When my daughter was born, like many new parents, I was blown away that my heart could hold so much. My husband and I both described what felt like a thick cord of high voltage electricity running straight down the centers of us, powering every last nerve and cell.
God, I loved that little baby so much.
So postpartum depression never crossed my mind.
Sure, I was extra, extra irritable. Of course, I'd just had a BABY.
Sure, I was so mad at my husband that I wanted to take the baby and run away with her.
I resented help and I resented not being helped.
I knew I felt like a radically different person. I didn't feel like "JJ had a baby". I felt like "JJ had a baby and now this new, angry, tired person is raising it and JJ must be somewhere in Aruba but I'm sure she'll be back soon".
JJ didn't come back soon. She didn't come back for almost 3 years. The body that was raising my daughter was swimming in a sea of sharks - anger, rage, irritability, dissatisfaction, inability to connect with anyone around me, anxiety...
But I loved my daughter. I took such good care of her. I fought so hard to breastfeed her that I deserved a medal.
It wasn't until 5 months after the baby was born that I realized ...it had been 5 months since the baby was born. And I still felt like she'd been born yesterday. I was not settling into life. Everything was a struggle. Everything took massive effort - changing diapers, sterilizing binkies, doing laundry.
I told myself that I let all the household chores go to the wayside because I was enjoying being a new mom.
I told myself that I was so angry with my husband because he wasn't used to being a dad yet.
I told myself that I had started hating the job I used to love because it wasn't stable anymore and I was a new mom and wanted stability for my daughter.
I told myself lie, after lie, after lie until I ran out of things on which to blame the inner and outer struggles I was experiencing.
That's why you might not know you have PPD. Because it might just look like a mid-life crisis.