The amount of love and support I have received after my posts has been absolutely overwhelming. So many people shared both their words of encouragement and relief in the realization that someone they know has put a voice to the struggle that so many women face.
Honestly, it was a little uncomfortable sometimes, but that’s part of the journey, isn’t it? Growing requires us to leave our comfort zones. Growing is so many different things at different times, at least, that’s been my experience. In this case, it was extremely painful for me and required much introspection and reflection. I am on the other side of it now, but looking back at it isn’t easy, and while I have generally come to terms with my experience, there are still times where I would kill to have the first five month’s of my son’s life back. But I can also say that the intensity and weight of that feeling has greatly diminished.
Writing my story down had a very profound impact on me. It was one thing to quietly reflect on those days, weeks, and months, but another thing entirely to put it out there and share it with other people. It felt (and still feels) so…permanent? It was a huge risk but one that absolutely had to be taken in order to accomplish what I want, which is for no woman to ever suffer alone.
It was also very difficult. It felt like ripping my heart out over and over and over. Many conversations happened between me and D where he learned pieces of my journey that I shared and didn’t share. It really opened up a dialogue about so much of what I went through and what it was like for me and I feel like it has deepened our relationship.
Many of my friends also reached out and said they had no idea and they were sorry they weren’t there for me. Please know that I do not fault anyone for not knowing AT ALL. One of the lies that PPD tells us is that we are alone, that no one cares, that what we are thinking/feeling is so bad and so wrong that we can’t share it with anyone. I believed that lie and I felt (at the time) that I was protecting myself by not reaching out sooner and to more people. A few said they had no idea that’s what it was like, and even more said “that is exactly how I felt, I wish I knew that I wasn’t crazy.”
None of us are crazy. We all have our own journeys. Some of them are dark and heavy and hard, but they are ours. Knowing that I made other moms feel less alone in their experience means that all of the pain and discomfort of putting myself out there is and will absolutely be worth it.