I adore my #ppdchat mamas. ADORE. I haven’t met any of them in person (yet!), but our common struggle has become our bond. There’s a safety in the anonymity of the internet, and although I don’t post anonymously per say, these women aren’t involved in my daily life. They don’t know my friends and family, and because of that separation, I can say things to them I might not say to anyone else. Also? They get it. Really get it. As much as my IRL support network may try to understand, unless they have lived with a postpartum mood or anxiety disorder, there will always be a part of me those folks will have to wonder about.
Not only to these mamas know just what to say, their stories resonate with me, giving me a sense of belonging and worth. I admire them for who they are as mothers and women – their struggles do not diminish their worth in my eyes – so why should I allow myself to feel any differently about me?
Story’s Rainy Day Letter (posted on PPD to Joy) struck a chord with me. She asks only for Peace and Purpose, giving herself permission to be who she is and to have bad days, while making a point to remember her progress. What a beautiful idea, inspired by Yael’s post, The Opportunities in Setbacks, to write a letter to yourself to come back to when your truth is mangled by depression and anxiety rules your heart.
I hold so much hope that PPD will not take me away from myself and my family after baby girl #2 is born. I am beginning to feel more confident that the antenatal depression is managed and that I will continue to not just survive, but thrive, as I have been. But I don’t want to be naive. Depression is a sneaky SOB that warps your reality, twisting the truth until you aren’t sure who you are anymore.
My defense? Knowledge. Preparation. Medication. An army of doctors. Support of loved ones, on and off-line. And this: my rainy day letter. I’m honored to have Yael Saar add my letter to her collection of hope over at Postpartum Depression to Joy. I’d be honored if you’d click over and read it.
Yael Saar lost her mother to postpartum depression when she was 6.Years later, when she had kids, guess what? Yael struggled with PPD as well. She survived it and became a silly-side-up mama on a mission: to disarm postpartum depression and anxiety by removing guilt and shame from parenting. Yael shares her story (with coping skills on top) at www.ppdtojoy.com. She is @yaelsaar on twitter and www.facebook.com/ppdtojoy on facebook.
Yael hosts a monthly ppd support phone chat called the PPD SpeakEasy. It is free, confidential, and loving. This chat happens on the 2nd tuesday of each month at 8:30pm Eastern. In September, to celebrate her birthday, Yael will be holding 3 SpeakEasy chats. For more info and dates click here: http://www.ppdtojoy.com/support/speakeasy-call/
[Photo Credit: eikaiwa-blog.blogspot.com]