This is Elena Sanchez. Elena is a photographer at Glass Lantern Photography, who has been in love with taking pictures since she was a little girl and would go on trips with her family. She’s also my wife and mom to three little ones. This is part one of her story.
“Right after my last baby was born, I was in a really, really dark place for months until very recently. I don’t think I’ve ever been in that kind of place before. Even though I felt so much love for my baby and she made me happy, I just felt this unexplainable sadness. The depth of that sadness was more than I could bear. I would wake up and not want to get out of bed. I would send my oldest daughter off to school and it would just be my son and my baby and I was struggling to function. I didn’t want to get off the couch. I would turn on a movie for my son and I could barely handle getting up and getting him snacks and interacting with me. I felt so guilty about that. I isolated myself and I avoided a lot of social situations. I remember being in a room full of people and knowing that if someone asked me how I was, I would break down crying. That’s how vulnerable I felt. I just could not function. After talking to my husband multiple times, I finally reached out to my OB. I went in for my appointment and told her I was pretty sure I had postpartum depression and even just admitting that to her was a lot and I started crying. I started an anti-depressant and I’ve been on that for a little while now and it has changed my life.
I feel more like my old self. I feel like I have the motivation to work. I feel like I want to play with my son again during the day and I can be a better mom and wife. I can be a better me. There’s so much stigma around mental health issues and not just that, but medication as well, but there shouldn’t be. It’s such an important thing that people deal with and some times medication is necessary and it’s not a bad thing.
I think more moms go through this than we hear about. I wish it wasn’t like that because you need support and you need other people to tell you that they’ve gone through this, that there’s a light at the end of the tunnel. People need to hear that there’s nothing wrong with getting help or needing medication. Don’t be afraid to seek help if you’re not feeling right or if you need to talk to somebody. There’s nothing worse than being isolated and feeling like you can’t talk about what’s going on with you. It’s okay to get help, whether it’s postpartum or regular depression, or anything. It’s okay to not be okay. For so long I kept denying that something deeper was going on, so I kept putting it off until finally I realized that I needed help. I feel totally, totally different today.”