Mother’s Day Special: How I beat postpartum depression – brunch feature

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People ask me why I’m such a crazy energetic person. What fuels me to push so hard for happiness? I always say: “I’m greedy for the good stuff. I’m greedy for time!”

Because after I gave birth to Hans, my first born, motherhood was nothing like I had imagined it to be. I went from being a glamorous actress to 32-kilos overweight, and suffered severe anxiety after giving birth. I only felt a dark space.

Hormonal hit

“I choose to be neutral to accolades and status. I don’t have time for negativity. It’s made me fearless.”

No one had told me about postpartum blues. Depression was a word I would never have related to. But this was hormonal. I hit a deep, dark space where the fakeness of the world of putting up appearances and keeping up with everyone was magnified a million times more. I could not look in the mirror. I could not feel happy. It was such an injustice to my husband, who was amazingly supportive, and the beautiful baby who chose me to be his mother.

At that time I was so ashamed of all those feelings of self-loathing that my self-worth was at an all-time low. I couldn’t muster up the courage to fight the blues.

Imperfectly perfect

It took me two to three years to get back on track, so when I got pregnant again, I made it my personal mission to hold on to a happy space. Today, I choose to be neutral to accolades and status. I don’t have time for negativity. It’s made me fearless and honestly I wish I had had this mindset in my teens. If I had, I wouldn’t have given so many trivial situations the importance I did. Our society feeds us with the illusion of what perfect should be. I am imperfectly perfect and I cannot tell you how liberating it is.

“Brave is the new mantra. And this lockdown has only reiterated that false bravado has no place in the world today.”

Have I aged? Of course. Am I that skinny girl I was? Hell no. Am I still best friends with the tinsel town who’s who? I’m a mom of two, and no, I don’t have the time. But do I think I have more to offer? To my soul, to myself? To my family? To real people? To the Sam who still feels guilty about losing time to postpartum? Damn straight I do. And that my friend is the key. It’s the key to unlock bucket loads of infectious happy energy every day.

Be brave

So if you are struggling with anything, don’t sweep it under the carpet because there’s no use hiding it. Brave is the new mantra. And this lockdown has only reiterated that false bravado has no place in the world today. As Rihanna says, work, work, work. Work through your pain and I guarantee there is a shiny, happy light at the end of the tunnel.

HT Brunch Mother’s Day Cover Story: Mum is not the right word!…Read

Mother’s Day Special: ‘I am not three any more’ writes Shefali Shah… Read

From HT Brunch, May 10, 2020

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