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Lella’s #MeetAMama :: Linda

This is Linda's Story

One day you will tell your story of how you overcame what you went through, and it will become someone else’s survival guide.

Trigger warning: postpartum depression, anxiety, panic attack

This is Linda’s Story {pt. I}

“I didn’t realize I was slipping into depression. It didn’t happen quickly, or with any type of catalyst.

I did realize that my anxiety was back, stronger than ever before, and completely disrupting my life.

I woke up that Thursday morning to everything and nothing being different. For about a week every day started with an unshakable sense of dread and unease. My body would wake up at 5:45, almost on the dot, every day. On one hand, I was sometimes able to shower before the rest of the house woke.. but on the other, the days were long and tiring. One coping tool for my anxiety involves changing my surroundings. So a break-of-dawn shower was a good way to distract myself from the encroaching panic. More than once I ended up on long walks through my quiet neighborhood at 630am. I needed to get out of my home, distract myself, and often make a call to Kids Help Phone (yes, they will talk to a 36 year old woman in crisis). As my ambling would inevitably lead me back home, I would start to get the uncomfortable flutters in my stomach. My arms and legs would start to tingle again, making me feel out of control and jittery..

My home is full of laughter and love, but I stopped being able to see it. I stopped feeling it. I stopped being able to join in. I lost my ability to play.

That Thursday morning, there was no relief to be found.

That Thursday morning I woke up and couldn’t deal with it any longer. My husband was feeding our 1 year old son. My daughter was following me around because she could sense that something was wrong. I had a list of phone numbers that I had been reaching out to – mental health resources that truly failed me that morning. I waited on hold for 20+ minutes, the grating music and constant repeated message that my call would be answered doing my anxiety no favours. I finally gave up and dialed another number.. that one gave me a message then simply disconnected.

No one was available.

You may wonder why I didn’t immediately ask my husband for help.. well, for one, he’s not a mental health professional. Plus he was helping – He was being the rock our kids needed, while I floated away into the open ocean. Without having experienced anxiety himself, he was at a loss as to how to help me. Honestly, I didn’t know what help to even ask for. That’s the thing about my anxiety and depression, it manifested in a way that left me feeling alone and helpless, even though I was surrounded by people who love me.

I called 911.

I asked for an ambulance and spoke with the dispatcher about not knowing if I actually needed an ambulance, and my guilt for using this resource meant for emergencies. I was assured that they would be there soon to assess me – it didn’t mean I would 100% be headed to the hospital, though in my heart I knew that was where I would end up.

It was 7:06am.”

{ pt II, coming soon }

Linda is an intuitive, research-loving, zen-seeking, culinary maven mama of two – a 4- and 1- year old from Hamilton, Canada. She nurtures people by feeding them, overthinks most things (her words!). She struggles to stay in the present moment, loves her friends and family fiercely and would do anything for them, or to see them smile.

“Empathetic, caring, intelligent” adds her hubby – her decade-long college colleague turned love-of-her-life.

Linda has also boldly, generously, offered herself to other mamas who’d like to connect – even if just for a quick chat – about her experiences – through the Lella app. Find Linda on Lella by searching MamaPro :: Mind Full Mom.

The purpose of Lella #MeetAMama posts is to share the true stories of fertility, pregnancy, childbirth, postpartum, and parenting. The brave Mamas who choose to feature their stories here are doing so voluntarily, as a catharsis and beacon of hope for others who may be suffering in silence. To share your own story, connect with us at [email protected]

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