As entrepreneurs, we’re wired to solve problems. It’s in our nature.
However, we’re not always great at recognizing problems within ourselves.
On the latest episode of The Art of Making Things Happen with Steve Sims, we shed light on postpartum depression, a serious issue that affects 2 out of every 10 female entrepreneurs.
Since nearly half of all entrepreneurs are women, it only makes sense that we shared Suzanne Aslam’s story of postpartum depression.
In her new book, Post Pardon Me, she explains her spiral into postpartum depression through a series of raw journal entries.
Suzanne’s goal is to help mothers experiencing postpartum depression feel more understood.
The Hardest Part
Being a first-time mother, Suzanne states that it was hard to recognize the signs of depression.
She had never experienced depression before and thought that perhaps this was just the feelings that came with being a new mom.
She remembered thinking, “Well, this just sucks!”
She suffered for months, not even realizing that there was a problem.
Suzanne states that even though she was feeling down, she would often just “play the script” that we all do by saying we’re fine when we’re not.
The hardest part was being able to communicate my feelings.
Generally, Suzanne finds herself to be an incredibly upbeat person and doesn’t like to see the world through a victim’s mentality.
So half of her would chastise herself for the feelings she was feeling. The other half wanted help but didn’t know how to ask for it.
This Feeling Has a Name. Getting Help.
Suzanne felt pressure to keep up the facade of trying to be perfect.
With that came the shame and guilt in knowing she didn’t feel that way.
She wanted desperately to talk about her feelings but didn’t want to be judged for it.
Eventually, she would realize that the feelings she had been having for months were more than new-mom syndrome and that it had a name.
My therapist asked, “Do you think you might have postpartum depression?”
She explains that understanding that she had postpartum left her with many conflicted feelings.
Firstly, Suzanne was depressed about the fact that she was depressed. She was upset that she couldn’t care for her baby like she wanted to, which aggravated her.
“I was really pissed about it.”
On top of that, she found it hard to tell people she was suffering from postpartum depression because she felt she had a really good life and shouldn’t complain.
Once she started reading more and learning about postpartum, she understood that she was dealing with a legit chemical imbalance.
The Turning Point In My Postpartum Depression
The turning point came when Suzanne and her husband had a difficult conversation.
Her husband talked about the importance of finding herself after becoming a mother.
She admits that she broke down. She remembers saying these two words, “I’m lonely.”
It was her way of finally asking for help.
Her husband dedicated more time to being home, taking over to give her time to go out, and supporting her journey out of postpartum depression.
Before becoming a mother, Suzanne was an actress and spent time with her husband being creative. They would write movie scripts together, and loved the process.
So, it made sense that she gravitated towards a creative process to help her find herself.
At the end of the day, she would chronicle her day and the feelings associated with it.
The end result became her book Post Pardon Me.
It’s A Two-Way Street
Suzanne is the first to say that this book is excellent for men and women.
Many mothers read this and say, “You could take out your name, and it would be me.”
Husbands have found that reading the book has led to greater insight into being more supportive.
At the end of the day, her hope is to explain her story in hopes that it will help someone else.