Postpartum Voice of the Week: @ksluiter’s “heavy alphabet soup”


It’s been awhile since I’ve done this but this past week, I read a post worthy of being highlighted as Postpartum Voice of the week. In fact, it’s inspired me to dive back into blogging here – I’ll be somewhat changing direction but it’ll still have the same Postpartum Mood & Anxiety Disorder focus. More about that in an upcoming post though. For now, I want to simply highlight this very deserving post.

Kate Sluiter blogs over at Sluiter Nation and has been doing so for 5 years now. Her writing is amazing regardless of the topic but when it comes to her experience with Postpartum Mood & Anxiety Disorders, it’s phenomenal. Kate is an open book, bravely sharing her experience after the birth of her first son, during her pregnancy with her second son, and now, after the birth of her second son.

Last week, Kate hit publish on a post entitled “heavy alphabet soup.”

It’s a MUST READ for any parent with or married to a partner with mental health issues. She is brutally honest, transparent, courageous, and personable in this post.

My favourite part of the post is here:

“I still feel very angry that I have to deal with this at all.  I don’t want it.  Any of it.  I don’t want to be on meds, not because I don’t want to be better, but because I don’t want to have all these letters.

 

I know they don’t define me.  But they are part of who I am. They are part of my biological make up.  They are chemical imbalances in my brain.”

Amen, Kate.

In writing these two paragraphs, especially the last one, she clarifies something very important – mental illness/letters do not define us. They are a part of us yes, but they absolutely do not define us.

Go. Read her post, “heavy alphabet soup.” Leave her some love.

 

My guest posts @ Sluiter Nation & Our Giggles & Grimaces


This past week has been a very busy one for me – not only did I host #PPDChat and do all I do on Twitter, I also blogged here, worked a little more on my #PPDMD chat idea (I am SO EXCITED!), and wrote a couple of guest posts.

Katie Sluiter over at Sluiter Nation invited me to be an Official Sluiter Nation Recruit. Of course I accepted because Katie just rocks. You can read my post, “no private rooms” at her place here. She introduces me with the most awesome introduction ever. Moved me to tears, I tell you. (Thanks, Katie. And yes, I got your back if you need me again – without hesitation!)

Then Charity over at Our Giggles & Grimaces asked for guest posters too. Given that I’m her Greased Cat Yoga Instructor, I felt compelled to accept. I wrote about Self-care and a Mama’s Alarm clock. You should read it. Not just because I wrote it and therefore it’s awesome, but because well, yeah. It’s awesome. Plus, self-care. And hilariousness. Perfect for a Saturday morning, right?

So grab your coffee or sippy cup filled with OJ or apple juice and cruise on over to the guest posts I wrote this week!

Guest post by @ksluiter: and now my depression is affecting those not yet born…


Hi.

It’s me, Katie, from Sluiter Nation.

I have a problem.

I’m not pregnant.

Sigh.  Yes, this is a problem.

Let me back up the truck for those of you who don’t know my back story.

I have an almost-two-year-old son, Eddie. Three months before Eddie turned a year, I was diagnosed with postpartum depression and anxiety.

I have been fighting this damn disease ever since March of 2010.

The therapist I see and my general practitioner both agree that at this point?  Because I had a pre-existing anxiety disorder?  I can likely drop the “postpartum” part of the label.

I suffer from depression and anxiety.

And I am trying to get pregnant.

Also?  My husband suffers from extremely mild depression.

up until very recently we were both medicated.

Do you know how hard it is to conceive when both players are on drugs?  The med that my hubs was on?  Decreased sperm count and made it difficult to…um…finish.

You can’t get a baby without the finish, people.

My meds kill libido.

So let’s recap.  One of us doesn’t want it and the other can’t complete the task anyway.

And here we are…three months later…no baby.

Not surprising, but still frustrating.

So now the hubs is off his meds.  And he is all raring to go…all the time.

Yay for lots of baby making, right?

Wrong.

It’s still hard for me to want to.  I mean, I so want to.  I want another baby so bad it’s hard to be excited when others are blessed with little lives.  And I want to be close with my husband.

But…stupid medication.  stupid depression sucking the joy out of my sex life.  stupid anxiety about what my body looks like.

People keep telling me to relax.

How do I do that?    How do I enjoy sexy time more than only a couple times…a  month?  Because it’s going to take more than that for us to make a human.

I am so tired of this stupid depression and anxiety taking over every aspect of my life.

It stole so much precious time away from my son and my husband.  And now I feel like it’s taking time away from my not-yet-created baby.

Postpartum Voice of the Week: @ksluiter’s Secret Mommyhood Depression Confession


 

background stock from http://www.sxc.hu/photo/510010

One of the hardest questions a mom with Postpartum Depression harbors somewhere deep within her is “When will this be over?”

A couple of months? A few? More? A year? When? How will I know I am better?

When?

When a doctor prescribes antibiotics, we take them, usually for 5-10 days. And then we’re supposed to be better.

Depression does not work that way. Mental illness does not work that way.

For some of us, just as with any illness, we may heal faster.

For others, it may take some time for our minds to bounce back from the issues we are facing. If we’re on the longer end of the expected time frame, it does not mean there is something wrong with us. It doesn’t mean that we have done something to deserve to continue to suffer. Our road is just longer. We may have more baggage, more to work through, continued external drama, less support, struggling to find the right meds, therapists aren’t working well, etc. There are a whole host of reasons for our road to be longer. Reasons we may not understand in the here and now as we scream for a shorter road. Scream to be able to sit down and rest, to stop fighting with this beast of depression.

We just want it all to go away.

But when on a long road toward recovery, it may not seem as if it will ever go away.

That’s when it gets tough all over again.

Katie Sluiter of Sluiter nation is there. She’s there and struggling with thoughts that her depression may never go away.

This past Friday, as part of Secret Mommyhood Confession, she wrote about her continued battle against Depression. She shared that it may well have gone from Postpartum to full blown depression. This post is worth reading for a few reasons.

One – sometimes Postpartum continues into a full blown depression or other mental illness. Sometimes it doesn’t go away as quickly as we would like it to and sometimes it morphs into a tenacious little monster we are unable to get off our backs. And it sucks.

Two – Katie, once again, approaches this issue with a raw honesty that is absolutely the essence of the Postpartum Voice. Honesty, above all else, is an important element toward recovery. It garners positive support from your doctor, important support from your peers, and it allows you to work through some pretty hard stuff in a very clear cut manner. Once you are honest with yourself, it is hard to be dishonest with others.

With no further ado, I give you Katie Sluiter of Sluiter Nation and her Secret Mommyhood Depression Confession.

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