Growing up, Alanis Morissette said, she had always imagined herself becoming a mother. However, she didn't anticipate the postpartum depression that would come after the births of both her children.
"There are days I’m debilitated to the point where I can barely move," she said.
Morisette first felt symptoms of postpartum depression almost immediately after giving birth to her son, Ever, in 2010. However, it was only about a year and four months after his birth that she spoke to a doctor for the first time, who told her that her symptoms wouldn't get better unless she sought help.
The condition, she said, left her questioning her identity.
"I'm used to being the Rock of Gibraltar and used to providing and protecting," she told People. "I was devastated and it had me questioning my identity. It had me question everything. I’ve known myself to be a really incredible decision-maker and a leader that people can rely on. [Now] I can barely decide what to eat for dinner."
For her second birth, however, she had a sense that her symptoms would come back, though she didn't expect that it would be "four times worse."
1 in 9 women experience postpartum depression, according to the CDC, but as with many mental health problems, it often goes undiscussed. It's not surprising, then, that Morissette herself hadn't anticipated the prospect of having PPD.
"The stigma remains in a really big way," she said. "There’s this version of eye contact that I have with women who have been through postpartum depression where it’s this silent, 'Oh my God, I love you. I’m so sorry.'"
Despite her struggles, Morissette is intent on fighting PPD and allowing herself to heal.
"There are people who are like, 'Where’s the old Alanis?' and I just think, 'Well, she’s in here. She’s having a minute,'" she told People. "I just know that there’s a light at the end of the tunnel and try not to beat myself up."
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