This past week, I had the privilege of speaking about Perinatal Mood and Anxiety Disorders with the Moms’ weekly group I attend. It was a bit beyond my comfort zone as I am accustomed to supporting and disseminating information in cyberspace more than in person, something I hope to change.
One of the things I love about sharing information is the inevitable “me too,” which reverberates among the group, much like a pinball caught in a continuous loop in a pinball machine, refusing to exit until it has hit every available surface.
Think about how huge that is for so many of us.
Despite the fact that up to 10% of new moms struggle with a Perinatal Mood and Anxiety Disorder, many of us don’t have the PRIVILEGE of having someone we can say “me too” with at the end of a hard day with the baby in our arms and the struggling brain in our head.
“Me too” shouldn’t be a privilege.
It’s something we should be able to say without guilt, without fear, without shame, without stigma.
I have intrusive thoughts.
I didn’t love my baby at first sight.
I cried all the time.
I was inexplicably and illogically filled with rage.
I still wonder if my baby loves me.
I am scared to talk to my doctor about what’s wrong with me.
I wonder if I will ever be well.
I worry about everything and think everyone who sees me knows I am a horrible mother.
We all have these thoughts. They’re on parade in our head on a daily basis. For me, I even went as far to keep all the blinds down in my house because I was convinced that if anyone saw in, they would know I was a horrible mother. I felt as if I were living in a fish bowl. Saying “me too” finally helped that feeling to fade and I finally allowed the sunshine into my life.
This privilege, this “me too” phenomenon, is why I started #PPDChat and why I will always listen when a mother begins to talk about the emotional roller-coaster that is motherhood. Because we ALL deserve to have someone with whom we can say, “me too.”
What’s the one thing you wish you had been able to tell someone and have them respond with “Me too?”
Tell us in the comments.