This is for the mom who emailed me three days ago asking for advice. A mom with two babies under two who thought she might have PPD, but didn’t know what to do.
You can get through this. You can climb out of the darkness.
I know it doesn’t feel like you can right now. I remember what it felt like.
Even though my type of bipolar leans towards manic episodes, I was pulled down by the darkness for an entire year. It almost suffocated me.
That year is a fuzzy mark on my memory, blurred out by the muted gray which sucked the life out of my world. Most nights I’d fall asleep sobbing, my cheek hot against the damp pillow. Food lost it’s appeal because my anxiety had burned my taste buds along with my desire to eat. The thought of doing anything - even taking a shower - was horribly overwhelming. I felt like life was just too uncomfortable, too painful. I’d climb into bed at night dreading the next day which would inevitably greet me, no matter how much I’d wish I wouldn’t wake up.
I don’t like to re-live those feelings, but they are engrained in my memory.
I’m glad they’re there to remind me of how far I’ve come. They live in me for a reason. So I can tell you to not give up. There are better days ahead. I promise.
With support, and proper treatment, you can and will get well.
I climb for you.
We emailed back and forth and you made that appointment. It’s your first step towards beating this. I’m so proud of you.
Promise me you won’t give up. This isn’t going to be easy. But by reaching out, just like you did when you found my blog, you can find more women who have overcome PPD. You will too.
I climb for you.
Having kids has definitely been the most challenging journey I’ve ever embarked on. Just when you think you have one phase figured out, they’re onto the next. Our little people watch us so closely, learning from the person who brought them into this world. Wait until they get older and you get to tell them all about how you beat this monster. They’re going to be so proud of you, mama. Beaming proud.
I want you to know that I’m pulling for you, and on Saturday, I climb for you. I’m right here beside you, cheering on each step, as you climb your way up to the summit.
This Saturday, June 20th, on the longest day of the year, I'll be participating in Postpartum Progress' 3rd annual Climb Out of the Darkness fundraiser. It's the world’s largest event raising awareness of maternal mental illnesses like postpartum depression, postpartum anxiety & OCD, postpartum PTSD, postpartum psychosis, postpartum bipolar disorder, and pregnancy depression and anxiety. We're aiming to exceed our goal of raising $200,000 for programs which support women and their families so they can overcome these illnesses. I hope you'll consider donating to this important cause.