My hopes for this faded when I hit a tech snafu this past weekend. Granted, I should have recorded earlier than this past weekend but life has been crazy up and down with recovering from a road trip and days full of pain which induce fog-brain so, yeah, I was totally behind. HOWEVER.
I’m having a decent week now, still taking it slowly but I’m thrilled to be introducing this new feature at the blog! We’ll be rolling it out as we get submissions so feel free to send yours in whenever you want. I had grand plans of doing mine first, but recording is just not cooperating over here so I need to get that aspect ironed out.
Today’s #PPDChat Voice is Lindsay, or if you know her on Twitter, @lilloveandluck. She is all sorts of awesome. Her piece is too, despite the fact that she keeps apologizing for all the uh’s and um’s. It’s tough to put yourself out there on camera, yo.
Huge thanks to Lindsay for submitting. (Check your email for your badge for your blog!)
Lindsay’s bio: Powered by espresso and cake, Lindsay is a jill of all trades trying to find her niche in the world. She became a serendipitous advocate after being diagnosed with Postpartum Depression and Anxiety in 2011. She lives and breathes New Orleans with her patient husband, sprightly son, and critters. She blogs at www.withalittleloveandluck.com , and you can find her over-sharing on Twitter @lilloveandluck.
This week’s #PPDChat went off the charts with a lively discussion during both moderated hours when we pushed the question of blogging the tough stuff without seeming ungrateful for the good stuff that happens along with it.
Suggested by Jamie over at James & Jax, the topic exploded with several people chiming in. The primary concern about bloggers was not the opinion of strangers but rather that of people they know in real life. The concern regarding the random visitor from the web was visited too with the reminder that these folks only see a “slice” of our lives at our blogs, framed as we choose to frame it. The same goes for in-real-life friends, really, as we are writing for ourselves in addition to our regular readers.
Blogging through mental health and parenting can be such a messy place. So many of us have so many different approaches and we all know how much everyone LOVES to dish advice about how we’re supposed to deal with both.
So doesn’t blogging about these struggles open us up for criticism?
But dealing with that criticism is also an important aspect of choosing to blog. It’s okay to not share your full story. I haven’t shared my full story here at the blog. There are bits and pieces I hold close to me because as I stated in chat, these pieces involve other people so I don’t feel they are fully my story.
There are others who choose not to share because they feel their story is not “enough” for sharing. It’s okay to feel that way. The importance and beauty in our stories is that we choose when to share them, how to share them, and most importantly, how much to share of them. No one can force us to share more than we are ready to share. You are no less of a person, a blogger, a mother, an advocate, or a woman simply because you have not shared your story. Your lived experience is more than enough and if you’re led to share it, great. If not, that’s okay too.
It’s not about if your story is enough, it’s about who you might reach – who is living your exact story right this moment.#ppdchat
— Lauren(@unxpctdblessing) May 7, 2013
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The beauty of us all comes from our nuanced differences. Those of us who speak openly and freely encourage others to share our stories. We also let those who are more guarded know they are not alone in their battles, even if we never hear from them. Those of us who choose to be more guarded let others wanting to be just as guarded know it is also okay to be guarded. There is a camaraderie to be felt in every aspect of your choices. And that camaraderie is a phenomenally beautiful thing.
Wrapping this up, I invite you to this blog on Sunday for a few video stories from mothers who have been through the thick of it, myself included. I’m nervous as all get out about being on recorded video (GASP), but given that this is My Postpartum VOICE, I want to leave my comfort zone and use my actual voice. Give a face to the stories here.
I also invite you to check out Katherine Stone’s Postpartum Progress on Sunday. She’s hosting a bevy of writers for her 5th Annual Mother’s Day Rally for Mom’s Mental Health. I’m honoured to be participating again. My post goes up at 1am! Early! Katherine does great things for Moms and families with Postpartum Mood Disorders. Don’t forget to check out all the posts. I can’t wait to read them all!
Don’t forget about the PSI Blog Hop for Maternal Mental Health Awareness as well! This month is chock-full of stories. Some of them might be just like yours.
Above all, remember, that there is beauty and strength in your story, even if you can’t see it right now.
*required reading for today’s chat: Ripples of Postpartum Depression
Continuing this week’s theme of celebrating National Book Month, Amber Koter-Puline of Beyond Postpartum shares about The Warrior Mom Book Club. It’s worth checking out! I thank Amber for her dedication to families struggling with Postpartum Mood Disorders. She truly is an inspiration on so many levels! Without further ado, here is Amber’s guest post:
This summer I began hosting a new feature at Postpartum Progress: the Warrior Mom Book Club. Even just since 2007 when I suffered from postpartum depression and anxiety, so much more information, education, and just plain old sharing around women’s mental health has occurred. From books on personal accounts of postpartum depression to the plethora of rockin’ blogs written by Warrior Moms, we have no lack of reading material right at our fingertips.
I don’t know about you, but with so much out there I often have difficulty choosing what to read, especially since I’m a married WAHM of two young boys. I just don’t have time to keep up with all the blog posts, and my stack of books waiting to be read is enormous (both on paper and virtually on my Kindle list).
As members of the Warrior Mom Book Club, we read and have casual talk about what we’ve read, in the midst of our busy lives. We read books about postpartum depression and related illnesses — approximately four books per year — and as a group we do a review after reading each one, which I then write up for Postpartum Progress so that everyone can read it there.
We began the club with Adrienne Martini’s awesome book, Hillbilly Gothic, which I first read when my first son was about two and then again for the club, three years later. I have to say I enjoyed it as much, if not more, the second time! In case you didn’t get a chance to read along with us, you can check it out on Amazon.
Right now we are reading The Ghost in the House by Tracy Thompson. It’s a really eye-opening account of maternal mental health and its impact on the entire family from both a genetic and environmental perspective. While the Book Club is currently closed because we’ve already begun work on it, you can still order a digital or paper copy HERE or do what many savvy mamas did with our previous read and order it from your local library.
The review of The Ghost in the House will probably be up at Postpartum Progress in November and then we’ll announce our third read. Right now we plan to read Sleepless Nights by . You are welcome to join us for that one. Once the announcement is made, you can just email me at firstname.lastname@example.org and join the Facebook Group “Warrior Mom Book Club” which becomes secret while the discussion is happening to protect the privacy of the participants.
We have nearly 50 moms who have participated so far and I look forward to growing the group as the selections change and time goes on. Here’s what a few moms have to say about their experience as members of the WMBC:
“Being a part of the bookclub has helped me give words or describe some the aimless thoughts/feelings that I had, especially in the deepest part of PPD/OCD/Anxiety that I was unwilling or more likely, unable to speak about, name, and come to terms with.” ~TM
“I have found it invaluable to read these books. I had not read any of the ones that we have read while I was going through my struggle with postpartum anxiety and postpartum depression. Reading and reflecting on the books is helping me continue my recovery process. The book club offers me the ability to read other’s perceptions of the books as well which allows me to take different messages and incorporate it into my own recovery.” ~Jennifer Pody Gaskell
”Being a part of the WMBC has been like a life raft for me. I live in area of the country with almost no PPMD resources and no in person support group. This book group has enabled me to feel part of a community of amazingly strong and courageous women (authors and fellow readers). Reading these works has also assisted me in gaining more knowledge about PPMD, which has helped me tremendously in making sense of my experience and continuing my journey to wellness and health for me and my family.” ~Becky Ruess
I hope that reading can be a cathartic experience for you, as well, regardless of whether you join a book club, read a book with a friend, or on your own. Reading is one of the few self-care activities that I prioritize and tends to be a great source of enjoyment and escape for me. I personally have found that reading a combination of fiction, non-fiction (self-care/help), and faith-oriented books allows me to balance and blend my reading hobby in a healthy manner.
Thanks, Lauren, for inviting me to write about the Book Club!
Take good care,
Mom and wife. PPD Survivor/Advocate. Yoga lover. Oh…& coffee, bacon & prayer. Amber also blogs at atlantamom.net- a site devoted to information, inspiration, and networking opportunities for all moms in the Atlanta area.