Today I woke up feeling happy… it sounds like a strange thing to say. I mean how does anyone “wake up happy”? Especially at the hour my kids woke me up at. And how did I know I was happy? Well, let me explain how I got up…
I greeted my three year old and eight month old daughters with an enthusiastic voice rather than a grumpy one. I got myself dressed in fresh clothes for the day rather than remaining in my pyjamas. I got my kids dressed for the day and while doing so we chatted about how everyone slept. My vocabulary usually doesn’t surpass more than a grumble until noon but this morning it was different.
I didn’t feel like I had to rush or like there was so much to do and not enough time to do it. I felt like the moment I was in mattered and like I had just woken up… like really woken up from the haze I lived in everyday after this depression started.
A mom friend of mine contacted me on short notice asking to pop by with her two kids and I gave her a welcomed response right away. In the height of my depression I often put off answering text messages especially from those I knew would want to check in on me.
Now I find myself this evening looking back on my day and questioning what got me to this point when not too long ago I had to sign myself up for events in order to get myself to be around people. One of the events I signed up for was leading a moms’ group every other week at my house for my local church. It came ever so timely too.
It was the week I was diagnosed with postpartum depression and the request for my leadership came in an email. I remembered I had offered to lead a mom’s group almost a full year ago and had gotten no response back… until now.
I soon got in contact with the head of the church’s moms’ groups and confessed that I don’t deem myself worthy of this leadership role, though I did desire it. I truly wanted to be alone though the image of me being surrounded by beautiful moms as we laughed and chatted while drinking cups of tea and holding our babies… it made my heart ache. But the Chanelle I saw surrounded by those moms as they all enjoyed each other’s company was not the Chanelle I was presently.
No sooner had I started my confession when the head of the church’s moms’ groups stopped me and said, “this is great! The mom that initiated moms’ groups at church did so because she suffered from postpartum depression and needed to be around other moms!”
So I did it. I took a leap of faith. I started with the fear that one day not a single mom would show up. But that day never came. Instead the moms’ group grew. In fact what truly shocked me was God’s provision within this season. It was as though he was telling me that I was exactly where he wanted me to be.
After receiving the offer to start a moms’ group, the landlord of our family’s little two bedroom apartment offered us the chance to move out with the gift of two and a half month’s rent. Jesiah and I prayed about where we would want to live and we both agreed our next home needed to be bigger. However the homes in our area that had enough room that we thought would suit our need were out of our price range and credit score.
I couldn’t help but keep looking at these homes though and stumbled upon one that had scripture verses on its walls. I felt in my heart this was a sign from God saying, “this is the way”.
I can’t understand how what followed afterwards was even possible. We met with the owners of the home and became instant friends. Upon filling out the application form for the home, Jesiah and I agreed to be honest about our low credit scores and limited finances from his income.
Our application was approved within a week and our landlords said that they simply did not want anyone else living in their property. That same week a mom friend from my moms’ group contacted me asking if my husband was interested in a position at her husband’s job. And this job paid the amount we need to be able to live in our new home comfortably. We were in absolute awe of how God orchestrated this entire situation.
Our home was suddenly big enough for my moms’ group to flourish and it did! It grew at such a rate that we started meeting with moms on other days during the week, because they wanted to attend but couldn’t on the days we had scheduled.
It wasn’t easy getting up on mornings when I had scheduled moms group at first. It was because of this group that I had to clean my house, bath my kids and make sure there was proper food in the house. It was because of this group that I pushed past my desire to be alone with my dark thoughts and instead forced a smile that soon became a real one.
And in the moments when I couldn’t smile, I had mom friends there to talk me through what I was feeling and assure me it would get better. There was many meetings with my moms group when I opened up about scary dreams I had and how scared I was of the silliest of ideas. They never made fun of me or made light of my experiences but I surprisingly found that some of the moms were going through or had gone through my same journey.
I was not alone. But I did have to find my way to this point of not being alone. Now it’s not hard being around these moms… they’re my sisters. It was like I had to work this muscle called “relationships” that had grown weak. And it got easier to have relationships as I worked harder and got stronger.
Postpartum depression can feel like an uphill battle. But if you keep pushing forward, especially within those moments when you trip… you’ll reach the peak and see all those people at different levels leading to the bottom of that hill. And you realize that they were the ones that helped to push you forward. They pushed you forward to that morning you were able to wake up happy.
Click here if you’d like to read how I discovered the signs that I had postpartum depression.