Four 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.
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.
That’s why come Saturday June 21st, I’ll be lacing up my hiking boots for the 2nd Annual Climb Out of the Darkness. Here in Los Angeles, I’ll be climbing Runyon Canyon with a group of amazing survivors and current sufferers of Peripartum Mood Disorders (which afflict one in seven mothers and include Postpartum and Pregnancy Depression, Postpartum Anxiety, Psychosis, OCD and everything in between). I’ll be climbing not only to raise money for Postpartum Progress, the non-profit helmed by the amazing Katherine Stone dedicated exclusively to maternal mental health, but also in hopes of bringing together Moms who have survived and thrived in the wake of peripartum mood disorders with those who are currently under water. There was nothing more therapeutic and hopeful for me when I was in the depth than talking with those who had been through it, and if you are struggling right now, it would be my greatest honor to walk alongside you and hear your story.
And of course, you don’t have to have been directly affected by PPD or its related mood disorders to participate. (You don’t even have to live in Los Angeles, because there are over 100 climbs taking place all across the country.) All you have to do is believe in supporting healthy Moms and babies. Please, join us. And I’d love if you’d consider making a donation to support our efforts. (Even just a buck! If everyone who read this donated a dollar, we’d break our fundraising goal like ten times over!) And call your Mother if you can. She loves you.
For more information or to donate to our climb, CLICK HERE.