Updated: Feb 22
Disclaimer: Some of the things I share with you might not work for you. These are things that work for me. I encourage you to try new things in order to get better and get the help you need. We are in this together and you are not alone.
In my previous blog, I shared my story of how I suffered from prenatal depression in the Pandemic (you can read it here) The first thing I had to do in order to get better was admit that I was depressed. Even though deep down I didn’t want to admit it. I had to accept it, become aware of it, and then acknowledge it. Here is the video version of this blog on my @HealinSpace Instagram page.
In my last three months of pregnancy, I spoke to a therapist. I was not sure if it was going to help because I don’t like sharing my problems with a stranger, but when we met each week, I was sharing and talking more than I thought. It actually helped me become aware of what was going on with me and where all these feelings were coming from. This led me to speak with a Chrisitan advisor, who prayed with me and helped me stay focused on the Word of God. My advisor, share scriptures and devotional with me. To remember that God loves me and help through such a hard time
Look into therapy, yes therapy is expensive. However, Check your insurance company to see if they will cover it. If not look into local social workers in your community. Sometimes they can also help you as well. Local libraries provide great resources for the community.
Therapy for Black women and Pre/Postnatal Depression
Mothers Support Group:
Once I start seeking therapy, I was referred over to this great organization called the Postpartum Resource Center Of NY which had a mother’s Support group. I joined the mothers’ group and found it so helpful to hear about other mothers who were experiencing similar feelings I felt. It really felt so good to hear another mother tell her story and what she did to get better.
If you are in NY here is information from the Postpartum Resources Center Of NY If https://postpartumny.org/you do not live in NY there is a directory on the postpartum resource center website that will search your area. Here the link https://postpartumny.org/resourcedirectory/
Other Resources: https://pprc.support/https://postpartumny.org/wp-content/uploads/2019/10/prcny-resourcedirectory-january-2021.pdf. Check your hospital/ birthing center that you've been giving birth at and see if they have a program for expecting mothers. Speak with your doctor or midwife regarding this.
I wrote everything down because I always felt my mind was full of so many thoughts. I wrote down my prayers and deepest feelings on paper. Once I became pregnant it was hard to write about how I was feeling. So my support group suggests that we journal what we are grateful for. This helped because it got me off all the negative things that were happening and it stopped me from thinking about what I didn't have or where I should be ect. It helped to focus on the moment and the presence of time.
Make a gratitude list, but be very specific about what you’re grateful for. For example, my son was in the NICU for 14 days. I was grateful that my son was getting better every day. I was grateful that he was breathing on his own, I was grateful for the nurses that took care of him. I was grateful that his blood transfusion went well. Be very specific about what you are grateful for. Since we have a life there is always something to be grateful for. It could be anything like, the nice lady at the coffee shop, or the comfort of our pet. It doesn't have to be a certain way and you can repeat the same gratitude list over. That's okay. here a 21-day Journal that I did and I really enjoy it. It's from Minister La'Tanyha Boyd
I loved leading meditation (click here for Guided Meditations for Moms) when I was in ministry, but when I was not doing well. It became very challenging. However, I did my best to continue practicing meditation on my own. Even if I didn’t feel like it. I try to at least do 5 minutes and just focus on breathing. When I felt the feeling of anxiety or bad thoughts I would just take a deep breath and sigh it all out. This helped me to focus on the present moment and what I was able to control what I cannot. I used affirmations in my meditation to help me. Sign up & Receive your Free Gift of Scriptures & Affirmations
Exercise/ Eating Habits
Walking was the only exercise I could do. I tried to walk every day for 10 minutes. I realized walking outside in the sun & nature really gave me the energy to keep moving. Take time to find one exercise or workout that you can do for 10-15 minutes.
Also my eating habits I had to be very careful about what I ate because sometimes I would not eat anything or I would eat a lot of sugar because my emotions were taken over my body. I made a lot of smoothies, juices, and ate fruits most of the time. Find good foods you can eat that are not harmful to you or your baby.
Talking to Friends
This one here, is one of the most important ones, to always talk to someone. Find someone you can trust, it helps to get support during this time. As women, we need to hold each other up especially because of everything we do for others. This is so important to know.
In between my busy days, I would color, sometimes I didn't realize I was coloring, but it sparked my inner child. Taking time to get creative with art, whether that's coloring, planting, singing, dancing, music whatever it is. Doing this once in a blue will help you focus on the light inside of you. Even watching funny shows, to make you smile and laugh is helpful.
I left the faith for last for one reason because it is the most important. I didn't feel like praying because I thought God wasn't hearing, yet He does! It was hard at times to read my bible, but my spirit was willing to feel better. I focused on the Psalm and sometimes I would read or listen to how David spoke with God.
I felt like David himself dealt with depression and overcame it by being honest with God. Having that mustard seed of faith helps you battle the lies of the enemy.
I encourage you, Sis, to find scriptures that speak to you and repeat them out loud during those “no reason crying times” or those bad thoughts, or feelings of hopelessness.
If you follow another faith or any other spiritual beliefs, I encourage you to spend a small amount of time using it to help you along your way. Whatever your beliefs are as long as it is doing good and helping you make small intentions it's worth it to try.
Sis, my last words are this, everyone experiences depression differently yet our emotions resonate with each other. Healing is not easy or fun, but being healed is beautiful. You are not alone and don’t have to be alone. You are going through this to become stronger, wiser, and to learn something from your experiences.
Be patient, be kind to yourself, and make small intentions to do one of the things that I mention because I believe it can help you. It's okay not to be okay.
I truly believe that God uses everything for the good of his people, we have situations, circumstances and it gets hard but we go through it to learn and grow.
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Peace & blessing