I remember standing in an aisle at the store and freaking out because I was overwhelmed. Thanks, anxiety. Only I didn’t know what it was at that time. I’d never dealt with it before. At least I knew what to expect when I thought of depression.
When I was about 6 months postpartum I read something this on the Postpartum Progress website. It wasn’t until I read it that it hit me: I have postpartum depression and anxiety.
I know too many people who have walked the road I have. Some have had more mountains than hills but they all keep going. The key is to keep going. I’ve seen friends, family, read about people brave enough to share their stories. I think once you realize that there’s people around you going through what you do, you realize that there is a light at the end of the tunnel. To those of you still fighting your battles, I promise it’ll get better. I’m here to help and give that support.
Stigma attached to mental health makes us afraid to speak out, ask for help. We rationalize that we’re just tired, we’re just stressed, we’re just wordswordswords. It’s not. Maybe we’re just scared to admit it. Maybe it’s the fear that we’re broken. WHY? Where’s the education and awareness?
I’ll admit that some days I just thought that this was the life I was resigned to live. I accepted that anxiety was going to be an everyday part of life. The mehs. I’d just have to put on my face and work a little harder at it. Thankfully I have the right people and an amazing husband to support me, and resources to help me get better. I’m a survivor. Of course there are good days and there are bad. But it is an open sentence that keeps on going, depression isn’t who you are.
Today is April 16, a day to celebrate #TheSemicolonProject. What is it? It’s a day for those with depression, anxiety, those who have chosen to keep on going when the road got rough and to have hope because that it gets better and the sentence is never over. It’s marked by hope and moving forward each new day.
I’m your neighbor. Your friend. Your coworker.
I beat depression.
I fight from anxiety.
I AM NOT depression or anxiety.
I AM a survivor.
For me, it’s about being proud I kicked ass for me, for my husband and girls, for those who love me. It’s about staying on this side of the light. For a while, I wore a charm on my bracelet that I’d look at as a reminder when I was frustrated and tired. I shared it with some friends who needed the reminder in the midst of their battles.
Please help us raise money so that we can continue to raise awareness of how women are devastated by perinatal mood and anxiety disorders, make sure women know what they need to know about PPD, eliminate stigma and support the mamas who need it. Even $5 makes a difference to an organization that solely funded by donations.
Climb Out of the Darkness is the annual awareness raising and fundraising event for Postpartum Progress. I’m climbing a mountain with some of my fellow warrior moms on June 21 here in Austin and I’m asking for your help. Can’t donate? Just join us to raise awareness and educate those around you. We can all make a difference.