It's no secret that I've struggled with Postpartum Depression and Anxiety. When my first daughter was born it was classic. We didn't bond. I didn't want to hold her. Our struggle with breastfeeding and weight caused me to have major anxiety with anything related to doctors, feeding, size, and then eventually just everything. I put on a brave face, but inside I felt out of control. I wanted to leave. Then I got help. It started by my walking out of Maggie's 1 month checkup with a prescription for an SSRI. Then I was referred to a social worker who helped me to find an awesome support group. I met some of my closest friends through this group, and they helped me realize I was not alone in my struggles. Eventually I sought individual therapy.
When my second daughter was born I was worried but I was also prepared. I had a support group who was ready to tell me if I seemed off. I had a husband who knew the signs to look for. And most importantly, I knew to seek help if I needed it. With Megan the anxiety did come back, but between my support system and my doctor I never had to get to the same place I did with Maggie.
My girls are happy and healthy 2.5 and 5 year olds now, and every day they are the reason I continue to fight, and they are my motivation to continue to speak about this important cause. Because no mother should have to feel alone, no mother should have to feel like they're failing their child, and no mother should have to be afraid to speak about her struggles.
Postpartum Progress’ Climb Out of the Darkness™ is 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. Climb Out is held on or near the longest day of the year annually to help shine the most light on perinatal mood and anxiety disorders. The event features mothers and others across the globe joining together to climb mountains and hike trails to represent their symbolic rise out of the darkness of maternal mental illness and into the light of hope and recovery. Funds raised support the 501c3 organization Postpartum Progress (http://postpartumprogress.org) We can’t wait for Climb Out of the Darkness 2015, to be held Saturday, June 20th. Mark your calendars!