My husband and I sat down this Valentine’s Day weekend and finally watched the Martian. Yup, that one, with Matt Damon stranded on the red planet. It was surprisingly good. The humor found – even forced – from what seemed like and utterly hopeless situation shone a light on my own struggle with PPD.
I felt like Mark’s struggle to survive his isolation, hopelessness, and probable death mirrored my progression through PPD. The initial terror, pain, and struggle to just stay alive every day, to make decisions, to find help. Then the long slog through survival, interrupted by pitfalls, setbacks, and failure. The moments when giving up seems like the only option left.
But he kept going. And as it was pointed out to me recently, I keep going. I get up each day. I shower and dress. I dress and feed my little boy. I take us to work and back. I clean the house, I do the laundry, I get out for therapy and moms’ groups and sometimes even for a walk. We play and read books. Sometimes, like today, I even write a little. Just a little.
And sometimes I still cry and take naps and wish I could run away, but I don’t. I keep going. It doesn’t always feel like it, but despite how I feel, I wake, smile at my son, and pick him up. Sometimes I cry in front of him. Sometimes I ask my husband to take over. But we all keep going, together.