But I grew into an online advocate because of Katherine Stone. She embraced me as I fumbled through the early days of running a blog, a website for struggling women, and my third pregnancy after two terrifying episodes of Postpartum OCD (which, incidentally, is what Katherine also struggled with during her experience with a PMAD).
If I had a question about something online, I turned to Katherine. She always got back to me and sometimes prodded me to do more and be more involved. More importantly, she always treated me as if I were equal to her, this amazing woman who had no fear about discussing the nitty gritty about PMAD’s online.
Postpartum Support International dragged me onto FB but where I flourished was on Twitter. I noticed, back in the early days of Twitter, that people were having these “parties” for certain products. I thought to myself, why can’t we do that for PPD? I floated the idea by Katherine and a couple other bloggers (Amber and Ivy). They were absolutely on board and Katherine whole-heartedly supported the beginning of #PPDChat.
#PPDChat is now the go-to hashtag for PMAD support on FB. There’s a closed FB group with over 350 members. I may have started it, but it wouldn’t exist if it weren’t for the experience, support, and genuine caring flowing from Katherine in my early online days.
She inspires more than simple advocacy (although few of us would dare call it simple – it is EXHAUSTING but worthy), she saves lives, she kicks stigma in the ass repeatedly, and genuinely cares about the people who reach out to her.
I don’t think she has any idea how many lives she has changed. How many advocates now exist because of her decision to live her life out loud. To stand up, shouting until she is heard, when the world expects us to sit down and be quiet. The passion in her heart far exceeds capacity and overflows abundantly to those around her.
To her family, a sincere and heartfelt thank you as well for sharing the woman of your lives with us. For without your support, all of us would not be the women we are today. I would be remiss to not acknowledge your important role in Katherine’s work.
Be proud – your wife, your mother, your daughter – she saves lives.
Below are several blog posts, written by women who celebrate how Katherine has affected their lives. To read them, you will need a box of Kleenex. These are women from all walks of life, women who found themselves covered in the dark mud of a PMAD but were yanked out of it by Katherine or found Katherine after they found their way out and now reach down behind them along with Katherine to rescue others who find themselves trapped in the mud hole of a Perinatal Mood & Anxiety Disorder. (Because let’s face it, no one wants to go muddin’ in a PMAD!)
Katherine, you’re changing the world with every breath you take, every stroke of the keyboard, every post, every outreach, every encounter, every awkward step outside of your comfort zone. You are loved, your work has wrapped the world over and made it a brighter place. We are always climbing out of the darkness with you and we will never stop.
Keep on keepin’ on, lady.
You’re not alone, and neither are we.
Jenny @ Tranquilamama: My Lifeline Through PPD & PPA
Robin @ Farewell Stranger: Postpartum Progress: 10 Years of Magic
Jennifer @ Bipolar Mom Life: The Relief In Finding Postpartum Progress
Danielle @ Velveteen Mama: My Postpartum Progress
Charity @ Giggles & Grimaces: Hope In A Computer
Jenny @ Jenny Kavensky’s Blog: It Takes a Village
Erin @ Erin Margolin: Happy Tenth Anniversary, Postpartum Progress
Morra Aarons-Mele @ Women & Work: In Celebration of Katherine Stone and 10 years of Postpartum Progress
Tina Duepner @ The Duepners: Cheers to 10 Years
Esther @ Journey Through PPD: Happy 10th Anniversary To Postpartum Progress
Ravion Lee @ Vain Mommy: Postpartum Progress Turns 10: The Woman Behind The Change
Kristina @ Sew Curly: Postpartum Progress Is 10
Rita Arens @ Surrender Dorothy: In Celebration of Katherine Stone
Katie Sluiter @ Sluiter Nation: I Am Not Alone and Neither are You
Cristi Comes @ Motherhood Unadorned: Postpartum Progress: Kicking Ass for 10 Years!
Tabatha @ Tabulous: A Love Letter To The Woman Who Saved My Life
Susan @ Learned Happiness: First and Last: Happy Anniversary, Postpartum Progress!
Deborah Forhan Rimmler via My Postpartum Voice: Guest Post – On Meeting An Angel
Beth @ Beth Bone: Thank You Just Doesn’t Seem Enough
Andrea @ Good Girl Gone Redneck: Happy 10th Anniversary, Postpartum Progress
Julia Roberts (not THAT one, the other one!) via Postpartum Progress: The Man Behind the Woman Behind Postpartum Progress
Jess @ Just Jess In the ATX (note – this was not written for the anniversary specifically but was shared to the FB page for the blogathon to show the impact Katherine had on Jess’ life and recovery, therefore, it’s shared here): Picture Perfect