I am beyond excited about today. Sluiter Nation Recruit Day.
But first I want to tell you that Tonya of Letters for Lucas has invited me to her blog today. She has this amazing series called Letters for You where she invites bloggers to come share a letter they have written. It can be to anyone at all. Today I am over there sharing a letter I have written to my late father-in-law.
So please head over there after you’ve read what I have for you here.
Ok…here. Today. I have for you someone who contributed in the saving of my life.
No really. Without her being in the right place at the right time, I am not sure that I would be living the life I have.
Today I bring you Lauren of My Postpartum Voice. Lauren runs the Monday twitter chat #ppdchat. I was directed there when I was diagnosed with PPD and Lauren was right there to let me know that I was not alone.
She checked in on me. Asked about my meds, about my experience, about my support system.
She was there every time I had a relapse…and I know she will be there when my brain fails me again (because it will).
What moment brought her to blogging and advocating for PPD awareness?
She swayed and moved her flannel covered arms along with the rhythm in her head. Her voice belted out over the dark silence in the ward. I shivered, involuntarily.
“Sign here, please.”
My hand grasped the pen and signed my name but it wasn’t my hand. Through the shivers, I managed to stammer out a question.
“Are there private rooms here?”
“Oh no. There are no private rooms on the Acute Flight Risk Ward.”
I knew. I knew the flaxen haired soprano was my roommate. She continued to sway and sing loudly as she waltzed with an imaginary companion across the common area, deftly avoiding the couches, chairs, and tables with crayon boxes littered across them. As I fell asleep, she finally entered “our” room, loudly, muttering to herself as she clambered into bed. It took a millennium for silence to fall. Another millennium for sleep to see fit to welcome me.
The weekend I spent at the hospital for suicidal and homicidal thoughts toward myself and my children as a result of severe Postpartum Depression, OCD, and PTSD, changed my life. It was there I first longed for another mother to talk with about my crazy. It was there a nurse told me I didn’t have to tell anyone where I had been for 48 hours. That it was nobody’s business but my own. Perhaps, but I can’t shut up about that weekend.
That weekend is what got me to where I am today. It led me to reach out, to blog when I found myself unexpectedly pregnant with my son, and ultimately, to start #PPDChat. If you don’t know about #PPDChat yet, you should. It’s an amazing hashtag on Twitter meant for support for women, their families, their friends, and anyone, really, in need of support or information about Postpartum Mood Disorders. Participation is worldwide. There are members in the UK, Japan, The Netherlands, Australia, the US, and Canada. Someone is always around to answer questions or offer support. A moderated chat occurs every Monday at 1pm & 830pm ET.
The #PPDChat community is an amazing, beautiful, strong, and compassionate group of people who get where you’ve been with Postpartum. They’re at all different stages of recovery and ready to welcome you with arms full of love. Judgment doesn’t exist here. Stigma doesn’t live here either. Openness and Acceptance thrive here. Given the public nature of this support, the acceptance is miraculous.
Postpartum Mood & Anxiety Disorders are nothing of which to be ashamed. They can happen to anyone, after any birth, even with adoption, miscarriage, or infant loss. Just like cancer or a heart attack, everyone is vulnerable. Getting help is not shameful. It’s necessary, just like seeking help for diabetes or a broken leg. Medication doesn’t make you a bad mother. Therapy doesn’t make you a bad mother. It’s acknowledgment of your desire to be a BETTER mother to your child and to yourself.
If you or a loved one suffer with Postpartum Mood & Anxiety Disorder, don’t do so alone and don’t do so without reaching out for help. Find us at Twitter under the hashtag #PPDChat. Or go to Postpartum Support International for information and a Coordinator near you. If you’re feeling suicidal, please call 1-800-273-TALK or find @unsuicide on Twitter for more resources. You’re never alone. Help is only a tweet away these days.
Lauren is magical when she writes. No one puts into words what depression…and beating that depression…feels like the way she does.
Read on. You’ll be hooked.
I know this monster all too well…The Monster in the Corner
No, having a PMD is not the newest trend…Are PMD’s the New Jimmy Choos?
When Lauren researches something, look out!…Thoughts on Exploring a “Pregnant Pause” (this is in response to a Vogue article on taking depression meds during pregnancy).