I've had a few people comment on my "aspirational Mom" IG stories/posts. Selfishly, I love it. Go ahead, inflate my already large ego. Tell me how good I look for just having a baby.
What I post isn't the full picture. It's what I choose to put out there. And yeah, the Freckle/Kuma turf wars are pretty entertaining. Jillian Harris recently posted about how she intentionally brands herself and uses IG as a business tool. I too choose to post "the good stuff" because I know it'll make people laugh or see me in the light I want to be seen in.
The truth is I have postpartum depression. And it fucking sucks.
But how is this possible? I have great self-awareness. I'm a yoga teacher for crying out loud.
That's the thing with hormones and babies. It doesn't matter how mentally fit you are or if you meditate every day. It creeps up in the middle of one sleep deprived night and knocks you down. Mother fucker.
A lot of women told me feeling sad was normal. The baby blues were like a right of passage into motherhood. But wanting to kill yourself isn't normal. I couldn't sleep. Couldn't eat. Couldn't force myself to say "I love you" to my baby. Fantasies of falling asleep and never waking up were my way of escaping.
it's okay to ask for help.
Something in me said "Ashley, this isn't okay. This isn't you". I couldn't ride these emotions out and wait for the supposed blues to pass. I didn't want to lie lifelessly on the bathroom floor day after day. With a gentle yet firm nudge from my best friend, I got help.
What's astounded me the most with this whole PPD journey is how many mothers (and fathers) suffer from PPD and/or postpartum anxiety. What I've witnessed (no scientific data here, just observations) is that as a new parent you're more at odds of suffering than not. And yet we don't openly talk about it.
Why do I feel the need to lower my voice when I mention depression in public? It's not gonorrhoea. It's not heroin addiction. It is what it is.
My girlfriend Ashley recently put it all out there with her campaign #sharethefeels. The vulnerability and bravery it took to vocalize her pain and suffering inspired me to do the same. And I encourage you to quiet the voice in your head, put your doubts to the side and join us.
Together we can debunk the funk around mental health and speak openly about the ups and downs.
wear a pin and be cooler than cool
The #allthefeels pins are being sold by Feelosophy Yoga with proceeds going to Crisis Intervention & Suicide Prevention Centre of BC. If you purchase a pin we encourage you to #shareyourfeels to show everyone that they too are not alone in it all.