Postpartum depression is all the rage. Literally.
When people think of being depressed, or at least, when I used to think of being depressed, I didn’t think of anger. I thought of sadness and lethargy and anxiety, but not so much rage. But that’s one of those little known, less talked about perks of PPD. Rage, aka Super Anger!
Super Anger and I became acquainted approximately 6 weeks postpartum. I could tell you the exact moment it happened – I still vividly remember the scenario. I have never been so angry. I felt like I could have punched through a wall or mowed someone over in my vehicle. It was scary, full on rage. And I had no idea why.
Later, as the temptation to throat punch became more frequent, I realized that this was yet another lovely manifestation of PPD. While it was never as intense as it was the first time, it would happen pretty regularly from then on…up until, like, yesterday. So yeah, I’m still very much in the city limits of throat-punchville as we speak. But WHY?! Why do I get so angry? I have a baby — a sweet, wonderful, amazingly well-behaved, joyful, smart, happy baby. Why.Am.I.So.Mad.All.The.Time?!?!
Because my hormones are straight cray-cray, the science would say. I really don’t know why. I just know that I get mad, and jealous, and Super Angry a lot. Way more than I ever have. Honestly, I think I’ve been angry more times in the last year than I have in my entire lifetime (which says a lot, because I wasn’t known as super-chill Emily has a teenager). And let me tell you – it’s frustrating. Really, really frustrating. But here’s something I’ve learned: just because the temptation is there, and my brain is more susceptible to failing me in those moments, doesn’t mean I am at liberty to fly off the handle at whomsoever I choose.
Depression is awful. Mental illness is beyond rough. But just because you are in the midst of one of those trying times doesn’t mean you have a license to do whatever you want. I get angry, a lot. And I let that anger get the best of me much more often than I want. But when it does, I must.must.must repent of those moments. Because while my guard may be lowered, I still have to try to be faithful. I still have to try to walk worthy of the calling to which I have been called. While Satan may knock me down more now than he did in the past, I have to keep getting up. Because if I stay down, wallowing in my present circumstance, he’s going to win. He’s going to drag me deep into a pit that I’ll decide I don’t want to climb out of because of how much effort it will require.
I am learning so much about God’s grace during this season of my life. I fail Him more now than I have in a while. But He is SO good to me, forgiving me and washing me clean with Jesus’ precious blood over and over and over again. I don’t deserve such wonderful love, but He is so good to me. Faithful to me, though Satan would have me believe He’s forsaken me during this dark time of life.
Whatever mental state you find yourself in, know this: God is with you. Satan, the roaring lion that he is, will stalk you and seek to destroy you during this vulnerable time, but you cannot let him win. The victory already belongs to Christ (and He’s graciously welcomed us into the winner’s circle), so don’t let Satan strip you of your crown.
“No temptation has overtaken you except such as is common to man; but God is faithful, who will not allow you to be tempted beyond what you are able, but with the temptation will also make the way of escape, that you may be able to bear it.”
1 Corinthians 10:13