In this heart-wrenching memoir of postpartum depression, Marcia Orcutt describes from her heart what her life was like during her struggle with despair and darkness. She shares her unspeakable thoughts, fears, and actions during these years. She breaks the silence and isolation of this disease.
As many as one million women a year suffer from this horrific illness in the United States alone yet only 15 percent get treatment according to the Centers for Disease Control. Read and discover how she finds the strength to overcome this debilitating and often misunderstood illness.
Where does she find the strength to embrace the darkness? How does she come out the other side? Marcia is not alone in suffering from this most common complication of childbirth. Hope for recovery is possible. She knows. She lived it. Take the journey with her.
God intervened. Before I stepped out in front of a moving vehicle, before I drove somewhere I should not drive, before I emptied a pill bottle I should not be emptying; I picked up the phone and made the most important phone calls of my life - the phone calls that ultimately saved my life. The connection with another human being who knew what to say to me or whose voice was enough - the connection to my therapist brought me back to what mattered - to the choice I needed to make.
"Donald, are you there?"
"Is this you, Marcia?"
"Yes. I am calling to thank you and to say good bye."
"Where are you?" Donald immediately asked me.
"That's not important. I just called to say goodbye. I need to go."
"Wait!" He firmly stated on the phone! "Do not hang up. Emily and Sarah are waiting for you to come home today. Are you listening to me? They are waiting for you right now. Where are you?"
"I am at the train station."
"Are you in your car?
"No, I am standing on the tracks."
Donald calmly replied, "I want you to walk across the tracks to the other side. I will stay on the phone while you do that. It is important that you do not hang up the phone. It is important that you start walking right now. I am here with you. Emily and Sarah will be home soon and they will be waiting to see you. Are you walking towards the side of the tracks, Marcia?"
"Yes," I replied in a faltering voice.
"Are you by your car yet?"
"Almost there," I said.
"That's great," Donald replied in his gentle voice. "Just keep walking. I know that you can get there. You are a great mother. Your daughters will be so happy to see you."
"I'm at my car," I finally say.
"Can you get in and sit down?"
"I can do that."
"That's great. Can you drive your car away from the tracks?" "Yes"
"Where are you?" He asked me again. I said, "The town transit train station."
He continued to talk to me, asking me in his gentle and calm voice, "Why were you standing on the tracks, Marcia? Did something happen today?"
I said, "I feel like my life is over. I am not the mother my daughters deserve or need. I was never good enough and I never will be. I can't go on like this. I don't want to go on like this. Nothing will ever change. My daughters and husband deserve a better mother and wife." We kept talking. It seems like once I started the words began flowing out of me. How could it be that moments ago I was ready to take my life and now I was sharing my innermost thoughts and feelings? Was it that I felt a connection with this therapist and sensed that for once in my life someone believed in me? In the closed space of my car, I continued to share my deepest feelings with him. I described how I felt not just now, but most of my life as these feelings seemed to consume me and came to the surface. I began to reveal things about myself I thought only my husband would know.
I told Donald, "I feel like I am worthless, I feel like I was born with a hole in my soul; I feel like my family would be better off with me gone, I do not want to go on like this anymore, I feel like I was a mistake and I never should have been born. I feel like I am the scum of the earth, I feel like I am already dead, I am afraid I will never amount to anything, I don't understand why I am like I am. I don't understand why I wasn't good enough for my mother. I don't understand why I am the only one of my sisters who has anything wrong with her. I feel like I will never be good enough or be the mother I want to be or the mother that my daughters deserve."
When I told Donald these thoughts and feelings he listened. I felt connected.
Marcia Orcutt is a wife and mother of two college-aged daughters. She lives in Massachusetts with her husband, Stephen, and their dog, Dakota. She is a former occupational therapist with a degree from Utica College. After battling severe postpartum depression for thirteen years when their second daughter was born, Marcia decided to share her journey through the darkness to shed light on this horrible disease. She shares from her heart, revealing her deepest thoughts, fears, and hope.
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