At the end of my last therapy appointment, my therapist of almost three years said to me, “so do you know Katherine Stone? I thought of you when I saw that she is behind the blog Postpartum Progress. She was the MC of the conference on PMDs that I attended last week.”
I smiled. Big.
“I do know Katherine Stone. As in I know her personally.”
“I thought there was a good chance of that,” she said. “She seems so inspiring.”
I thought about that word “inspiring” as I drove home. I also thought about when I first “met” Katherine. I was a hot damn mess when I was directed to Postpartum Progress by some people on twitter who read my very first post admitting that after nine months of suffering, I got sought help.
I combed through the entire site. I found stories and resources. I found help.
I think I officially met Katherine via twitter. When I was pregnant with Charlie and scared of a relapse of PPD, she was there assuring me. She sent me names of local people I could call. She checked in on me after Charlie was born and I went silent on social media. When things weren’t fine, she was there.
But it wasn’t just for me. She is there for every other woman struggling.
I met her five years ago when Postpartum Progress was much smaller and it’s reach confined to mostly women I “knew” via social media and PPD groups. Now, five years later, it’s expanded to something so much larger than I can even wrap my mind around.
Katherine did that.
She is now known nation-wide and has been on CNN and other national news outlets.
And yet, she is still Katherine. She is still real and easy to approach and hilarious and passionate. In fact, I think she is more passionate now than she was five years ago…if that is even possible.
She’s so big my own therapist is asking me if I’ve heard of her.
I admit that sometimes I figure she is so busy with all her amazing work, she probably doesn’t think much about me or remember me, but then she makes a funny comment on Facebook or tweets me and I think, “She’s still Katherine.”
I have given her name and website as a resource to moms so many times over the years, and I can still say “Here is my friend, Katherine’s information,” when I give it. Because she is not just a bigger than life public figure fighting for mom’s rights and health, she is my friend.
And I’m so proud of her. Proud to know her. Proud to have been a part of something that is so much larger than I am.
She helped me realize I am not alone, nor that I have to feel so isolated. I have become a vocal advocate not just for postpartum mood disorders, but for mental health in general.
I suffer from depression, anxiety, OCD, and PTSD and I am a great mom, a loving wife, and a successful teacher and writer. I laugh and smile and have wonderful friends.
I take medication and see a therapist and I love my life.
It’s possible to have a rich, wonderful life and have a mental illness/mood disorder. Katherine helped me realize that.
I am forever grateful to her and so very proud of this milestone of TEN YEARS of Postpartum Progress and kicking stigma ass.
Please visit Postpartum Progress if you or someone you know if struggling.