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Postpartum Depression Reflection: You Are Not Your Struggle
"If I believe that anxiety is a part of me, I will never experience otherwise."
How You Feel is Not Who You Are
Who are you? Are you an anxious woman? Or a woman who struggles with anxiety? There's a difference.
Too often we judge others, including ourselves, by our struggles and believe that what a person is going through is who they are.
This way of thinking is dangerous because it can easily become a self-fulfilling prophecy. Our thoughts are powerful. Each thought is either true or not true. But regardless of which it is, you will empower those thoughts with which you agree, thus making them a reality. So, even if they weren't true at first, by agreeing with the thoughts and accepting them as your identity, you are creating the conditions for them to flourish and grow.
Think about it like this: Actions and feelings are born from thoughts. So if you think you are a depressed person, you will likely feel depressed and then do actions, such as isolate, that match those thoughts and feelings. When such actions are repeated over time, they become habits. Eventually the habits become so ingrained that they become strongholds. The deeper these strongholds become, the further you fall into depression, which serves to reinforce the thoughts you've been thinking all along, only now they are more true than ever before.
So what's the solution? I am not advocating that you lie about what you are thinking or feeling--transparency is important when seeking support. But I am suggesting that you keep enough of a separation between your concept of "self" and the struggle that you create opportunity for change to occur.
Tomorrow's reality is based on today's perceptions. So while you may be a woman who is temporarily dealing with postpartum depression, I encourage you to refuse to give it access to your core and do not invite it into your future.
See yourself for who you really are, and see others that way too.