When I was in the darkest days of my Postpartum, I found myself at the hospital, wandering, wishing for another mom to talk with about the thoughts in my head.
Yet, there I was. All alone. Deflated. Lost. Confused. Worried. Scared. Frustrated. Numb. Angry. Trapped in a giant whirlwind of emotions with no map out.
What the hell? How did I get here? How would I leave? I was drowning.
I knew one thing beyond a doubt though – Moms struggling like me needed to be connected to other moms.
As I began to recover, I searched and searched for a way to begin to support other moms. Through this search, I found the wonderful Jane Honikman and Postpartum Support International. Jane encouraged me. So did Wendy Davis, now the Program Director with Postpartum Support International. These two strong and amazing women nurtured me as I grew in my capabilities and strengthened my skills in peer support. There was a time when I questioned my abilities. Wendy assured me I was a natural at social support. Pec Indman would do the same down the road.
Then, I became pregnant. It was not a planned pregnancy. To be honest, not even a wanted pregnancy at the beginning. As I stated last week, I used to pray my doctor’s office wouldn’t find my baby’s heartbeat and then weep with guilt when I felt disappointment at hearing the normally reassuring thump thump of my unborn child’s heart. What should have brought me joy instead filled me with pain and heartache. Eventually this was replaced with joy and happiness as I blogged, continued with therapy, and medication. One of my biggest turning points was the opportunity to interview Karen Kleiman for my blog. Her book, What Am I thinking: Having a Baby After Postpartum Depression inspired me to start blogging to begin with as I attempted to reframe my pregnancy. Interviewing her was almost full circle for me.
During all of this, I also became Community Leader over at iVillage’s Postpartum & Pregnancy Depression Board. I had been a CL before but found myself unable to relate to moms with “normal” lives after my own life had suddenly turned upside down and scattered all over the floor. As I scrambled to pick up the pieces, it felt like those moms were busy eating bon bons as they looked down on me scurrying about to pick up the shattered china. I also served as a moderator at the Online PPD Support Page for a bit.
Connecting with moms like me saved me. It saved my sanity. It provided a camaraderie which I no longer had with normal moms. It became my calling and purpose in life.
I wake each and every day with the goal of helping at least one family.
I have yet to fail.
I have no plans to stop anytime soon.
Do you have a special someone in your life who has provided invaluable peer support as you went through Postpartum? Tell us about it here. Have you helped someone? Did it help you recover? Why do you help others? What drives your passion?
Want peer support? Have a question or concern? Leave it in the comments. Someone’s bound to read it and respond.
Did you miss out on in person peer support? Need help finding peer support? Leave a comment. You’re not alone anymore.
Let’s get to just talking!