It’s time to Climb Out of the Darkness in Atlanta, y’all.
1 in 7 mothers will suffer from a perinatal mood and anxiety disorder. And that’s only the number of moms who actually seek help.
Because of the stigma associated with mental illness, and with postpartum mental illness in particular, and because of the lack of mental health care for so many mothers, how many thousands more go untreated each year? How many moms and families suffer?
My hope is that with each passing day, one less mom and one less family know the darkness of postpartum depression and anxiety, or postpartum OCD, or any number of other perinatal mood and anxiety disorders which lie to new moms and tell them they aren’t worthy.
They are worthy. YOU are worthy. I was worthy.
In 2009, I was the “lucky” 1 in 7 because I had a history of mental illness before giving birth. Because of my pre-existing diagnosis of depression my doctors were quick to look for signs that postpartum depression was my welcome to motherhood present, right alongside the sleepless nights and dirty diapers.
Postpartum depression and anxiety robbed me of the joy of a new baby. They made me angry and bitter and resentful toward my husband, my friends, my family, and sometimes even my son.
There are gaps in my memory of Joshua’s first year. Milestones and moments I can’t remember because it took so long for me to come out of the fog of my postpartum anxiety.
I don’t want that for other moms. I don’t want that for any moms.
In 12 days, I’ll get in my car and I’ll drive to Stone Mountain and I’ll climb. Out of the darkness. Into the light.
I’ll climb alongside friends and survivors and mentors and other moms who’ve been where I’ve been. Who are where I am.
Together we’ll Climb Out of Darkness and we’ll celebrate Postpartum Progress and the work Katherine Stone has done for mothers with mental illness. The mothers whose lives she has saved and helped to heal through her tireless dedication to this cause that affects so many of us.
Mothers like me.
The Atlanta team will join teams around the world to raise awareness about the stigmas surrounding mental health and we’ll work together to break down the barriers that restrict access to quality diagnostics and treatment for mothers in need. But we need your help to do it.
I don’t have anything fancy to give away for helping me other than my gratitude and appreciation and the knowledge that in helping us you’re helping moms.
Postpartum Progress the nonprofit relies on the support of others, and the 2014 Climb is your chance to help.
While the national nonprofit has surpassed its fundraising goal for this year, the Atlanta team has set a goal of raising $5000, and we’re nearly there. So very close!
I hope you’ll help us continue to help others.