Tiffany Jenkins shares how she silently battled postpartum depression and reached out for help
Opening up about struggling with postpartum depression is one of the most difficult things a mom can do. It’s also one of the bravest. Blogger Tiffany Jenkins recently opened up about her own struggle, and she didn’t hold anything back about the bleakest days of her life — and her words are helping moms everywhere.
Postpartum depression makes you believe you can’t. Can’t do anything right, can’t possibly take care of your children, can’t function in your daily life. Which is why Jenkins’ post is a must-read for moms everywhere. In it, she shares a photo of herself nursing her newborn and cuddling her toddler at the same time. A common scene for moms of little ones, isn’t it?
“I did not like my children when this photo was taken,” she writes. “I actually resented them for existing.”
At her lowest point with postpartum depression, her son Kaiden was 17 months old and her daughter Chloe was just one month old. Jenkins says it felt impossible to be their mother. “I didn’t want to change their diapers, feed them, and most of the time – I wanted to leave them in their cribs and run out the door, never to return.”
If you’ve never experienced depression, you may not fully understand how a mother might feel this way in relation to caring for her own children. Which is why so many of us stay silent when we’re experiencing serious bouts of depression — fear of the stigma.
Jenkins says she remained silent and kept her thoughts to herself. “I smiled for photos and mustered false admiration when someone would fawn over them,” she says. “I cried often, most of the day actually. I questioned my sanity and constantly berated myself for being such a shitty person. I screamed, I hid, I let them cry and pulled my hair out. I didn’t want them anymore. I didn’t want them.”
She says her husband didn’t know she was experiencing such serious depression — she was afraid of what he’d think if she admitted the truth. In her post, she describes how she felt at her lowest point in heartwrenching detail.
“One day I decided I wasn’t going to get them out of their cribs. I was going to leave them there, let them cry and soil themselves. I didnt care. I couldnt care. I tried to care. I COULDNT care.”
So she called her doctor’s office and broke down in tears. They immediately asked her to come in and openly discussed her feelings. “The doctor spoke to me about postpartum depression as if he’d had this conversation thousands of times,” she writes. “Turns out he had. Turns out I was one of millions of women experiencing those feelings at that exact moment. I wasn’t crazy. Something was wrong with my brain. Something I couldn’t fix alone. My doctor and I fixed it together.”
When I read Jenkins’ post, I instantly became emotional. Because I remember feeling that way — that desolate, lonely, dead-inside way was unexpected as hell for me and the guilt I felt over it nearly destroyed me. I’m so thankful it subsided after a couple of months — and that I have a great doctor and a few people in my life I can trust with my truth.
“I wanted to share because I was hoping it would make one person out there realize they weren’t alone,” Jenkins tells Scary Mommy about her now-viral post. “The best part is, there are thousands of comments from other moms who went through the same thing, so now not only is that one person seeing my post, but they also see countless stories from other women as well. I love that.”
She’s right, women everywhere immediately shared their own experiences in the comments.
Jenkins’ children are toddlers now, and she says reaching out for help was the greatest gift she could have ever given her children.”If any of this sounds familiar to you, I just wanted you to know — you aren’t alone. You aren’t crazy — and you need to tell someone.”