowed that one day I would share this story.
Never give up hope. When you are at your weakest, grasp for straws. Dial for help. Swallow your pride. Do not fear that you will be labeled, CRAZY, for the rest of your life, even by those you thought would stand behind you through thick and thin. One of the best pieces of advice given to me was these words:
“They already think you’re crazy. Nothing you do, or say, will change their opinion. Absolutely nothing, therefore, be yourself. Only you know the journey and the victory.”
I promised you I would finish a tale that I had begun earlier in one of my posts. I think I even noted Day 16 as the day that I would write it. Day 16, arrived, but the time didn’t feel ‘just right’. Today it does. I believe you will recall the post, original, and if not, I’ll help you retrieve it.
I spent three full days in bed making Pom-Poms out of tissues. And not intentionally. “No, Martha, I did not use your official cut-and-twist guide.” I fashioned mine while I tried building a dam to nowhere, for my sinus drainage. I took my temperature so many times I killed the battery in the thermometer. I’ve never slept so many hours in my life! This comes from someone who suffers extreme bits of insomnia. Food? I found two cans of soup at the back of the cupboard and considering we don’t eat processed canned items I can’t help but wonder where they came from, much less, why I consumed them.
I’d had enough of this Chit, so by 10:00 a.m., I drug my lazy self out of bed and into the steaming shower, threw on some clothes, and asked Hannah if she’d like to go for a walk.
I thought I’d heard a lot of commotion over the roar of my blow dryer, but I wasn’t in the mood to go ‘seek-and-find,’ what all the mischief was. Once dressed, and out the door, I looked up the street to see the fire truck. What the heck?!#&@
Okay, right off the bat I have to confess. I’m not into seeking out horror. I can’t handle it. Put me in a car, drive me down the freeway, and have someone shout, “Look! There’s been a car accident!” What do I do? Slither down in my seat and turn my head in the opposite direction. If I’m the one who happens to be driving, you won’t find me rubbernecking.
Where was I going with this?
The Walk…(and not on the wild side.)
Finally, on our way, we journey toward the coffee shop. I realize I can’t enter, doggie and all, but then I remember the new app I have downloaded on my phone. Hannah and I mosey up to the patio and sit down. Attempting to order, I realize this app needs a few software upgrades, but I’m not in the mood to hack up the menu in broad daylight, much less try to find a work-around on the store’s wi-fi firewall. Dang, I can’t just walk away, the pup is looking at me with those sweet, begging eyes as if to ask, “How much longer, Mummy?”
Thinking comes quick when smitten by a man’s best friend. I lasso a chair with her harness and tie the pup securely to it, placing her in full view of any area I’ll find myself at once inside the store.
…..Admit it, you’re just a wee bit bored, but you just can’t seem to pull yourself away from all the action. Consider yourself a rubbernecker and let’s get moving…..
We are at a junction in the road. If we take the route we came, we’re out 1.5 miles, but if we journey the alternate route we are out 1.5 miles. Decisions, decisions, oh, and the trick math question at the end. (Find your calculators.)
Let’s go rogue. I’m caffeinated and jet-packed by toxic chemicals from eating rancid soup. What could go wrong?
The Traffic Light!…(into the jungle)
The sucker must have been rigged for red-light runners! Hannah and I were caught in the median of a crazed intersection. Everyone dreams of a cuppa joe or a fuel tank of $2.35 gasoline. I think the only thing that saved us was the California Highway Patrol t-shirt my son (in-law) gave me. I looked, OFFICIAL!
Okay, I was only a third grey, now color me white-headed. I match the dog now. Lesson learned: Rubberneckers. “You folks are everywhere!” One of you almost put tire tracks on my bright orange and pink sneakers. Tell the truth, “We’re you wanting my eye color or that close-up of fear earmarked across my face?”
…..This painstakingly will end at some point. Why don’t you take a snooze and check back later for the mischief of the last mile and a half?….
Safely in a green space, we walk among the oak trees listening to the sound of acorns dropping in our midst. (Note to self: Bring bike helmets in the future.) Meandering along and I look up to see we are at the high school. My heart skips a beat, and then another. “Wasn’t it just yesterday?” Oh, how time does fly. But I won’t let this moment go. I grab my phone and take a couple of photos. I zip them off to my two beautiful daughters. They’ll open their messages and go back in time themselves. I wonder at what moments their day will stand still? I knew mine. I know it well. I’ll cherish it forever.
There I sat awaiting the dismissal bell. The bell echoes. Oh, I miss that bell. I miss all the ringing of that far-off bell.
Saturday my youngest daughter moves away from home. Off to her grown-up home. Not a dorm room, no, those days are gone, too. There’s part of me that wants her to go, but then there is that part of me that knows how far away she may one day travel. And yet, I must give her the pieces of the apron strings, the wings to fly, to soar, to dream and dare.
Did anyone find me a pen and some paper? Did you find your calculators? Get ready, here she blows:
If I live 1.5 miles in one direction, yet I am able to travel in an opposing direction 1.5 miles and arrive at my origination, what direction am I traveling?
We set off to run errands. Hannah’s errands, actually. I should just admit that some days I simply say to hell with the housework, laundry included, and I put my best friend in the car and we set about finding mischief.
We ran thru the CVS drive-through to pick up some of my meds and beg for the usual dog biscuit. FAIL! They were out of treats.
Starbucks redeemed her spirit though when they gave her a Puppy Whip. It’s a small cup container filled with whipped cream.
Across the railroad tracks and we head into Southlake. The outdoor shopping mall is always fun. There are fountains galore and hundreds of shade trees. Unfortunately, they have no outdoor drinking fountains. Hannah drank a bit of my iced tea as I cursed myself for not having brought along her collapsible water bowl and some water. Finally, I recalled the Whole Earth Provisions Store allows dogs in their store. I took my girl in and she made a group of newly found friends, all human and eager to dote upon her. Someone snagged a dog treat for her and everyone took turns petting her.
The girl is worn out. Now resting with a full tummy of treats and back inside to the cooled air conditioning.
Post-Partartum Psychosis has to be taken seriously. I ask you to reach out for help and keep an eye on a loved one or signs of Depression or Psychosis.
She’s a survivor and an extremely strong woman. I’ve never met someone as strong as she is, it blows my mind what she’s been thru and the pain she must feel.
I didn’t experience this but thank you so much for sharing. It’s so important that other moms feel like they’re not alone especially with something like this
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She was so lost and thank God she had friends who helped her get thru it and save the baby.
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This hits me deep. I struggled with postpartum anxiety and OCD. If it hadn’t been for my true friends saving me, I would have also lost. It’s a dark place to be in and sometimes you don’t realize how dark it was until you see the light again. Thankful for your story. We have to keep promoting awareness and supporting the other mothers that go through this!
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It’s a painful intimate topic. I’m so glad you are in a much happier place. It’s not talked enough about by doctor’s which I don’t understand.
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