The lowest, rock-bottom point in my postpartum anxiety battle was a quiet afternoon, as I rocked my then 9 month old daughter in her dark room, hot tears streaming down my face. I looked at her, and apologized over and over. I said to myself, “If you don’t get help, you will be the mom on the news.”
1 hour later, I was in my car, driving to fill my prescription for Zoloft- something I didn’t want to admit until that very moment that I needed to get better.
Last weekend I was part of a revolutionary movement. I sat in a room at the first ever Warrior Mom Conference with over 100 other women, and we talked about our battles with perinatal mood and anxiety disorders (postpartum/antepartum depression, anxiety, ocd, psychosis). We shared moments of tears, joy, and victory.
And then? We talked A LOT about helping moms who haven’t been helped, who need it the most, who need that one person to come into their life and let them know that they are not a BAD mom. They are a mom who is dealing with an illness, and that that illness CAN get better.
Katherine Stone, founder of the nonprofit Postpartum Progress that put on the conference, made a powerful analogy in her keynote speech. 1 in 7 moms (at least!) will deal with perinatal mood and anxiety disorders, falling over a cliff at the edge of motherhood, into a dark hole. It is so important that some, many of us who make it out of that hole, come back around, and throw ropes down to the women who are still in it.
And so, this project I’m about to share with you, this is just one of my ropes.
I’ve spent the last 3 months working with the Warrior Mom Conference national sponsor Cotton Babies to create this short video with the hopes that as many moms, and people who love and support moms see it. I want them to see this rope that is woven from threads of hope and messages of victory and solidarity.
7 women in 3 cities opened their hearts and homes to me. They sat before my camera, raw and beautifully vulnerable, throwing out their own ropes.
Watch, listen, share. Grab hold of that rope, momma. We are here for you. You are a GOOD mother. You CAN get better.
Thank you to Cotton Babies and to these gloriously strong women for making this video possible.
If you or someone you love can identify with the struggles these women talked about in the video, and you need a place to start, head over to PostpartumProgress.org. I found their “Tools” to be incredibly eye opening and helpful.