That's why I'm happy to welcome Suzanne from pretty*swell with today's guest post. Suzanne is sharing her story on behalf of Postpartum Education and Support, the umbrella organization of Moms Supporting Moms. PES is hosting its first-ever StrollerThon fundraiser on Oct. 2 at Bond Park in Cary. In addition to the three-mile walk, there will be Tot Trot races, inflatable games, face-painting and fun for the whole family. All are welcome – strollers not required!
Now, in her own words, here's Suzanne...
Moms Supporting Moms meeting, I wanted to turn on my heel and walk right back out.
I was terrified. And embarrassed. Even though every single woman in that room had been in my shoes.
So I sucked in a deep breath, let go of the handle and sat down. As each person in the circle took a turn introducing herself and sharing her story, relief began to wash over me. I remember thinking: These women are describing exactly how I feel. I’m not alone.
I’m not crazy.
I can’t tell you how validating (and supremely comforting) it was to recognize that I was not the only person on the planet struggling with postpartum depression. That I had nothing to be ashamed of. And, most importantly, that it did not make me a bad mother.
Hopelessness and chronic anxiety, sleeplessness and crying had dominated my frame of mind since my daughter was a few days old. I was terrified to be alone with her, and I dreaded nighttime because I knew it meant that I would not sleep.
Walking to the mailbox was a feat. I did not want to leave my living room.
But when my haven began to feel like a cave swallowing me whole and my fears grew more irrational and the crying did not stop, I decided it was time for help.
I reached out to my family, talked with my next-door neighbor (whose kindness and grace will forever be cemented in my heart), called my doctor and went to Moms Supporting Moms meetings every week.
Quickly, I began to heal.
The women in that group – the new moms like me and the “survivor moms” who facilitated our conversations – helped save me.
If you’re a new mom struggling with postpartum depression or anxiety, please know that you are NOT alone. Ask for the help that you deserve. Check out a Moms Supporting Moms meeting.
And please know that you WILL feel better.
I’m living proof.
*Join us for StrollerThon fundraiser on Oct. 2 at Bond Park in Cary -- good exercise, great fun and an important cause. All are welcome – strollers not required!