Postpartum OCD entered my parenting journey at six months in.
It took me doing a lot of thorough and careful research after a counsellor, someone not at liberty to diagnose, made an offhand comment while recommending I see a psychiatrist during my postpartum anxiety and postpartum depression battles.
Despite it having been years since, I have never spoken publicly about this.
I can count on less than one hand the people I have privately told that I have about my postpartum OCD, internal thoughts and actions.
Many of my closest family members do not know.
If I had previously shared my struggles with you about my supposed postpartum anxiety or depression, I purposely did not correct myself.
And typing this right now?
There will forever be a piece of me that believes speaking this truth to power will result in my child being taken away from me.
Even in this very post of me admitting to it, it will glaze over the details of *how* and in what ways I suffer from postpartum OCD. The fear of repercussions — it is strong and deeply, deeply real.
One truth I am not afraid to glaze over is this: there are few things in the world that make you feel more like a terrible person and a terrible mother than postpartum OCD. (Yes, I am far past postpartum now, but I still have the same symptoms — though not as often, so I struggle with what else to call it). The guilt that comes with this disorder is a heavy, heavy load to bear. It hurts in ways I didn’t know one could feel pain, and it can be a gut punch from nowhere that can derail a whole day.
But, I have learned to reframe it. I have learned to positively see the whys. I have learned to function.
Others haven’t. Postpartum OCD is not something widely understood, or rarely talked about. Predominantly from the very people who need help the most, those who are suffering in silence and with my same fears.
If I am ever to truly heal, my truth must be heard.
And if you’ve ever been here, or are here, you are not alone. I hear you. I am you. This will not defeat us.