When Your Mind Tells You How to End it All – It’s Funny You Mention That…

I never thought I’d be so excited to say that I was a working mom for the first time. After years of infertility I was blessed with a fairly easy pregnancy, healthy baby boy, 3 month long maternity leave, and lots of supportive family and friends.


Except that I was keeping the darkest secret I’d ever experienced, and it was terrifying.

It began one day as I was running through my new working mom mental load checklist:


-sanitize bottles

-empty dishwasher

-if you find a way to kill yourself at the exact time your husband leaves to come home from work, the baby won’t be alone for long and will be safe.

-set out work clothes

-check email

-remember to grab dog food

-they don’t really need you here and the family is really good with the baby so he’ll be well taken care of without you here.

-pack lunch and diaper bag

-schedule vet appointment

-write a check for the babysitter

Wait. What?

I was shocked by what had just crossed my mind.

It was like someone opened my head and dropped random thoughts in. Thoughts that just happened to be suicidal.

It was scary.

I didn’t want to die. I loved my husband, child, and family and wanted to grow old with them. I was making plans. I didn’t just want to be alive. I wanted to live.

I was also embarrassed and ashamed. There was no way I could tell anyone about this. What if they though I couldn’t take care of our baby?

So I suffered in silence as the thoughts invaded my mind over and over again.

Until I got a call out of the blue from a dear friend. I don’t remember the whole conversation, but I do remember her telling me about a mutual friend’s experience with severe postpartum depression.

Postpartum depression. Was that what I’d been dealing with?

My mind began racing. Why didn’t I think of that sooner?

“You know, it’s funny that you mention that.”

I’m not sure of what I said next, or what she said after. What I do remember is telling her what was going on, her saying something that helped me realize that I needed to act quickly, hanging up, looking out the window, and calling my doctor.

I was in my doctor’s office the next day, and a few hours later I had a prescription and an appointment with my counselor.

There’s a strong probability that a call from my dear friend saved my life.

Then came the hardest part. I had to tell my husband, and I was so afraid to seem weak in front of him.

Fortunately, and unfortunately, a few months prior he had just experienced a fellow Marine deal with something similar, so his heart was already soft about the topic.

It’s interesting and beautiful how God will prepare the help in the past that you’ll need in the future.

Here’s what else I learned:

-Community is essential. Don’t isolate.

– Sleep deprivation is more than just a running joke for new parents. It’s dangerous.

-There is no shame in medication or therapy. The best gift you can give your baby is a healthy mama.

– I connected the timing of the onset of the postpartum depression with when I returned to work. New moms transitioning back to work have to be relentless about their well being.

-Suicide isn’t something to be glorified, but it needs to be understood. For me the thoughts were absolutely uncontrollable and terrifying. It was like a mental home invasion and it took a friend coming along with someone else’s story at the right time to save me.

-Suicidal ideations are uncontrollable, scary, and intrusive thoughts and need to be treated like a robber in a home invasion. They will not go without a fight.

-Don’t stay silent. Say affirmations, read scripture out loud, sing praise music, talk to a trusted friend or professional, and pray.

As I tell this story shame still grips my heart, but gratefulness fills my thoughts. I send it out with brave intention and crazy faith that it will be someone’s survival guide.

Everything With Amber ©️2019

The book that helped me overcome postpartum depression: https://amazon.com/dp/0578960915

The book created to equip my children with wisdom from my past: https://amzn.to/3JmFtAj

Praying Your Children Through the School Year: 30 Prayers for a Safe and Successful School Year https://a.co/d/4zNVAhAhttps://a.co/d/4zNVAhA

Connect with Amber on all platforms: https://linktr.ee/AmberBlakes

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