postpartum depression, mother's day rally, maternal mental healthDear you, 

Today is Mother’s Day – *the day* to celebrate the miracle of motherhood. I know you’re being bombarded with it as we speak. But for many of us, that miracle is wrought with struggle and pain. Right now, you might not wish to celebrate. You might even want to forget. You might feel like the worst mother in the world.

You are SO not alone.

Each journey we take into motherhood (whether the first, second or fifth child) takes us to places we could never have imagined. Challenges unfathomable until right in the moment. The exhaustion of delivery. For some, the added recovery of an unexpected c-section. Sleep deprivation. Feeding issues. Adjusting to the realities of this new little person who depends solely on you (and your partner.)

That’s just the normal stuff. What all mothers experience.

Then there’s us: the ones thrown for an even bigger loop by postpartum depression, anxiety, OCD or psychosis. Sleep deprivation is the ultimate enemy. Anger or fear or tears are your closest companions. You feel isolated and alone. And I know that can seem insurmountable. Like you’ll never find YOU again. Like some other force has taken control of your body and mind. And in a way, that’s exactly what’s happened.

I want you to know this is not your fault and there truly is help. There are countless women who understand exactly where you are right at this very moment.

I see you. I have felt your pain. And here’s what I can tell you.

You are not a bad mom. In fact, you are exactly the mom your little one(s) want and need. You just need help:  real medical treatment for a real medical condition. It’s not all in your head. I promise.

It’s time to reach out. The sooner you do, the sooner help will find you. The sooner you’ll begin your journey back to you. Back to the newer, better, strong you who’s lurking under the shadow.

You are a warrior. I know it doesn’t feel like it today. But you truly are a warrior mom. You will find a way to fight. To win. To beat postpartum depression. To become the mom you’ve always dreamed you’d be.

You’ve already taken the first step. You’re here. You’re reading the words of moms just like you. And we’re here for you. Always.

~ Cristi

Cristi Comes is a warrior mom, wife and writer. An advocate for mental health, suicide prevention & positive self image, she blogs at Motherhood Unadorned. She’s at Motherhood Unadorned on Facebook and @MotherUnadorned on Twitter.

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Postpartum Progress, the world’s most widely-read blog on all things related to emotional health around pregnancy & childbirth, is a service of Postpartum Progress Inc., a 501c3 nonprofit devoted to raising awareness of postpartum depression and similar illnesses. Please consider making a donation today, Mother’s Day, so we can continue and expand our work supporting maternal mental health. Thank you!