Within a week of starting an antidepressant and thyroid medication, I was ecstatic to discover I was back to my old self. I could finally go a whole day without having to lie down due to exhaustion. My brain came back! I could critically think again, put full sentences together, and have complete thoughts! I wanted to do things I used to enjoy, like run or knit or bake something new.
And then, it hit again. One Saturday, I stopped functioning. The brain fog came back, I could barely find the energy to move, and all I wanted to do was sleep. Around 2pm, I finally started feeling better. But it made me realize that there is no magic or instant fix. There will be good days, and there will still be bad days. On the good days, I will enjoy spending time with my two boys. On the bad days, I will not feel guilty for sleeping or asking for help.
If I could offer one piece of advice to new moms, it’s this: Monitor yourself, and don’t be afraid to ask for help. Yes, exhaustion is a part of being a new mom. But it should get better. You may feel unhappy or just not yourself, but it should get better. If it doesn’t, please don’t be afraid to ask for help or talk with your doctor. When you start losing more and more enjoyment in life or feel like you are just trying to survive the next 12 hours before you can sleep again to escape, something has to give. This life is too short, too unpredictable to just survive each day.
Live your life. Cherish each moment. Recognize that you aren’t made to do it all on your own. Ask for help.