Since recovering from postpartum depression, I have become extra-sensitive to my moods and energy levels. When I feel blah, I immediately worry, Is this depression?
But here’s the thing about life: even after conquering a mood disorder, you are still entitled to the occasional blah day. Not every blah day needs to be seen as a symptom of depression.
Maybe it’s PMS.
Maybe you had a fight with your husband/mom/best friend/whomever.
Or maybe it’s the common cold.
You are allowed to have terrible, horrible, no good, very bad days.
The past couple of days, I was sick in bed with a summer cold. Thursday night, I was feeling tired, grumpy and congested. When I woke up Friday, I felt miserable. Sore throat, muscle aches, exploding sinuses… all I wanted to do was lie in bed and rest.
Rest is good. Like Daniel Tiger says, When you’re sick, rest is best, rest is be-es-st. You’re not supposed to run around like a martyr and act as if you are healthy when your immune system is begging you to take a nap.
And yet, still I worried. It’s been five years since I was diagnosed with postpartum depression. I have been depression-free for over four years. And still, I worry about my mental health when I’m tired.
Is this a relapse?
Is the depression back?
Is the fatigue all in my head?
I snuggled up on the couch with Julian, pondered, and decided that I was tired because my immune system needed me to rest.
Part of me feels annoyed that I can’t just have a cold without worrying about depression. But as I write this post, I realize my vigilance is good. Mental health is precious. Maybe I expend a little extra energy over-analyzing the common cold, but I think that is better than burying my head in the sand and risking a full relapse.
Postpartum depression changed me, but again and again, I realize those changes were for the best.