Three years ago I wanted to die. I wasn’t suicidal, to be clear, I made no plans — I was just sort of okay with the idea of not being alive any more. The sheer act of living was harder than I’d ever expected it to be and some days — the worst days — despite having a bouncing bundle of reasons to live in my seven month old baby, I just didn’t think I could do it anymore.
Depression is a really weird thing. It doesn’t really mess around with logic or proof, it’s more of a smoke and mirrors kind of deal that convinces you that no matter what your circumstance is, it’s terrible and you’re to blame for it. And it’s so damn convincing. Organic even. It gets in to your thought processes and it turns them against you and you don’t even realize it’s happening because it just feels so right. So real.
I wanted so badly to feel better. For months and months I’d been clawing at the walls of the dark hole that enveloped me — scratching in vain until my nails bled, never budging, digging deeper and deeper it often seemed… the light of my happy days sliding further and further away from me, slowly becoming a spec, threatening to plunge me into total darkness. And then, ten months into my Postpartum struggle, I had the opportunity to come face to face with a group of women who had survived all sorts of peripartum mood disorders. Women who had suffered from psychosis, suicide attempts, self-harm, and then some and lived to tell the tale. A few of them were even pregnant again.
All at once, my world shifted. These women were proof that I wouldn’t live in darkness forever. There was life after PPD. Somehow, in my mind spiral, that had never occurred to me before. And in that moment when it did, I started to heal.
I may never have had that revelation if it weren’t for a woman named Katherine Stone (who has since become one of my closest friends) who had invited us all there that evening. As a PPD survivor, I’m blessed to be a part of a community of incredible women online who have fought tooth and nail for their happiness, and at the unofficial helm of that community sits my dear friend Katherine and the incredible resource she has built for maternal mental health — Postpartum Progress.
Tomorrow, the longest day of the year, I will join survivors from across the globe to raise funds for the non-profit behind Postpartum Progress to ensure that Katherine is able to reach as many women as possible, and continue to connect survivors with those who are struggling — something that was so important to my own recovery.
And you are cordially invited to join us.
Join women across the world to raise money for Postpartum Progress, which raises awareness and provides support to women as they recover from postpartum depression and other associated mood and anxiety disorders. On June 21st, the longest day of the year, we will raise money by climbing a mountain or hiking a trail near our homes to represent our symbolic rise out of the darkness of perinatal mood and anxiety disorders into the light of hope and recovery.
I’ll be hosting a hike at Runyon Canyon in L.A. tomorrow at 9:45am with my amazing trainer and friend Lisa Moloshok who will be on hand to impart her wisdom and make sure none of us over do it. Parking at Runyon can be tough so be sure to get there early, and meet at the Fuller gate (2 blocks north of Hollywood Blvd) at 9:45am. Wear sunblock and bring water!
And perhaps most importantly, here’s where you can pledge to support the climb and keep Postpartum Progress running. I would personally be grateful for any contribution.
I hope if PPD has touched your life you’ll join. Especially if you’re currently struggling — I hope you’ll give yourself a chance to see life on the other side. Let me know if you plan to attend so we can look for you. You’ll know me by my purple hair. ; )