I stopped loving myself after I became a mother

I stopped loving myself after I became a mother

My fight with postpartum depression and why I will win over it.

Written by Debjani Arora |Updated : May 7, 2015 10:33 PM IST

I have stopped loving myself. But I am happy that the realisation finally dawned on me. For a long time, I had been in a state of denial about my misery both mentally and physically. I often blamed work stress, daily wear and tear and the pressure of being a mother, a wife, a daughter and a professional for this. Everything took a toll on me and I was scared to admit it, even to myself. It made me feel incompetent, inept and hopeless. And these feelings just grew within me with each passing day. There came a time when I stopped loving myself completely and I didn t even realise it.

For over a year now I had been a complete mess I have unkempt hair, don t even bother what I wear and don t remember the last time I visited a salon. I walk out of my door every morning to work with mismatched attire and hair in a tizzy. My physical appearance doesn't bother me any more. And that is not to say that I am comfortable the way I am. So, why don t I just comb my hair and put on some make-up to look good? Because caring for self doesn t come to me naturally, not any more.

I have grown increasingly uncomfortable with my body postpartum. I was never slim and I loved my curves. I ate; I danced, and dressed myself the way I wanted. But these days I hate to see the mirror or catch a glimpse of myself on any shiny surface. It gives me jitters. I hate the way my hips have doubled in size post delivery. Not to mention the stretch marks that make me cringe. Attending to a toddler, I hardly get time for myself. But, that has now become my favourite excuse.

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When I look at the mirror, I try to find my old self, the person who I loved and cared about. I feel like a stranger to my own reflection. The person who I keep searching is different from the one that I am today. But the one thing that I miss the most about my old self is my unending enthusiasm towards life -- the urge to reach out and learn new things, meet new people, interact and socialise. I have not only lost touch with my own self, but also lost the desire to connect with the world. Here are six ways to beat baby blues postpartum.

My life is abuzz with activities. My two year old daughter who I love to the core, the apple of my eye, makes me smile even during the darkest moments. But managing a toddler isn t easy, and I am ashamed to admit that I lose control on so many occasions. I spank, yell and scare her. And I am the one who writes articles for this website on why you shouldn't be doing that. Qualities that I never thought I would acquire as a mother. My husband has been a constant pillar of support right from our courtship days till this very moment. I know a lot of people envy the kind of attention and care he showers on me. I am one lucky to have a loving husband who is also a hands-on dad.

I love my job and try hard to put my best foot forward in terms of work. Thankfully, I have a boss and a team who appreciates my work, but that too doesn t help. So what is it that is bothering me? I don t know the answer yet but I know I need help. Working and writing articles for the healthcare sector for so long I know how to pick up the signs of postpartum depression and when to reach out for help.

I am happy that I have made up my mind to reach for help. It sounds awful that I need help to love myself again, but yes I need help. The funny part is that I called up a psychiatrist and said I need help to love myself can you help me. This is the same person who had helped me write many articles on mental health for this site. This time I didn t want inputs. I needed real help.

I know I am on the right track. I will love myself again and beat the blues. I won t give up on myself so easily. Never. Ever.

Image source: Getty Images

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