Buh Bye PPD

Today is my friend Lauren’s birthday.

She is one of the most beautiful women I know.  She is also a fierce advocate for postpartum disorders.  When I first told my story on the blog, and tweeted about it, she found me.  She invited me to #ppdchat on Mondays.  She helped me to understand what I had.

So many others were there too.  Because I opened up, I found Amber and Miranda and Katherine and Grace and Blair and Kimberly and Alexis and so, so many more.

And today?  Today is Lauren’s birthday.  She has done so much for PPD awareness and even on her birthday she wants to keep advocating.  Today she announced that is the 1st Annual Postpartum Awareness Balloon Release, and asked PPD survivors everyone to release a purple balloon with a note and her blog address attached.

Being a PPD survivor?  I joined in.

Today I bought a half dozen purple balloons.  Eddie had one with a message and so did I.  The others?  They were just pur-dee.

After attaching our notes of hope, Eddie and I headed out to the front yard to release our balloons.  To let our hope float.

I am not going to lie.  It was a bit emotional letting go of that junk that is PPD with my little guy at my side.

And together we waved Buh-Bye to PPD and all the crap that comes with it.  Eddie’s balloon soared high above the trees and left our field of vision quickly.

Mine?  Mine got stuck in the telephone wires.  Right next to the house.

Cortney smiled and shook his head and said, “sort of symbolic, isn’t it?”

UGG!  I told him I just wanted them to soar away while we waved so I could type up a happy, feel-good post about it.  But no, my damn balloons got stuck.  ON OUR PROPERTY!

Is this a sign?  Sheesh, I hope not!

So I decided to play with Eddie for a bit outside.  We were happily playing “chase the golf ball” when I looked and noticed that the balloons were still attached to that stupid wire, but had inched their way all the way down to the actual electric pole.  And switched wires.

We kept playing.

A few times I would look up and think they were gone, but then notice that they were just hiding behind the pole.

Isn’t that just like PPD?  You think you have dramatically let it go and it’s gone, but it sits there just out of sight sometimes waiting for you.  Letting you know it’s still there.

Even now, from the house I can see that they are way down the lines…but still there.  still hanging on.  still dancing in the setting sun.

but they are far enough away now that i forget that they are stuck to the wire every now and then.  And that?  That is also like PPD.  When it’s managed and being taken care of?  I don’t really think about it.

Which means, I think I can officially wave buh-bye to it.

Just like Eddie did.

About Katie

Just a small town girl...wait no. That is a Journey song. Katie Sluiter is a small town girl, but she is far from living in a lonely world. She is a middle school English teacher, writer, mother, and wife. Life has thrown her a fair share of challenges, but her belief is that writing through them makes her stronger.


  1. Wow, that's a wonderful perspective. Sorry your balloons got stuck, but it didn't result in a great post!

  2. This made me cry and laugh. I wish I would have planned ahead so I could have taken part!! It seems like a good release.

  3. The Singing Doula says

    I'm a PND/PPD survivor too but I see your balloons not floating away as something very different.

    Having PND/PPD was a life experience that changed me forever. It also took me a long time to see that change as positive. But, once I had passed through the dark and found my way back to the light, I was changed irrevocably. Now I have very different understanding of what PND/PPD means. I can see how other women might be helped by my experiences if I just open my mouth and talk about them.

    I can't do that if I try to dismiss PND from my life completely. I'm healed but changed and that's not a bad thing. I need to keep the memory of PND/PPD close enough to myself so I don't forget how it was for me. Remembering engenders compassion. Compassion engenders caring and foster my support for all victims of PND and peri-natal illness.

    I see that as one of the most positive things in my life.

  4. What a beautiful symbolic thing to do. I had PPD and it was different from anything else I had experienced.

    It is easy to get upset or discouraged when things like that don't go the way we expect, but I love how you got a lesson out of those balloons anyway (even if it was one you didn't expect!)

  5. Blair@HeirtoBlair says

    I can't lie, I'm all teary sitting at my computer & thankful that nobody can see me right now. Our little community is such a powerful thing.

  6. I am blinking back tears too!

    Figures, right? Just like it figures that it's raining today and will rain most of the day tomorrow too. Damned PPD . I think it and the weather are in cahoots!

    The important thing is that you let go. You let GO. ;-)And they went away. (even if not far) It's a beautiful thing.

  7. I love this, and just like The Singing Doula said, this will always be a part of us. It has changed us. We have learned that we are not alone. That others are fighting with us, just like that bunch of balloons that got stuck at your house.

    Beautiful post, friend. Beautiful post.

  8. Lovely post. i enjoyed your analogy between PPD and the balloons getting stuck.

    Here's to saying bye-bye to PPD forever!

  9. Oh, good for you. That is such a horrible place to be stuck.

  10. Alex@LateEnough says

    Loved this post and analogy. I'm glad that you've walked so far thru your ppd.

  11. I am so glad you took part in the day too! I found it so moving. I can only imagine where these balloons end up. Even if yours are stuck in the wires people will drive by and wonder how they got there and what they mean.

  12. Grace @ Arms Wide Open says

    you are such a beautiful person. to find meaning in something so frustrating like damn balloons not doing what they are supposed to! FLOAT! 🙂 everything you said is so try. Sometimes things don't go as planned. and we learn to roll with it.
    i love you!

  13. Lori @ In Pursuit of Martha Points says

    Ok, totally NOT sign, just an indication of poor civic planning on someone else's part.

    I love the symbolism of the balloon launch.

    I had a similar moment after dealing with infertility for a year – I wrote down all the things that were hurting me and burned the list.

    I had forgotten about that until I read your post.

    It was liberating. I'm glad you made me remember it.

    Love to you, dear one.

  14. missy widener says

    of course your balloons got stuck. but I bet they were freed when you were least expecting it. and eddie? love that boy.