Coming out of the Fog

Posted by Aarti on March 14th, 2014 . Filed under: Uncategorized .

So, in the past year I’ve given birth to two babies: my first cookbook and my actual baby, Eliyah.

photo (1)

It’s been busy to say the least. I’ve tried to let you guys know what’s going on through my Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. But there’s one thing I’ve been keeping from you.

I’m battling post partum depression. And it’s gnarly.

This past weekend was the most severe. I found myself in tears for most of the day, and not just quiet sobbing. Howling. Despair and utter hopelessness swallowed me whole, shrouding me in such darkness that even the bright light that is my sweet Eliyah and superhero-awesome Brendan couldn’t pierce through.

I’ve been dealing with this since she was born. And I wondered whether I should mention it on this blog, because I didn’t want her to read this one day and think that she caused this depression. So if you’re reading this sweetheart, it’s not your fault. It’s my hormones, and perhaps, my genetics. Not you, sweet girl.

I haven’t wanted to fully admit it, didn’t want to claim to have something that I didn’t have in order to shrug off any sense of responsibility or pulling myself up by my bootstraps. But I know that this isn’t something I caused, it isn’t a case of me being weak. It’s a condition. It’s the ultimate experience of having lies whispered into your heart, lies like: there’s something wrong with you because you have no maternal instinct, you’re not cut out to be a mother because (insert reason here), you’re never going to feel better, you’re going to ruin your baby because you don’t love her… I told Bren that it sometimes feels like I’m being attacked by a swarm of bees. Their sting so painful, so demanding of my attention, that I can’t swat them away with words of truth.

I’d been told that I’d experience euphoria upon Eliyah’s birth, that my heart would grow another chamber in order to contain all the love and joy I’d feel. And yet all I experienced was fear, feelings of being overwhelmed, fatigue and anxiety. It took me weeks and weeks before I felt connected to Eliyah, another fact that scared me and made me wonder whether I was cut out to be a mother. By God’s grace I have finally just reached that stage of loving her so much that I can’t get enough of her. But that took months. Months.

Depression steals my joy, which I realise is one of my prized possessions. But perhaps even more insidiously, it has stolen my connection to God. When the bees attack, when the fog swirls around me, I cannot pray, I cannot absorb anything in the Word… I feel like I’m on an island far, far away from God’s eyes and ears. I can’t feel His presence, nor His peace. I question Him, pummel my fists into His chest, demanding to know why He would let this happen to His daughter, wondering why He has abandoned me to my cold, fogged-over island.

I’m not entirely sure why I kept quiet. I suppose that, even though there’s so much more awareness of PPD these days, I still felt a bit ashamed. I didn’t want to make a big woe-is-me kind of deal about it. But in recent days, I’ve experienced such relief after hearing from another mother who experienced this dark night, who came out of it and whose words of encouragement were like fresh water for my soul. If I can do that for anyone reading this, then why wouldn’t I try?

I have “good” days and “bad” days, mostly affected by how much sleep I’ve managed to get. I’m trying to exercise every day, make sure I take my vitamins and eat plenty of vegetables (I juice if I know that I haven’t had enough that day). I’m getting myself into a support group, and I’m prepared to take meds if that’s what it takes. I take naps if I haven’t gotten enough sleep at night even if that means I don’t “do” anything else that day. I’m realising that taking care of myself and Eliyah has to be my top priority right now, over career, over anything else.

I’m coming out of the “bad” couple of days I had this past weekend, and much of that is due to the truth spoken to me daily by Bren and my friend who has been through it and speaks to me from the other side. And so, to any of you digging out of the pit, here are some pieces of truth that help me find the cracks of light in the darkness:

I have NOT been abandoned by God.
My mind is poisoned at the moment. Don’t listen too closely to what it says about me or Eliyah or Brendan.
He is not “doing” this to me. This is part and parcel of living in a fallen world with fallen bodies.
He is with me now more than ever.
I’ve given my heart to Him, and He is holding it tight in His hand. He will not let the darkness snatch me away.
I haven’t done something to deserve this. He is not punishing me.
God doesn’t make mistakes. Eliyah is His gift to me. He will give me everything (has already given me) I need to be a good mother to her.
God is faithful. He keeps His promises. He has promised to be with me, and so, He is.
This is temporary. This is not forever.

If you’re in the pit, I’m right there with you. But we’re going to get out this together, and God’s holding the flashlight! Take heart!

-x-
aarti

Share on FacebookTweet about this on TwitterPin on PinterestShare on StumbleUponShare on TumblrShare on RedditDigg thisShare on Google+Email this to someonePrint this page

130 Responses to Coming out of the Fog

  1. Milissa Jenkins

    You will find your way, I am praying for you! Never be ashamed of something like this the quicker you get it out there the quicker we can pray! The word says when 2 or more are gathered in my name!! Prayers for you and your sweet loving family!!!

  2. Lindsay H.

    This is stunningly beautiful! (And so is your baby!)

  3. Helena

    I wish more woman admitted that they felt that way. I think it’s sadly more common than we know. I’m the mother of 4 beautiful girls and struggled with it after the birth of my 3rd. It never meant I didn’t love her or being a mom.
    I’m grateful for your admission. There will come a time when the fog is gone and you’ll see your sweet girl and it’ll be a distant memory.

  4. Katie

    So many of us go through this and society just pushes us to get through it. You are not alone. There is love all around you. It took me a year and a half to get the help I needed. I ended up on Zoloft to lift me out of the worst of it. Then I was able to do what I needed to do to help myself. I think I was on it for almost year (FYI, was told by many that there is no problem bfing while on it) Thank you for sharing your story.

  5. Tricia

    I feel your pain. I too went through wicked PPD. I am so glad that you are brave enough to tell others, because you are definitely not alone! God will bring you through it. It took me weeks to realize it, but after I did, I got better by talking about it, praying and taking some good meds. I am not normally a pill popper, but they did help me deal with the emotional roller coaster. I will pray for you. Remember to take care of you so you can take care of your little beauty.

  6. Mar

    Thank you for sharing, so beautifully.

  7. Kimberly Weese

    Bless you,Aarti. I am so sorry you have had to deal with this. I will be praying for you to continue to gain strength to get through this. Your baby is gorgeous and a blessing from God. He loves you and will never forsake you. I have seven blessings of my own and had struggles with the blues. It’s hard to be a first time mom but it gets much easier. Keep up the good work and let us lift you up in prayer.

  8. Judy Norris

    Aarti…I so know how you feel!! I had horrible PPD after my two children. BUT…that was a long time ago (my youngest, my Son…just turned 33)…and, I didn’t really have a name to attach to what I was feeling. PPD, wasn’t as well known in those days…so, I didn’t know what to do…but, I knew I didn’t feel right. Like you, I thought I would feel this all out euphoria after giving birth…but, I didn’t. I cried all the time, I felt about as blue as a person could get, but, there wasn’t any place I could turn…so, I just dealt with it, somehow. Oh, it took quite a while before I felt even a little bit better. I didn’t get enough sleep…in fact, I perfected the “standing nap”. Yep, all I had to do was lean against something, and I could go to sleep…which I did one time when my Mother and I were out shopping…I leaned against the rack of clothes and dozed off!!! I didn’t eat right, I didn’t get a lot of emotional support…so, I was just stuck dealing with it.

    Luckily, for you, a lot more is know about PPD, and help is more readily available. You already realize you need to reach out for this help, and that, alone, is a good start. So, do whatever you need to do to feel better…it’s perfectly okay. I applaud your boldness in letting us all know what’s going on…and I’ll bet you will hear from 100s of women who can totally relate to what all you’re dealing with.

    And, I promise, it will get better…you will feel better. You’re a Daughter of the Most High King…and HE won’t abandon you…ever! HE’s big enough for you to go to HIM…just let it all out…yell, scream, cry, just pitch a big ole hissy fit…tell him EXACTLY how you feel…HE can take it…and guess what??? HE will STILL love you as though you were HIS only child…Our GOD is an awesome, benevolent GOD…and HE will get you through this.

    So, please take good care of yourself…do this for yourself…and in doing so, you will be doing this for your precious baby and your adorable husband. May GOD richly bless you always!!!

  9. Laurie Johnson

    It is a hard thing to share something like this with others, but know you are not alone. And by your sharing you may be helping someone else going through the same thing. I wish I was close enough to give you a hug, so I will just send you one via the internet. I too struggled with terrible ppd after my children were born and with the last child it lasted 6 or more months. Well meaning Christian friends(who had never struggled with depression) were telling me as a Christian I had no reason to be depressed. They didn’t understand that it truly is medical problem. Hold firm in your faith, keep reaching out to others around you who understand and have been through it and don’t be ashamed to take medication temporarily if needed. You will get through this and be stronger for it!. My prayers are with you and just remember where your hope lies, in the ONE who holds you in His arms even when you can’t feel it!

  10. Terry Doyle Johnson

    Dear Sweet Aarti,

    I too myself have gone through this exact thing. Everyone is different and our bodies do not all respond the same way. Recognizing your feelings is the first step. Seek out a doctor that will examine your hormones and offer help that will best suit your needs. Sometimes food allergies or thyroid issues are to blame. So don’t let them band-aid it with anti-depressants. The best thing you can do is seek God and keep your eyes on Him. He does not want you to suffer. I know the fog that you speak of all too well. I had to find a time of day where the world was quiet and I could actually hear my thoughts before I felt like I could communicate with Him at all. The best advice I can give is to ask for prayer and also always have a support system for those times when you just need a time out. Stay strong and I will pray for you daily. Hopefully we will be able to see true joy back in those pretty eyes of yours. But for now, know you have people lifting you up and supporting you. This too shall pass. <3

  11. Kelly Scott

    You are very brave and courageous (not in my mind weak at all!) for even mentioning this, and although I have never been nor ever will be a mother myself (I’m a better Auntie and Godmother!), I have had several friends that have battled with this-some admittedly and some not. It is wonderful that Brendan, your true friends and family, and eventually Eliyah (beautiful name!) will help pull you through this, but I believe that just from what I am inspired by of your personality on television and your blogs/videos, that you will find that sunshine and light that is Aarti to a tee!!! ;) All of us fans support you as well, for what that is worth, and will continually pray and know that you will come out of this an even better mother, friend, and person-more than you already inherently are!!! God Bless you-you took the biggest step by even becoming a mom, and an even bigger one posting this! Thank you for your honesty and realism-so refreshing to all your fans, especially me! :D ♥ ♥ ♥

  12. Lisa

    You are so brave to not only struggle through this and know that things will be better and keep your faith, but also to share this with the world. Sadly, my babies are in Heaven, and a mother’s journey isn’t always smooth, but just keep doing your best and things will get better. You are blessed to have that sweet baby, but you are also being given some lesson to learn. I have had many struggles in my life, but I know God is leading me through them and that I need to learn something from each struggle. Every difficulty makes me richer in spirit and this difficulty will make you a better mom. Now I’m going through menopause, and hormones are real, and they are ugly! But we will both get through this, and I truly wish you the best.

  13. alice ansfield

    Aarti, I’m so glad you felt strong enough to share what you’ve been going thru. If there’s one thing I try to remember during difficult times, it’s not to believe my thoughts, to share the pain with others, to get help as needed in various ways available, and to continue to pray to the I Am. (I guess that’s more than one thing.)

    We love you. You are a bright joyous light with a big generous welcoming heart. We all need to lean on one another in difficult times and be reminded we are seen and loved and beautiful. And so it is. xo.

  14. Gayle Smith

    You’re not alone. I’m glad you’re sharing a very personal part of your life and speaking out your very private battle is therapy for other struggling mothers and you. My son turned 7 on Wednesday and when he was born I thought there was something wrong with me. I couldn’t understand why I didn’t have the overwhelming nurturing urge that I desperately needed. I was so stressed out that I produced very little milk and felt like a failure because he wouldn’t latch on. I had a commercial grade breast pump and was literally pumping around the clock to provide enough nutrition for him. Had a lactation specialist that was a “breast milk is the only way” kind of lady and that didn’t help either. PPD reared it’s ugly head in the form of insurmountable anxiety. It lead to an exaggerated sleep deprivation and resentment. I found myself “circling the drain” and even with all of the natural “feel good” cures, I couldn’t get myself out of the miserable funk. I would watch as friends and family would hold and play with my son and wished that I could experience a fraction of their joy. I went to my doctor and was placed on antidepressant medication and the dark clouds slowly started to part. I was able to feel happiness again. I was able to enjoy being a mother for the first time. I was able to see that failing at breastfeeding is not the end of the world and I am no less of a mother for giving him formula. And the BEST piece of advice a friend gave me during this time was…”just because your child is crying, doesn’t mean you’re a bad mom (parent)”. Keep your chin up, reach out when you need to be honest with your physician and don’t get caught up with the opinions of other people. It’s all new, but it won’t be for long! You’ll find your groove!
    Much love,
    Gayle

  15. Will Carroll

    Dear Aarti,
    Bless you, young lady! I think maybe God can take your anger; that’s part of a relationship. Through my fits of depression and after I’ve repeated the old anxious prayer of “Help!”, I’ve been lucky enough–most times–to get the sense from God, “I am here.” Please regard us all as “being here” for you! Hugs, Will

  16. Helen R

    Dear Aarti,
    I am the mother of three and I suffered through PPD with each of my post-pregnancies. I love the way you described it. I wish I had the gift of words to reassure you that acknowledging depression and forming a plan to battle it is half the war. With the support of your partner and family/friends, you can manage this condition. I wish you sunlight and bright days ahead.
    HR

  17. Betsy Koch

    Sweet Aarti,
    I thank God for you and your faith. Thank you for sharing–I pray that sharing this helps you as well as others.

    I was fortunate not to experience PPD, but I did come to the realization that while I love newborns, I don’t like them very much. Fortunately they don’t stay newborns for too long.

    I pray that you will continue to emerge from this particular darkness, and that God’s love will continue to shine through you to your family and to the world.

    You seem generally to be very hard on yourself. Give yourself a break. You are not perfect, and you won’t be a perfect mother. There is no such thing. Let your love and His cover the mistakes and the darkness. You are in my prayers.

    Love,
    An imperfect mom

  18. Jenn

    It took my husband and I almost 15 yrs to get pregnant and have our son (now 4yrs old). I was expecting to be filled with such joy and happiness when he was born, but I didnt. I had such horrible PPD! And it felt like it would never end. Hang in there. It gets better. It took what felt like forever for me to feel the connection to my son. It will happen, and all this will feel like a distant memory.

  19. Sammantha

    this is the first post i’ve read on your blog, after someone on facebook shared it. i loved watching you on the food network star, and always felt there was something so sweet within you. now i know it’s our sisterhood in jesus that i felt!

    as a single 24 year old, i have to admit that postpartum depression isn’t exactly on my radar. but i am so thankful for your honesty. as a single 24 year old who is struggling through decisions and college and working and loneliness, who has been struggling with connecting with the relentless Spirit that pursues me, i am ever so thankful for your words of encouragement. “He has promised to be with me, and so, He is.”

    a dear friend, when anyone was struggling with hard emotions, often had us repeat a phrase that we’ve all added to. i’ve said it out loud countless times and am always amazed with each repetition how quickly the peace comes. maybe it will help you now.

    “my name is [full name]. i am the daughter of the Most High King. i have nothing to fear because i am His and i am free.”

    blessings and love, ten thousand fold, dear aarti.

  20. Janelen Persell

    Dear Lord-

    First, We thank you father. We love you and lift your name on high. Glory be to you forever. As we come unto you father we bring our sister Aarti to your feet and ask that you bless her and be with her at this time Father. She is struggling with postpartum depression. Satan has been attacking her and filling lies into her head. Aarti has been so honest and is not ashamed to testify that she believes and loves you with all her heart. We ask that you lift her up and take away her postpartum depression. Help her to feel joy again and hold her tightly Lord in the palm of your hand. Fill your spirit into her until it is overflowing. Envelope her and her family with love and peace forever.

    Ephesians 4:5-6
    Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge him and he will direct your path. Amen Father.

  21. Aggie

    Thank you for sharing. I’m so sorry you are feeling this way, sadly I can relate. My baby is 5 months old and I’ve been struggling, worse on the days with little sleep which seems to be often. It feels like a grind (I also have two older kids) and I’ve been wondering where the joy is. I know it’s there for both of us. Praying for you…your words are a blessing to me tonight.

  22. Terri

    Precious little sister – How courageous and giving you are to share your heart!!! Others are so blessed and encouraged by your honesty and the Lord is honored. Drink in the encouragement and love of your sisters!! “Weeping may last for the night, but joy comes in the morning!” Everyone of us knows that lonely, desperate, and dark place you are in, at one season or another. Even Charles Spurgeon suffered horribly with depression (with no precious little one to soften the misery) but he considered it his gift to drive him to cling to the Father. Healing will come bringing a remarkable gift of testimony to share with others. Hold on!! He is faithful!! Praying for you.

  23. Jamila

    Aarti,
    Just having the courage to write this and share it with other people is a true testament of your faith. There are so many women that deal with this every year amd everyday yet are ashamed to admit it but it is real and a part of life for so many. Motherhood is a long a arduous road but the most rewarding. There are good and bad times. But one thing you must know and say to yourself: you are a good mother and always will be. You are doing what you need to do to help yourself and that alone shows how beautiful you are as a person. You will make it thru because you continue to hold on to God’s unchanging hand and that is step one. From one mother to another stay encouraged. Thank you for starting this blog and sharing your story. You may never know how many lives you have touched but you have touched mine.

  24. Cerise

    Dearest Aarti,

    You’ve been so upfront about your faith, I wondered how long it would take for the adversary to find a route to attack you. For this reason I have prayed for you. The enemy hates God to get any positive press! He wants all the attention. It’s clearly “full armor” time. The flesh is where he wars. He uses affliction and persecution causing us to be offended for the word’s sake. He uses the cares (either worries or love of this world) of this world, the deceitfulness of riches, or the lust of other things to rob the word (Yeshua/Jesus) sown in our hearts.

    You are not weird, you are in a war. The enemy NEVER plays fair, loves to attack us at our weakest, and is absolutely insane. The good news? Greater is He that is in us than he that is in the world. The Word is your weaponry (the Sword of the Spirit) and your only hope. If you were to be free of post partem depression, he’d come with something else. You have to get aggressive with the word my dear.

    My husband of 34 years dropped dead of a massive heart attack at the young age of 55. I was attacked with night terrors like I had never known. Being a minister I knew the word was my answer. I found scriptures that answered fear. I began to journal them as a list. I enlisted a friend to come help me bombard the enemy with prayer. In a week’s time I could tell a difference. In two weeks I was free.

    We are told to put on the garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness. This depression is a demonic wet blanket sent to steal your joy. Why? You know this one. The joy of The Lord is YOUR strength. Guess what the adversary is after? Your strength. Interceding.

    Your sister in Messiah Yeshua/Jesus the Christ.

    Cerise

  25. Carmen

    Prayers out to you Aarti, I have been a fan of yours since day one of next food star. I love your genuineness. We all have peaks and valleys and you have been willing to share the wonderful moments as well as the difficult ones.. it takes courage. Putting your baby and yourself first and accepting love and assistance from your husband, family and friends is what you need. Lots of love to you! Carmen

  26. Karen Jo

    ((((((Aarti)))))) Great big hugs to you. Know that you are not alone and meds really do help,if your doc goes that route. You sound like you are doing everything right. God Bless you for sharing.

  27. Michelle

    Just as I thought, lots of wonderful encouraging words here for you. I am sad that you are going through this but I know what it’s like – I’ve been there as well (many, many years ago). The hormones are the cause. That huge surge and then the ebb. You will get through this my love, you will. You are doing all the right things – eating right, the sleep, and if necessary, the meds. Do what is best for you. You’ll get there for you and your little one. Remember you are loved!

  28. Maryann

    Aarti, Many hugs and prayers for you. It takes great courage to share what you have been going through. I had very bad PPD after my son was born and he is 23 now. I love how you are sharing your faith and your struggle with all of us. You are not alone! Never Alone.

    And I fell in love with your smile when you were on Food Network Star!! You are most beautiful! You have a great big heart and are full of life and I know you will keep fighting through this.

  29. Janet

    Aarti, Although I did not struggle with PPD, my husband suffers from Major Depression. I totally get how you describe ‘the fog’ because I have been living with someone ‘in the fog.’ I think it’s important for you to know that if your family members experienced any of the feelings that I’ve felt, they love you deeply and their heart aches for you. I have tried everything and until he hit upon the mix of the correct anti-depression pharmaceutical and counseling, it was a deep well. Now, he is recovering and life is completely different ‘out of the fog.’

    I enjoyed watching you on Food Network Star, Aarti Party, and other shows, plus I read your blogs and FB posts. You are a fabulous person with a cheery disposition. Keep the faith! This too shall pass and when it does, what a story you will have to share with others. A bonus is that you already have a public platform to do it from. So kudos to you for your courage in sharing your story. Your little girl is just precious and I wish for you many happy, healthy, and blessed years to come!

  30. karen hoppe

    Love and Peace of heart and mind to you sweet Aarti. XO

  31. Cydney

    I had it with both children. Didn’t take medicine but the Word helped me keep balance and time. Don’t worry about not loving your first born. Don’t be afraid of medicine. It does not mean your weak. Just a chemical imbalance. I did not take medicine as I breast feed. Actually breast feeding is good to keep you in balance as well.

    Admitting you are suffering is half the battle. The other half is knowing this to shall pass.

  32. Megan eaton

    Definitely praying for you! I have battled depression myself and have had those bees sting me before. I do not personally know you but I suspect that you have high standards for yourself and expect a lot from yourself. I constantly have to remind myself that I am not alone, and God does not expect perfection; He expects and will help me achieve my best and that’s all I can do. I do recommend a Christian therapist – just having an objective person to help me sort out the “bad tape” thoughts from reality has been the best thing I have done to take care of myself in the past year. It’s very brave of you to discuss it on your blog, and I know that God will be with you through this journey!

  33. lisa

    PPD happens. I have been a labor and delivery nurse for 20 years. It’s real. Take some medicine temporarily if you need too. Aarti. Babies change EVERYTHING….. Mild PPD is normal. It will pass. Love you girl. Praying for you! Good for you for sharing.

    It’s mental so say everyday… ” I was sad but now I am not.” Everytime you have a thought. say ” Flee Satan. I am happy and joyful.”

  34. Beth Peninger

    Dearest Aarti,
    I know dear one, I know because I too struggle with depression. Thank you for so beautifully sharing your struggle and your heart. Know that you are being prayed for, that many walk alongside of you in spirit as you seek Truth in the midst of the fog. May the Lord bless you and keep you, he will be with you in and through this. A truth I have always leaned upon in times of darkness is this one: “The Lord God is my Strength, my personal bravery, and my invincible army; He makes my feet like hinds’ feet and will make me to walk [not to stand still in terror, but to walk] and make [spiritual] progress upon my high places [of trouble, suffering, or responsibility]!” (Habakkuk 3:19 AMP)
    Praying for you!

  35. Suzanne

    You are a precious, precious lady. I’ve never had children nor been pregnant, and can only imagine what you have been going through. I have had my share of devastation In my life, and have come through the darkness each time a stronger and more determined person. I can say that your sweet and effervescent spirit that has broadcast through the TV and in your FB postings and musings, is one of great strength and joy. Thank you for your courage in reaching out for help and for reaching out to your community of adoring fans. Your feelings of being overwhelmed are evident, and your love for your daughter is, too. It would have to be difficult to feel love, warmth and comfort when one is taking on the responsibility of a tiny human life and adjusting to that life altering change. I have recently watched a dear young friend go through something similar with her newborn. I saw her at her lowest point, and she sought and received help. Her little one is now 6 months old and the delight of this young woman’s life! It took time, counseling, support,some temporary medication, and she walked through this darkness. Our love flows to you, Artie! You have brought us great joy in our lives, and now our collective souls send power, support, and love to you.

  36. Joanna

    Aarti,
    I’m a long time fan. Thank you for having the courage to share your story! I imagine you have already comforted another mother just as you wrote about another mother helping you.

  37. patty knox

    Oh, Aarti, I remember having both – euphoria with the birth of my first child, post-partem with the birth of my second child. It made no sense. But God is there, Girl. Just keep trusting Him the way you always have, & He will see you through. You’re perfectly normal. Never doubt that. Your experience, if nothing else, will increase your compassion & ability to relate to others who suffer, & will strengthen your faith & relationship with the Lord as you wait on Him to deliver you. Tell little Eliyah all about the Jesus you know & how to trust Him no matter what life brings. Praying for you & her & Bren. ♡ Love in Christ, Patty

  38. Fee K

    I had ppd with my son who had colic. We both cried a lot. And my husband traveled for work. It was hard. I’m so sorry you are going through this. As for fruits and veggies- my friend started doing this and it works because she has me doing it now. Before I eat anything I grab a fruit or veggie first. It makes me think of it and I’m eating a ton of fruits and veggies. She calls it The First Diet but I’m not doing it to lose weight but to get fruits and veggies in me! Maybe it will work for you?

  39. Connie

    Aarti thank you for being so open and sharing. Like many others here have said, it is much more common than we all realize and it’s people like you who are open to sharing what they are going through that is going to increase awareness and bring help in treating this horrible thing. One of my daughters in law suffered from this after her first pregnancy and even worse after her second. It was so bad after the second that it became life-threatening. For that reason, they decided to not have any more children. Know that I understand what you are dealing with and I admire your strength and determination. YOU ARE AN AMAZING WOMAN!! Your focus is centered and you will prevail! Know that you will be in my prayers. God bless you sweet lady!

  40. Debbie Keady

    Dear Aarti~I’m so sorry you have been struggling! You have been through a lot! After my son was born I crashed and with the help of my doctor who also loves Jesus~he explained to me that my brain chemistry was not correct and it was sending wrong messages. After trying a couple different meds I found the one that helped me the most. It was like a heavy dark blanket being slowly lifted off of me. I had thought that if I prayed harder it would all go away. It did not. It was a scary and dark time. The medicine helps me to stay balanced. I now take much less than I needed at first. Please go to a loving doctor who understands these things. Some don’t! I will be praying that you will feel like yourself again and be able to have hope and enjoy your life! God is with you in the darkness. He has not left you.

  41. Lynette

    Bless your sweet heart! I’ve always loved how you share your faith, and I’m so glad that you found the strength to share what you’re going through as well as the faith that will get you through it. I believe it will help countless women, and will be a beautiful testimony!

  42. Julia Bondurant

    I’ve never had children, so I have not had post-partum depression. But as someone who has had lifelong episodes of depression, I applaud you telling your truth as you know it right now. You are a light in the world. You will find a way through this. Just know you’re not alone and this IS temporary.

  43. Gay

    Prayers for you! Keep your Faith. {{{{{hugs}}}}}

  44. Tammy

    I cried reading your story. I too suffered terrible PPD after having my son 18 years ago. I was shamed and ridiculed when I tried to speak of it. I’m so glad you have a good husband who is trying to help you thru this. That’s awesome! Also with my third child I had slightly less PPD. Sending good thoughts and much prayer your way!

  45. Nancy

    My prayers are with you. You eloquently wrote of a hidden despair that so many women face The truths you wrote at the end were beautiful and helpful to anyone battling depression

  46. Christina

    Hi Aarti, thanks for sharing! I went through a depressive episode while I was pregnant with my 2nd, after not usually having depression be a part of my life. I felt horrible. Everything you typed here. I prayed and it sustained me. And not to be medicine preachy, but zoloft helped me. I became myself again. I was full of excitement and joy again. It’s no way to live, depressed, so I’d just humbly suggest seeking about a medical way to address the chemicals… it would only be for a season and not forever. I just know the lies that come in the mind and it’s a hard way to live, and perhaps lies of not wanting to live…love and blessings. :)

  47. Molly

    Aarti– I have struggled with depression for many years and it was intensified after the births of my children. This fog WILL lift. I praise God with you that you are able to still see the true character of God through all of this. And one gentle word of caution: do not do to medication what you acknowledge people do to PPD in general– attach a stigma to it. What you are dealing with is chemical and hormonal and you will find that medication is a tremendous corrector of the things that are causing such disturbances. Depression can be related to circumstances, to being bogged down in sin, to losing your spiritual footing…but often it has a very distinct biochemical source and needs to be addressed as such. Medication changed my life and gave me the capacity to see the world as it really is.

  48. Bruce

    Aarti, the moment I met you on TV as a contestant, I was mesmerized by your light, your energy, your genuineness. Although that light is not shining right now, I know it still exists, and understand you’ll navigate this terrain of loss, and despair. Sharing something so personal is not the easiest thing for any of us to do, but I believe it to be a healing process for you, and for us. Although I appear to be the only man responding about this so far, I’ll bet there are many more out here who support you as well. I will add your name to my prayers, I was already praying for you, but not by name.

  49. Royce

    Take care of yourself, Aarti! You don’t have to put on a brave face.

  50. Donna B

    there is no shame; this is just the enemy trying to steal your joy, what is rightfully yours. I agree with what Milissa Jenkins said and will be praying for you.

  51. Sheri

    I am thanking God right now for you, Aarti and for the trust and faith you are demonstrating and sharing with the world. It is evident that God is using this dark time in your life to shine His light in a darkened world. Wow. What blessings are in store for you!! keep on, sister :)

  52. Deb

    I suffered with both of my babies births. Not fond memories for sure. One thing that helped me along with prayer was the advice of my doctor. She suggested that I take a combination of magnesium/calcium & Vitamin B complex. And a daily walk outside. Check with your doctor but it may work for you too.

  53. Jen

    You are beloved! Keep praying for His strength and get through each day. It will get better! This will be a powerful story that you can use to help others with! You are loved!!

  54. Becky

    Aarti, you are so brave to share what you are going through. You are a wonderful mother and need to remember to take care of yourself in addition to taking care of that beautiful baby so that you can get better. Don’t be afraid or ashamed to get help, having a baby is hard enough. You will get through this, and you will be stronger for it. *Hug*

  55. Gena White

    Hi Aarti,

    Never fear there is a light at the end of the tunnel. All of these wonderful people are telling you the same thing. I am a mother of 4 and pretty much had PPD after each child and made it through. It was not until the last child that it really hit me so hard to the core that I wanted to take my own life. I have had to be medicated and have had some counseling and have come out on top. There are some days that are good and sometimes I loom back in the darkness but get out quickly in knowing that I am surrounded by joy of my family and that I am protected. I hope you find your peace soon and know that your husband and precious child will also help you through. It seems doomable now but it WILL get better. Just keep keeping on…

  56. Ilene

    (Aarti)…you are not alone. I battled PPD with both of my children (now 13 and almost 11). It is so very hard to go through. It does get easier but g-d during it, it is awful and harrowing and dismal at best. I am glad that you have a support system that is there for you and that you are feeling better. Please do not stop talking about this. PPD is not addressed well at all and as a result many of those women battling stay silent rather than seeking help. Spread the word so that others can heal.

  57. Tamela

    You’ve been through a huge, life-changing, perspective-altering event, and your body is recognizing that. I’m glad you are making yourself a priority and giving your body, heart, and mind the care they need. It is a shame that women are told how they will feel after the birth of a child; every woman is different and it is ridiculous to assume that all new mothers will be floating on a cloud of bliss as soon as they hold their babies in their arms. Mothering is hard work. I wish you healing and peace and love. You can do this.

  58. Vanessa F.

    Bless your heart, Aarti … My heart goes out to you. Motherhood is so hard, but it’s the joy that accompanies it that helps pull us through. When the swirl of hormones and fog and despair deprives us of that joy, it’s an especially cruel joke. Keep fighting the good fight … you WILL pull yourself out of this

  59. Yasmin

    Dear Aarti:
    I am a pediatric neurologist/oncologist and with both of my children I had PPD. The first time was severe and I was medicated with the drugs that actually made it worse. I was lucky to find the right doctor. The second time was better. I feel and hear your pain. I am available to speak with you if you would like. Just let me know.

  60. Kathy Williams

    So happy you shared with us your struggles. We are NOT called to walk in dark places by ourselves. We come into agreement that the Blood of the LAMB is greater than ANYTHING> Lord, we lift Aarti and her family up to Your Throne and we ask for the healing balm of Gilead to pour in and around her. PEACE< REST AND JOY I declare over you sister…we break off these attacks against her and declare the KINGDOM on HEAVEN to invade her body, soul and spirit. In Jesus' Mighty and Holy Name Read Ps 143 He will lift you from the muck and mire and set your feet on a firm place!! Blessings from Alaska

  61. Martha

    Don’t be ashamed. It is very important to talk to someone how you feel. Keep talking, take a lot of rest. Above all pray. Fight with God if you have to. I fight with God often, when things don’t go my way :)

  62. shelley

    wishing you peace . and sunshine . by sharing your story you will help so many . that in and of itself is a gift .. wishing you well …

  63. Julie Stroud

    Sweet and Beautiful Aarti!

    You are NOT alone! There are so many of us mothers out there who suffer and have suffered through the same agonizing tortures of PPD. I have two handsome sons and my bouts with PPD were significant with both of them. Luckily for you, you recognize your problem and can hopefully get help with it! I was unfortunate not to even realize what I was going through until I looked back on it later. It’s so difficult and painful to experience this and I’m so sorry that you have to endure this pain.

    We are with you, here to support you and we love you! Things will get better and your daughter LOVES you no matter what!

    Much love to you and yours!

  64. Melissa

    Bless you, Arti. Depression is a beast, but one that can be concurred. I was lucky and didn’t develop PPD like I had thought I would (shocked me and my husband), but I’ve battled “regular” depression that was so severe my only relief was imagining my suicide, which I would do while laying in bed after work. It took therapy, meds and starting to date my husband to heal.

    I still take a daily med to help with issues that now, as a mother, bubble up as extreme irritation. I’m much better now if I take care of myself.

    Keep the faith, my love. You will always be that bright Aarti that we have come to love. Don’t give up and don’t beat yourself up about this. You love your girl and she will always know your love. Just keep one foot in front of the other and let the healing slowly begin.

  65. Alison Smart

    God bless you & your family Aarti. You have a tremendous heart, and great courage to reveal your struggles publicly. Know that you are not alone, ever. And my heart broke for you as I read your story – but now it is just filled with love & prayers for you & Eliyah & Bren. Like the song says, “… be strong in the Lord and never give up hope, you’re gonna do great things, I already know. God’s got his hand on you…” (Sidewalk Prophets “Words I Would Say”) Love you <3 Alison

  66. JC Brooks

    Aarti … your complete honesty will encourage others. God is there for us… “He prepares a table before me in the presence of mine enemies”… This physical … hormonal….enemy…will not be with you forever. May the swarm of “bees” lessen daily, and may you have the strength to do what God has for you. Rest, repair,(meds)
    and take care of YOU. Prayers are coming your way from this grandma. God Bless You & your family!

  67. Karen Bowers

    Thank you for privileging us with your honesty. I’m glad that even though it’s very hard to feel the connection now that you remember the truth of our Lord and your relationship with him.

  68. Natalie

    I went thru a similar depression after an unexpected C-section and possible C-section future with my situation. Luckily my midwife picked up on my mind state and made sure I saw her more often than usual to check up on me and even had a super long lunch at my place to let me talk it out. I really appreciate your honesty and know that you are not alone. It took me months to connect with our baby as well.

  69. Linda Brooking

    Dear Aarti
    I’m sure it must have been a difficult to share your experience with ppd with everyone. Please know that you will help others by doing so.
    Your fans and friends are thinking of you and you will overcome this.
    Don’t put too much pressure on yourself. You have a very full plate. Do what you can and be sure to take some Aarti time! I hope that each day will get better and brighter. You deserve it. Get the help you need.
    Hugs to you girl and your beautiful family

  70. Candie

    My precious Artie,
    I am so sorry that you have been ill and afraid to share, I am so proud of you for sharing. When God’s children get to show the world favor and blessings, the devil is swift to lie, steal, and destroy. You and Brendon and your beautiful daughter Eliyah were showing so much love, that the devil was so jealous, and you got caught in the cross wires.
    But now that is enough. Paul says everyday we renew. I am doing a Bible study on Gideon who clearly thought he was not enough. That he was the least of the least and therefore not deserving of the goodness looking him in the face. So do we al feel everyday, some more severe at times than others. But none not less, it all connects us. Recognizing and calling a liar a liar makes you strong and discerning. Don’t lose sight of that. Everyday God’s mercy is new, everyday we renew our mind, every day we are forgiven. Every day the Israelites had to find food, water, every day God provided. God proved it to Gideon, He proved it to Israel, He proved it to the disciples, He proves it to you and me. Take heart, we who know Him and are loved by Him will not judge you. Nor will your daughter. Love will heal.
    I enjoy your smile and talent. Take delight in your “weakness”, God sees it as your greatest strength to show others His goodness!
    love you much
    Candie Tafoya

  71. Jacki

    Aarti, You are in my prayers. Don’t feel ashamed. You will get through this. Sending you love and healing energy.

  72. crystal

    I too have suffered severely with post partum depression. You will get through it. Let people help you. I will be praying for you. You also need to be prepared for this ahead of time for future pregnancies. Come up with a plan with your OB. I encourage you to talk about this with everyone. I know it’s hard, but once it’s out there, so many women will tell you there story & then you son’t feel alone. Love & kisses to your beautiful baby.

  73. Jenn B

    Aarti,
    Hang in there and know that even though these dark times are hard and sometimes very lonely feeling (I know I have been there in many facets of my life many times) that it is through these times we can see the Lord the clearest if we seek him. When you purpose to seek him every day like you purpose to exercise or eat right he will comfort you and guide you. You will come out on the other side with a deeper faith and more firm in your understanding of God’s Grace. When you come out on the other side (which you will even though you don’t feel like it) you will be shouting from the mountain tops about how faithful He is. You are a great Mom and you are the perfect Mom that God chose for Eliyah. Don’t let the enemy put thoughts and lies into your head. Turn them over to God even though it is so hard. Walk by His light everyday and His lamp with light your path even if it is just an hour at a time or even a minute. I will be praying for you. I know it is hard but I promise (and so does God) it will get better. Isaiah 55:8-9

    Turn your eyes upon Jesus, look full in His wonderful face and the things of earth will grow strangely dim in the light of his glory and grace.

  74. Dawn James

    I think you are very brave for admitting this, I think it goes undiagnosed a lot and for you to admit it to the world is such a huge step in healing….Congrats on your beautiful daughter and good luck in all the days to come… <3

    Sincerely … Fan & Mother of 2 <3

  75. Angela

    Aarti, my son is a few weeks older than Eliyah. I remember one night when Evan (my 8 month old) was just a few weeks old. He was crying non stop and it seemed that nothing that I did would soothe him. The baby and I were both crying. I felt very afraid that I was going to hurt him. I tried to comfort myself with he is just a baby who relies on me for everything. Then I remembered that I don’t have to do parenting alone, his dad was in the other room. And though I felt guilty giving Evan to his dad, with tears in my eyes, I did it because I was exhausted, my hormones were racing and I was scared. I was able to get some rest. For me, the rest helped. But also realizing that for once in my life…. I did not have to do it all. Sometimes as women, as wives, it’s not all that easy to actually rely on the person that God blessed us with, our husbands. I think that having a baby actual helped me to become one with my husband because a lot of my self reliance had to go. It was a major adjustment. You may be going through the same thing.

    About your comment about pounding your fist into God’s chest. Your fist is about the size of Eliyah (probably smaller) compared to our God’s chest. He tells us to cast (means to throw with force) your cares on him for he cares for you. So no matter how hard you think that you are pounding, there is nothing that you can say; no problem that you think that you have is too hard for God. He still cares… he always will and there’s nothing that you can do about it.

    Aarti, the only thing that I can tell you that worked for me with PPD is to take it a second at a time. Pray for help, and get help from those people who are around you. When you are feeling really depressed, try not to be alone with the baby. As much as you can, hug and kiss your baby, even when it does not feel genuine. We do it in marriage at times. Do it until loving her becomes second nature. Before you know it, you will be the mom that you always knew that you could be… even better.

    Be encouraged. This may be a new dimension of ministry for you.

    Angela

  76. Jodi

    Hey sweetie – I have been thinking of you tons after seeing some mentions of PPD in your recent posts. I am so glad you decided to blog about it. While not the same, I was super-depressed after the diagnosis of my Monoamniotic pregnancy and I remember finally blogging about it and the enormous love and support that came rushing at me as a result of sharing. I hope you are feeling some of that relief I felt once my story was out there and people were supporting and praying for me. I am sending positive thoughts and prayers your way. It will get better. I hope to see you guys before too long now that we are all on the same coast. Eliyah is beautiful. Hugs, Jodi

  77. SarahJ

    Praying and agreeing with you for light to overcome the darkness! By whatever means He brings it, He will provide a way of escape from the grip of depression! Love your transparency. Thanks for letting us pray! You may not know us, but we embrace you in spirit. :)

  78. Megan

    Aarti, this is the first time I’ve read your blog, though I watch your show and admire you so much. When I read this, it caught in my throat. These months have been my first taste of depression–not PPD, just mild depression, malaise, and sometimes the raging hopeless despair you describe.

    Thank you for being open. It is comforting to me to see that you who I admire can go through this too. No, it’s not forever. Not only are you dealing with a change in your hormones–you’re dealing with a huge change in your whole existence. I think that this is just how the body and soul react to big change sometimes, no matter how wonderful: We are confused, we feel unsettled, we get depressed. I can’t thank you enough for sharing. Keep sharing. It helps. Depression makes you want to hide, it makes you feel ashamed and not-good-enough. You are good enough, most people have been through this, and we can all help each other.

    Remember we love you, every incarnation of you!

  79. Maurisa

    So beautifully written! Well done, Aarti. God Bless you and comfort you.

    Btw, made your naan recipe from food network.com tonight. Absolutely delicious :)

  80. Anna Hunter

    Aarti,
    You are a beautiful Christian woman and have a beautiful family. As a pastor when I had my son 25 years ago, I experienced this same depression. Keep strong in your faith and your love and take care of yourself so that you can come to the joy of such a beautiful gift God has given you in that precious one. God has given you the gifts you need to be the mom you are meant to be. I keep you in my prayers that you regain your peace and joy!

    Love,
    Anna

  81. LeAnn

    Wow! Aarti–what a brave and wonderful thing you have shared here… I commend you. I haven’t ever read your blog, though I follow you on facebook, and watch you on tv all the time. I have watched you since you were a contestant and I rooted for you the whole way–you were my favorite the whole time and you never let me down. Although I don’t have any children, so I don’t know what you are going through, I certainly have experienced depression. I’m sure it’s nothing like what you are facing, and I don’t pretend to have any idea what that’s like, but I thank you for sharing your story and for letting others know that God is still with them and with you. You have tons of fans out here, and we all support you and are praying for you and we are all struggling with something every single day, even if it isn’t exactly the same. Please keep looking forward and finding hope where you can and don’t lose your faith. You are amazing! God loves you and many women look to you as a role model and one day your little girl is going to read this and know that her mommy loved her so much. Your little girl is gonna know that her mommy was an inspiration to so many women….and women should stick together when times are tough! Love you, Aarti!!

  82. Kristin Franks

    Thank you for sharing this. I have not been through post partum depression. I went though my bout after my very dear aunt passed away. Thank you for sharing your faith in God. He brought me through my dark days and placed a wonderful Christian mentor in my path. I pray you find a greater strength in Him everyday. Even though I have never met you, I know you are a great mother. I pray blessings for you and your family. Never stop relying on Him.

  83. Katie T.

    Aarti,

    I have not suffered from depression, but many in my family have. I know that it is not something you can control, not something you caused, etc. I don’t know if it will help, but recently the Bloggess has been suffering through another round of depression. She has taken to Twitter to remind everyone that #depressionlies. Her blog and writing are much different in tone and content, but maybe you can find some humor or hope from her. Good luck and God Bless.

  84. Gina

    Oh, Aarti! So glad you shared and so sorry you are struggling. It is wonderful that you have loved ones speaking truth into your life. Being reminded of who you are and who He is in the midst of a storm is so important. I have never suffered in this particular way, but have seen some dark days. Can I recommend some music to you that has recently given me so much clarity of thought and reminders of Truth and whispers of hope? Birds of Relocation, by Eric Peters and A Way To See In The Dark by Jason Gray. I have found that keeping my mind busy and full of true wisdom goes a long way in quieting the voices of ridicule in my own head. These two albums, as well as several by Sara Groves are often on a loop for me when times are tough. Much love to you, sister, and prayers for healing.

  85. Karen Bauer

    My dear sweet Aarti, by now you have realized that God has been carrying ypu and walking next to you and helping you to care for the precious, beautiful daughter you brought into this world. He will never leave you nor forsake you. Hes there. Without him there, things could have been much worse. Hes lifting you up and healing your mind and body. No shame. No apologies necessary. Take it a day at a time. Three months before I got pregnant with my youngest daughter, my daddy passed away, with me holding his hand, telling him “Jesus is waiting for you” “its okay to let go now, daddy” much to my utter shock, he took his last breath and went to heaven. Guilt engulfed me. I was stunned. Then subsequently, in February I found I was expecting Katie, my youngest. I had no bond during pregnancy could care less if she were a boy or girl. God was with me and never left me. My labor pain was almost nonexistent. The nurses came in and said “why aren’t you yelling? You have very strong contractions!” So I mustered up a “Aaack” to appease them lol. She was 9 lb 9 oz and 22″ long. I held her, nursed her, but just didn’t have a connection with her. We went to CVS to get announcements where all the grandmas there said “yellow baby” and told me to take her to pediatrician. I did. Got the Bilirubin which was 22. Very high. Went to my moms and the home health nurse was insisting I get home right away so she could come and set up the Bilirubin lights. At that time, I wasn’t allowed to hold her unless nursing her. Just a diaper and eye covering. I began to melt. Then we were in our church’s Singing Christmas Tree, 16 performances in which she played the part of baby Jesus. She was 3 weeks old then. During that time, both my mom and I began to bond with her, both of us grieving still at losing daddy, her husband of 46 years. We began to heal. God was there. God never left. It was Gods plan for all of this. He brought this baby girl whom became the healer for our grief and helped me overcome the guilt of telling daddy it was ok to die and Jesus was waiting for him and helped heal my mom in that she had guilt for leaving his bedside to go to the other side of the hospital to use.the restroom and as soon as she left, within minutes, daddy took Jesus’s hand and crossed over. She wasn’t there. I was. She carried that guilt. Katie has become so very special to me, and although my mom has also gone to spend eternity with our Heavenly Father Katie was very special to mom too, and their bond very tight. God works in mysterious ways. And for every thing there is a reason. Hes your strength. He knows you haven’t forgotten him, nor has he forgotten you. POD is common, some more extreme than others. But you WILL get thru it. “I can do all things thru Christ which strengthened me”. Lean on others. Look towards the Lord lean on Been. It will pass. God heals, whether its from an aspirin, surgery, a massage, medications

  86. Kimberly Storti

    Aarti What a brave, strong and courageous Woman of God you are to share your story It will touch so many , help so many. Yes God is with you, he will not forsake you, trust and believe in HIM. Read your Bible my dad always have told me to put on your armour and that is the word of God!! So stay steadfast in your Faith. Read your Bible daily, pray daily and know we love you and are praying for you. Love and God keep you in the palm of his hands.

  87. Queenie

    May you continue this journey knowing God is in control. Praying for you, Aarti! This too shall pass.

  88. Laura D

    You are very brave for sharing there is no weakness in that…there are resources so use them…you need to take care of yourself because as moms we are no good to our children if we don’t take care of us first. That us not selfish at all…you seem to have a good handle on this which us the first step…positive vibes coming your way…namaste.

  89. Sue Jahantab

    So very sad that you have been struggling, and it is not something that is over quickly enough. It steals the joy.
    After my son was born, I would sit and cry. I did not know this was what was wrong, but it was like it came from somewhere outside of myself and had nothing to do with me, at all, and I could not control it.
    You are not alone. And you are much loved and in so many prayers… and even more, in mine, right now, that you will find your joy, again.

  90. felinasm

    My daughter will turn twelve in two months. When she was born, it was as if a dark cloud descended upon me. Her dad stayed home with me for a month, and I stayed home for three. By the time he got home from work, I would hand her over with tears in my eyes and say, “Get this thing away from me.” It took months, and months, and months for me to feel any connection. Then sometime after her father and I split (she was six months at the time) we were alone in my apartment, and she got really, really sick. Every time I laid her down she would choke. The advice nurse told me to keep her upright, and if it got any worse to take her to the emergency room. I sat up, all night long, holding her with a humidifier working it’s magic. I didn’t question after that night my love for her.

    Fast forward to now… we have an amazingly close relationship and share just about everything. She considers me one of her best friends, and she’s such an amazing little girl. PPD is horrible, but I swear it gets better and it doesn’t mean you won’t be a fabulous mother. Get meds if you need it. In retrospect, I wish I had. You will get through this!!!

  91. Priscilla

    Good bless you and your little one, Aarti. I have been struggling for the last several months with depression from grief over losing my Mom, my Mom-in-law and my job of many years. I had been a person who smiled a lot, even through adversity. It really is hard not to be able to break through and find my joy. I felt like I didn’t even know who I was anymore. Grief led to insomnia and that just fed the depression and exhaustion. And with a 4yo to care for it was difficult. Still struggling, but finding my smile again more now. In the dark times God definitely carries you because you just can’t walk on your own. Just remember that joy comes in the morning.

  92. Terri G

    Oh Aarti – my heart feels so bad for you. While I don’t know you personally, I know enough of you to know you’re a sweet woman of God. I am so glad you reached out. Did you reach your blog entry? It talks about your struggle, yet it is filled with so much hope and faith! THAT is who you are! I am completely positive “this too shall pass”. It will be interesting to see what tools/weapons God gives you as a result of this very difficult season. I am praying for you!! HUGS! BTW – Eliyah is SOOOOOOO adorable!

  93. Nancy

    Aarti, I’m sorry you’re going through PPD and I almost couldn’t believe it because to me you are always such a bubbly, smiling person. After I had my daughter in 2012, I instantly had a connection with her, but I also had the baby blues for about three weeks. It may be nothing compared to what you’re going through but in the heat of it, I cried every single day. I had lots of help at home even during my maternity leave, but I would sit there during the day with everyone and I had this awful feeling that everyone including my husband and daughter was going to leave me and go live elsewhere, and I would be alone to fend for myself. Everyone was understanding and supportive and to this day I’m thankful for that. You will get through this too, and I will keep you in my prayers. I send you cyber hugs too. Don’t lose faith, remember that you have an amazing husband and an adorable little girl, and always rely on God, and this too shall pass (that last phrase reminds me of your Youtube bread pudding recipe).

  94. Razia Kosi

    Thank your for our honestly Aarti, mental health issues are misunderstood and a huge stigma in society. The additional layer of being from the South Asian community adds another layer of stigma and difficult in discussing this topic. I know your willingness to openly share your experience will help so many others. God Bless you and you are truly helping others! Our nonprofit, Counselors Helping (South) Asians (Indians), Inc. (CHAI) works to address mental health and wellness in a holistic way in the South Asian community. http://www.chaicounselors.wordpress.com

  95. Heather Armstrong

    Dear Sweet Sister in Christ,
    Your openness about your troubles is so touching and real. We are the body of Christ and when one part of that body is hurting and struggling, we all need to come together and cover it in prayer. You are not alone in this Aarti! You have not been abandoned. I know you know this in your heart but the enemy is trying to attack your mind. That is his goal, to rob you of your peace and to steal your joy. But our God has covered it! He bought you w/the blood of His precious Son. The Bible says that by His stripes you are healed! YOU ARE A DAUGHTER OF THE MOST HIGH KING AND YOU HAVE THE MIND OF CHRIST!!!! I am declaring this and praying this over you! That these chains of depression ARE broken in the name of JESUS!!! That you will be filled w/the joy of The Lord! That your mind and every hormone/chemical inbalance will be restored to the perfect way God created it! We are created in His image and He is perfect! That you will have peace that suprasses our earthly understanding, peace so perfect that it can only come from God. That our Father, our Abba, our Daddy will hold you in his arms and give you His strength. I will continue to pray and speak these things over you and when that stupid devil tries to come at you w/his lies and his deception, you just tell him “access denied!” :) Fill your house, your mind and your spirit w/praise! The song Angel Armies comes to mind right now. Nothing formed against you shall stand!!!!!!

  96. Patte

    I love you.

  97. Sue L.

    Aarti: First of all, I too suffered from postpartum depression when I had my first child a loooong time ago — but did NOT have it with my second child. And I will be praying for you, because I remember, even after all these years, how hard it was.

    Secondly, I don’t have time to read through all the comments above, so I’m not sure if someone has mentioned this already, but Liz Owen, who writes the “Mabel’s House” blog, which I read also, posted an excellent series of posts about her experience with postpartum depression, that I think you’d find helpful to read….. So, at the risk of repeating what someone else has shared — you should start here, with the first installment of “When the Cheese Slides Off Your Cracker”:

    http://mabelshouse.blogspot.com/2013/11/when-cheese-slides-off-your-cracker.html

    Blessings to you and Brendan and Eliyah!

  98. Amy

    You are so precious, and loved. If you were my neighbor, I would bring you some food. Instead, I will light a candle at church for you. Brave one, you are light and joy to so many, even when you feel dark. Amy

  99. Rebecca

    Aarti,

    I’m quite certain you don’t remember me, but we had a few conversations in the past on FB and Twitter (@beckmercky). I just want to tell you that I’m reaching right through these screens of ours and giving you one big, giant, loving hug.

    -x-

  100. Susan

    Your blog post spoke volumes to me. Depression has been one of the hardest things to work through for me, too, especially because I am a believer. I didn’t get help for what was anxiety disorder and depression for years until it was very bad. I felt alone too like you described where I felt like God was far away. I would describe it like being in a small boat in the middle of a dark, stormy sea with no tether to anything or anyone. I am glad that you have strong support and are starting to feel joy again. Praying for you! <3

  101. Amanda

    Aarti,

    Know that your honestly and vulnerability make you even more beautiful! Everything contains it’s opposite, and if something is dark now it will be over soon. While I never had PPD, I did struggle through regular old depression in my20s. Doing simple things always helped me- taking walks, really taking care of myself, surrounding myself with good people, eating well, and starting Kundalini yoga (which incorporates exercises for hormone and glandular balance). And if you feel the need to take medication, feel good about yourself for doing something that can help. Give yourself compassion and patience, and remember to love yourself too.

  102. sarah

    Praying for you! In a different kind of pit myself, but I needed these words today. I’ve been dwelling on Psalm 16 through my pit–”The Lord is my chosen portion and my cup, you hold my lot. The lines are drawn for me in pleasant places, indeed I have a beautiful inheritance” and also on John 10, Psalm 23, Ezekiel 34, and various other passages about the Lord as the good shepherd who binds up the broken and “in His arms He will gather the lambs and carry them in His bosom; He will gently lead the nursing ewes” (IS 40:11). I will pray that you can feel Him as your portion, your beautiful inheritance, and your good Shepherd who leads you, cares for you, and knows you. Thank you for your vulnerability!

  103. Beth

    Thank you so much for opening up a dialog about this! I too went through a period of depression (not PPD) during a turbulent time in my life, and I always felt guilty for feeling that way and that it was somehow my fault for not being able to feel better. The thing that really helped me was connecting to others who had been through something similar, and knowing that I was not alone. Remember to take care of yourself, which is probably not that easy with a new baby (who is beautiful, by the way!), but absolutely essential (and knowing you are worth that self-care). I second the practice of Kundalini yoga! It really helped me so much, and is so joyful and uplifting. If you can’t find a class near you, I’d suggest Ana Brett and Ravi Sing’s DVDs (ravianayoga.com), which are awesome and easy to fit into your day at any time. They will also personally respond to emails with suggestions, advice, and encouragements. But above all just hold onto the fact that this is only temporary, that it is Not Your Fault, and that so many people love you!

  104. Rachel

    Hi, Aarti,

    Thank you for opening up to us. Negative emotions can be difficult to deal with. I remember someone telling me “Feel your feelings, and they will leave.” So, I’ve dealt with my painful feelings by trying to feel them and not suppress them. Even if it meant three hour crying jags. Maybe these are tears I’ve suppressed since childhood and now they are surfacing. I do feel better after a good cry. So, hang in there, and be gentle with yourself.

    Blessings,
    Rachel

  105. Divya

    Dear Aarti
    There’s nothing remotely wrong or guilt-worthy about the way you feel – towards motherhood, towards your baby, towards life in general! Your body just finished making a baby and that’s not easy! It’s only natural that your mind and body want their time to feel ‘normal’ again. Believe me, after I had my first, all I wanted was to have a cup of coffee with my darling husband at a nice cafe, undisturbed! That’s it, simple as that! Simple joys of life become luxuries…but it’s a phase and all will be well soon, In fact better than just well, it will soon be beautiful and so full of love and positive energy. Just hang in there, it will get better, I promise.
    Hugs.

  106. Renee Keny

    Hey Aarti
    Just read this and it was encouraging (though I’m not a mom yet). Thanks for sharing your heart! Continue to press on and hold onto Him as you go through your hours, your days. You’re in my prayers today! What a beautiful baby you’ve got there! Xoxo Renee, Chicago (avid aarti Instagram follower reneegk28) ❤️❤️❤️

  107. Kel

    Hi Aarti — Thanks for your honesty. A unique program to help women with this is available at the University of NC (google “UNC Center for Women’s Mood Disorders”. The have physicians that specialize in helping women with this and even have an inpatient facility for those in need.

    best wishes!!

  108. Christie Streeper

    I searched for korma and this post was in the Google results and it was meant to be. I had PPD, well psychosis, after my first (5 years ago). Absolutely no history of any depression. I couldn’t sleep and had crippling anxiety. It came to a peak when he was 7 weeks old and I was hearing voices telling me to kill myself. I happily went to a mental hospital for 1 week (I wanted to get better!), was put on Lexapro and seriously and got way better every day. I was on them for a year and weaned off to get pregnant again. I went on those meds again 1 week before my delivery date and my experience with my second was soooo awesome!! The infancy phase was enjoyable and almost easy! I breastfed him till 18 months and am weaning off the meds again (not to have anymore kids, just ti be off them. My kids are 2 and 5 and wonderful; and so am I.

  109. Christie Streeper

    °seroquel, not seriously. Oops.

  110. A Friend

    You don’t know me, but I’ve followed you and your career since seeing you on the Next Food Network stars. I was so thrilled when you won — you were so beautiful and I was so happy for you.

    I was also thrilled when hearing of your pregnancy and prayed for you every day. I now pray for you and Bren and beautiful, sweet Eliyah.

    I’m not using my real name because I want you to know that this is not about me. I’m just a fan of yours, but I am another human who shares this world with you who you have touched. Your life has added to my life, and for that I thank you.

    But the things you feel when depressed are heavy and overpowering and deep, but they are not REAL. They’re chemical and hormonal fluctuations. What IS real is that you’re a child of God, your daughter is a child of God, and God loves you both — wholly, entirely, and completely.

    I know you will get through this, and I will also be be praying for you every day.

    You matter. You’re special. You’re loved. And you’re NOT alone!

  111. Sarah W.

    Aarti – thank you so much for sharing this! My baby was born July 30th and I too have been struggling with the exact same depression, thoughts and lies. Reading this has both brought tears to my eyes and given me a new hope. Thank you from the bottom of my heart.

    P.S. YOU ARE AMAZING and YOU INSPIRE ME!!! <3

  112. Kimberly

    Aartii, don’t eve be afraid to keep it real. I have PPD with my first-born too. I couldn’t eat, couldn’t sleep, and had a full-blown panic attack 10 days after our son was born. My doctor prescribed Valium for 2 weeks but it was still another 3 months before I felt “normal.” Please know your and your family are in our hearts and prayers. :-)

  113. Maria

    Aarti, you are a brave Soul to be so open and honest about your experience. I have witnessed your joy and the light that pours from you.
    Please know that you are loved beyond measure by God and the legions of Angels. You are not broken, never have been, never can be. This challenge will ease by the grace of God and you will emerge reborn.

  114. Leanne

    Rest, nutrition, yoga and meditation may ease your symptoms. Take excellent care of your child’s mother :-)

  115. Manal

    Hi Aarti,

    Thinking of you. I went through PPD after 3 of my 4 births and it was the most difficult thing I’ve ever gone through. Hope you’re getting lots of support. I now specialize in working with women going through great emotional stress. It’s something we don’t talk about often enough and it’s very real!

    If I can help support you in any way, please let me know. Xo

    Love ya girl!

  116. Sarah

    I loved your honesty in this post and willingness to share struggles and how God is helping you through this time. So sorry over this dark time, but it will get better like you said and give you yet another way to bless others in the future. I also struggled, although not as severe, after my childrens’ births and also found that it was really worsened by lack of sleep and diet/exercise. Keep up your self-care! I have so enjoyed your Food Network shows and recipes- your flavors are wonderful! Then I started looking online for information about you today and found your youtube videos and this blog. I love the quirky and funny yet yummy videos with you and your husband. I look forward to trying some of your dishes! Blessings in the days ahead.

  117. Lani C.

    Just read your post. I’ve never experienced postpartum depression, but I did go through a deep, prolonged clinical depression that included daily suicidal ideation throughout most of the 90s, after an especially bad major life event,

    The thing that got me out of it finally was learning to ignore the voice in my head. I finally recognized it wasn’t my friend and had nothing positive or objectively true to say about both me and what was going on my life.

    I also came to realize that no matter how bad I felt or how negative my internal narrator’s commentary, I actually could just go on doing things, even big, hard, scary things, by simply ignoring the bad feelings and thoughts. I doggedly carried on with life in spite of them. Once I began doing that, the bad thoughts and feelings lost their power over me.

    It also helped a lot to put a big smile on my face (even when I didn’t think there was anything to smile about) and behave as though I WAS happy. Know what? Strangely enough (or not) doing this made me feel happy on the inside. And the more I did this, the happier I felt.

    Depression wins only if you let it. The only power it holds is the power you choose to give it. You’re stronger than it is. You only need to realize it.

  118. Vee

    Dear Aarti,

    Thanks for sharing your story. You are definitely not alone in this. My thoughts are with you. You, Eliyah and Brendan are such a beautiful family. Be brave and be positive. Take care.

  119. Sheri Clark

    Psalm 61:2

  120. Nicholas Pascale

    Hey Aarti, I may be a male but I am a big fan of yours and your jovial smile! I missed you but now I know why you have been away two good reasons the cookbook and the long lasting one your daughter! I was a New York City Public School teacher and when I saw this I wanted to hold you and comfort you (I am 64 and a retired on disability teacher)! (You can be my daughter!)
    I wanted to tell you it will pass but let Wikipedia speak for me: Postpartum depression (PPD), also called postnatal depression, is a type of clinical depression which can affect women, and less frequently men, typically after childbirth. Studies report prevalence rates among women from 5% to 25%, but methodological differences among the studies make the actual prevalence rate unclear. Among men, in particular new fathers, the incidence of postpartum depression has been estimated to be between 1% and 25.5%.[1] Symptoms include sadness, fatigue, changes in sleeping and eating patterns, reduced libido, crying episodes, anxiety, and irritability. Although a number of risk factors have been identified, the causes of PPD are not well understood. Many women recover with a treatment consisting of a support group or counseling.
    Join a support group or better yet call up Melissa D’Arabian she’s been there and done that! You seem to be good friends! I spoke to her once on twitter!
    Hey even this “old dog” learned a new trick—even men get PPD!
    Imagine that!
    Now you know food – I bet the right combination of foods can help!
    I love you and good luck to you and your “super-hero” husband Brendan!
    May you enjoy your daughter forever!
    And turn to the blessed mother Mary! She will help! Say the rosary! keep your faith it will see you through!
    Consider this your SPICE in life and look back one day and laugh!

  121. Judy

    How gracious of you to share this insight. The words that your husband and friend said to you should be handed to everyone in any situation of sadness. I have been through what you felt, but instead It was because I couldn’t have a child. You are the first person to speak the words of who I was at that time. Although I wish you had never gone through PPD, it brings even more peace, long after my event, to hear your words.

    You for surely are a great mother – insight and great food are a perfect start!

  122. Susan

    There is a program in our city- Grand Rapids, Mi – which is a mother and baby program for post par tum depression. it is considered one of the best in the country. It is at Pine Rest Christian Hospital.
    http://www.pinerest.org/hope. Please call them. Melissa VanderLaan is one of their best therapists. I hope you find the help you need. You are one of my favorite TV chefs. Take care, Susan

  123. Carla

    I never experienced what you describe a being stung by bees or being on a cold foggy island far from the eyes and ears of God in relation to the birth of my son. But after losing four babies, I felt that I was not deserving of having children because there is something amiss with me.

    I know the acts of questioning, doubting and self debasing that one goes through when utterly drowning in the sea of lies the enemy tells us. It is not what God thinks of us, it is not how He sees us.

    I am so amazed at the miracle is Eliyah, the miracles of you and your husband and mostly the miracle of the redeeming love of Christ. For it is what is transforming you, healing and restoring you…making all things new.

    May you perceive the nearness of Him…and when you can’t, may you trust his Word that says He will never leave or forsake you.

    C.

  124. Emily

    Wow. Bless you sweetheart. I don’t know you but I know you… Thank you for sharing. Thank you and praise God from whom ALL blessings flow.

  125. Lynn

    Aarti… I have missed seeing the sunshine that you bring to us when you share your cooking and our stories. As you find strength for your challenges, remember that you have a huge fan base who cares about you and who deeply appreciates the person that you are… in all of the positive and in all of the struggles. Thank you for sharing so eloquently. I pray that your depressive cloud will life. Please be easy on yourself and enjoy the little things. All of the advice in the comments above is so beautifully written, so I won’t add to it. Just know you are appreciated, loved and we can’t wait to see more of you.

  126. aartipaarti» Blog Archive » PPD update: the power of a group

    […] time with women who have, for the most part, toppled the beast or, to follow the analogy I used in my last post, found a beekeeper suit so that the bees’ stings no longer penetrate… well that is […]

  127. Abby

    Thank you for posting that, it’s wonderful to see all those relpies, I have an almost 11 mo old son and am struggling with PPD, it’s very tough, but I know God is in control and am praying it won’t last to much longer!!

  128. Kayla

    I read this and INSTANTLY started crying .. I think because I’ve been trying to be so strong after my daughter was born , that I didn’t even realize I had symptoms of ppd. She is now 15 months and I’m much better , but I too felt guilty that it took me months to finally feel the love and joy that I wanted from the beginning. Even during pregnancy I just thought , ” omg I just want to be 21 and live my own life ” most of this is because I joined the military at 19, and I finally came home and my pregnancy was a surprise. I was already depressed ( not wanting to face the truth ) and then I added a baby to the mix. The hardest thing I’ve ever gone through. I just want to thank you , for sharing your story and making me feel like I’m not alone , cause for so long I have felt that way. I admire your courage to speak out to the public because I couldn’t even so this to my own family. Your an inspiration and again , thank you.

  129. Angela

    Thank you for sharing your story. You are a beautiful woman inside and out. I pray that you find comfort in the words of so many that have taken this walk before you. I am so thankful when others share their story, and I find comfort that I too will get to the same place. You are strong and you will get through this challenging time. Prayers are being lifted for you and your beautiful family. I hope you feel God’s grace and love cradle you.

  130. Super Women or Women in Hiding? | The Sheep Are Out…

    […] Food Network) about her struggles with Postpartum Depression (PPD).  The post is entitled “Coming Out of the Fog” and it is definitely worth reading.  The post isn’t graphic or shocking, but in many […]

Leave a Reply