I am a Warrior Mom. I have sat in the darkness of postpartum depression and anxiety feeling hopeless and lost. I have felt them rip my identity as a mother and a woman apart, leaving me feeling like a shell of a person, empty.
I've hid in closets, and cried on my bathroom floor because being near my children felt impossible to handle.
I've endured thoughts so intrusive I still can't speak of them to anyone, let alone myself.
I lived with guilt over my inabilities to play, laugh, and hold my children-it feasted on my insides for months....and still comes back for more when I find myself on the low end of the bipolar mood spectrum.
I still live with shame over the rage that engulfed me for over a year, often over the trivialest things, in the most unexpected of moments. The screaming, the yelling...If there's one part of my experience I wish I could erase it would be that.
And yet, in spite of the darkness I lived in after Alex's birth, despite how sick I was, I survived. With support and treatment I overcame. I climbed out of that darkness. I became a Warrior Mom.
Tomorrow, I'm celebrating that accomplishment with over 100 other women across the United States and in 6 other countries.
My family and I will be heading to Wild Basin Wilderness Preserve here in Austin for a 2 mile trail hike. With each step I'm sure I'll be emotional as I look at my boys and my husband around me and reflect on my experience with PPD...and I'll again be overwhelmed with gratitude for Postpartum Progress and Katherine Stone.
If you've been a reader for any amount of time here, you know how much I credit Postpartum Progress and Katherine Stone with essentially saving my life and helping me come into my own as a mother. In January 2011, it was THE lifeline I needed that started to pull me out of the darkness of PPD & anxiety and eventually led to my diagnosis of bipolar disorder. You can read more about how Postpartum Progress helped me here and at the end of this post if you haven't already.
3 weeks ago I joined fellow survivors and even those still fighting PPD in a campaign to raise funds for two very specific projects Postpartum Progress is working on. In those 3 weeks, we've managed to raise over 36K, and basically create a movement to honor our experience and give hope to others still finding their way out of the darkness Postpartum Progress helped us come out of.
We are Warrior Moms. We are climbing out and pulling others up with us today, the longest day of the year, to stand tall in the light of hope. I'm honored and humbled to be a part of something so significant with the most amazing women I've met in my life.
Let's do this.
To learn more about Climb Out of the Darkness, what the donations are funding, and to donate to our hike on Saturday click here