The reason I write about my health is because I survived. I remember when I first started looking into the issue of postpartum psychosis, right around the time I blogged for Postpartum Progress, and I came across Melanie’s Story. This beautiful young mother sadly jumped to her death stemming from her own battle with postpartum psychosis. Although Melanie lost her battle, her mother Carol, went on to pick up her crusade. I’ve been blessed to speak with Carol by phone and I was just as amazed speaking with her as I was reading about her. I knew that as unimaginably difficult as it must be to share the loss of her daughter with the world, she was giving so many other woman a true blessing. She was raising awareness and allowing more young mothers, not unlike her daughter, to get help for this very serious condition.
After that I knew that I too needed to share my story to raise awareness, but also for a different reason. I needed to share it to show that there was life, and a very good life, on the other side of getting help for this illness. I was tired of seeing the most extremely negative stories be the first results of a Google search on postpartum psychosis. The fact is that only five percent of women with postpartum psychosis commit suicide, and only 4 percent commit infanticide. Yet those always seem to be the stories we hear about first. That means many, many other women survive and continue living their life after the illness, just as I have.
I consider myself very lucky. I am blessed with two amazing children, one of whom taught me strength I never knew I had, until I was forced to draw upon it. I realized a tremendous amount of love and strength from my husband, who was there every day taking care of me and our children, while I healed. I also realized the love of complete strangers, from the four people who stopped and called 911 when I had a complete breakdown on I-295 to the outpouring of positive feedback when I shared my story on Postpartum Progress, at Ignite DC, and everywhere else I get an opportunity to. My only hope each and every time I share my story is that it resonates with just one person and the ripple effect from that is unstoppable.
To learn more about the Health Activist Writer’s Month Challenge, visit the WEGO Health Blog.