Oh, the pressures of Valentine’s Day. Somehow, our society has made this day out to be one in which we are asked to bask in the love of others. We are expected to have this one day of the year be one in which we express the truth of how we feel- that truth, ideally, one that is defined by love, admiration, appreciation, and loyalty. For some people, Valentine’s Day may come with excitement and optimism- it is this way for those who feel secure in their relationships- it is this way for the people who are involved in relationships at all. It is this way for those folks out there who feel good.
This is certainly one way of looking at it.
But for others, this day comes with deep regret, isolation, sadness, and anger. For many people, this day is simply a reminder that they feel alone or misunderstood. For these folks, Valentine’s Day is a day which does not bring focus to love, but rather brings focus to disappointment.
This is what today can feel like for moms who are suffering from Postpartum Depression.
Two of the most common symptoms of PPD are deep feelings of inadequacy and worthlessness- feelings that intrude on one’s ability to show gratitude, appreciation, and love for one’s self. If this rings true for you, today- this day for expressing love- may feel extra painful.
So, if this is you, I encourage you to attempt to show love for yourself even in your deepest despair- this unconditional love is one that we crave from others, but rarely accept within ourselves. Let this Valentine’s Day be a tribute to YOU. Perhaps today is the day to give yourself permission to be your own Valentine- and to do or say something supportive, caring, and loving for yourself.
Believe it or not, you deserve it.