I cannot simply tell you how much I adore and admire Cristi’s drive to speak up about mental illness. The woman is fearless and is always speaking up or doing something to bring awareness to mental health, suicide awareness in particular. I’m honoured to have her posting here at the blog for Mental Illness Awareness Week. Without further ado, I present Cristi’s amazing post. Read. Take to heart. Share. You are not alone.
You are NOT a Bad Mom.
The other day I posted on Twitter:
“Sometimes I wonder what others think of me because of my #mentalillness and then I remember I really don’t care. #stigma is stupid.”
Truth is, most of the time I honestly don’t care if others have an unfair opinion of me because of my mental illness. But that is a truth for me born from living with and learning to accept that my mental illness is just that, a REAL illness like any other medical condition. Others’ opinions and stigma are born from ignorance.
It’s not my fault.
It’s not a weakness.
And it needs real medical treatment.
But I know that for many who are blindsided with postpartum depression, OCD, anxiety or psychosis, it’s not that easy to brush off the stigma. Especially when you’ve never experienced mental health issues.
You probably don’t understand what’s happening.
Maybe right now, today, you’re feeling like a bad mother.
Maybe you even feel like a bad person because you’re having “intrusive thoughts” of running away from your family or hurting yourself or your child*.
I’ve been there myself after the birth of my 2nd child. I felt hopeless and wanted to run away as my 2 year old’s relentless jealousy surfaced. I felt like I couldn’t handle my life, my kids, my home or myself.
It was all falling apart.
I was falling apart.
But I asked for help because I knew I needed professional treatment.
And so do you, right now, if you’re struggling.
You need REAL medical treatment for this often temporary, but very real illness that affects so many women (and even men on occasion.)
I am going to say it again.
You are NOT a bad mother.
You are NOT a bad person.
You are NOT alone.
So many moms have been where you are right now and WE are here with open hearts and open arms to help you find your way. There’s no stigma with us. Just love and support and help.
If you’re here reading Lauren’s blog you probably already know about the beautiful gift of #PPDChat on Twitter and #PPDChat Support on Facebook. If you don’t, I encourage you to check them out. Social media can offer such an amazing support when we feel alone, at home, and haven’t yet been able ask for help in person.
I also encourage you to visit Postpartum Progress for loads of information and resources for perinatal and postpartum mood disorders.
There are so many women who have been where you are today and have made it through.
There IS a happy ending with the right help. I promise you.
This is your health, your child, your family, your life. You all deserve the happy ending. And stigma really truly is stupid. Please don’t let it hold you back from finding yourself again.
You are NOT a bad mom.
You are NOT a bad person.
You are LOVED.
You are BEAUTIFUL.
And, you are NOT alone.
Wife. Mom. Me. Advocate for mental health & suicide prevention. Attachment parent. Survivor of mental illness & PPD. Jewelry designer. Motherhood Unadorned Blog is motherhood naked, plain & uncensored. On Twitter @MotherUnadorned, on Facebook at Motherhood Unadorned
*If you are having such intrusive thoughts, please contact your doctor immediately.