It is Dark

It has been a whirlwind of a year as I have transitioned to being a mother of 4 to a mother of 5, while also trying to restructure my business. It has been daunting to think of all the overwhelming responsibilities I have while trying to stay afloat. And after having my 5th baby, I continuously felt the fear and anxieties of whether postpartum depression would be knocking on my door as it had with my 3rd child. So, I stayed focused, steady, and managed to compartmentalize my thoughts and feelings so as to not let the dark hole of hopelessness seep through my being.

I studied post-partum depression in college and worked with clients who have suffered from it. And then, IT hit me. May 2010. Feelings of vanishing from a world that was closing in on me because my internal thoughts were being slaughtered from believing any positive thought of myself. I constantly saw darkness as though I had fallen in a hole, without a trace of light. It is dark. And it was dark for a long time. All I could envision was driving off away from anything that made me see myself in the mirror. It was scary. What I never realized was how scary it was for those close to me. They had never seen me in this type of desperation. I look back on that year and thank God with my entire being that the type of postpartum depression I was experiencing was not that of wanting to hurt my baby. Rather, I NEEDED my baby. It’s what kept me alive. It was my reason for breathing and getting out of bed the next morning. It was a year that I look back on and still, 8 years later, have a difficult time conjuring constructive thoughts about. Needless to say, when I had baby number 4 and 5, my anxieties were intense for the sheer fear of the dark looming over me after having a baby.

I cannot explain my feelings last week after reading about Kate Spade and Anthony Bourdain’s death. My two best friends contacted me the moment the news came out as they knew it would trigger me. And, it did. My mind raced throughout the week and tears would stream down my face as I drove around. It was difficult. What was even more difficult was all the articles and commentaries that are available to read or hear at the click of a button. Noise and encouraged darkness. It was overwhelming and it made me feel angry. Everyone has an opinion on suicide. Even those who have attempted. Those who are therapists and in the medical profession. Those who are family members. Those who have survived. Everyone. I am not here to give my opinion on anything, unless you are a client (or friend) in my office. I am not going to give my thoughts on suicide and those suffering from mental illness. I am here to explain the darkness.

It is dark. It is what our world can feel like, but without a trace of a baby reaching for you; without a smile; without the light blue sky and the sun peering through; without a flower; without affection or affirmation. The current state of our world is questionable and people are experiencing anxiety with where we as a society are going due to the prominent noise of hate. It is dark. And instead of the media shining light and breaking through the jail cell bars with sunlight, they have continued to flood our screens with more darkness and a pit filled with extraneous noise. So, how does one find the light?

Here is what took me out of the pit of darkness – my own therapist, my friends, my family, my husband and children, my faith, and my persistence to find the good. The latter was the most difficult and it is an overwhelming task when all that is on our screens are words masked in concern that only encourage the darkness. It is strenuous work when I work with clients who feel nothing but hopelessness, but I am there. Standing. Half in the light and half in the dark. But, my hand is outstretched for you to grab my hand. We will walk this walk together though the journey looks bleak. There IS light. We may need someone to open the curtains, but it is there. And, I am here to try and help pull back the shades so that you are able to see the rainbow in the distance.



Charise Casiano

About Charise Casiano

Charise obtained her BA degree at California State University, Stanislaus and immediately pursued her MS degree at Mount Saint Mary’s College. During her college years, Charise left for one year to do missionary work. She traveled the United States troubleshooting with teenagers.