Why I’m Proud I Had Postpartum Depression

Share Button

postpartum depressionI stood at the podium and looked out at the crowd and had such an overwhelming feeling of pride. I’m so proud to be a mom who had postpartum depression.

It’s a strange thing to think, probably, but I felt certain of it. I’m not ashamed. Really. I can look inside myself and search every corner of my soul and my psyche and I’m not ashamed at all. I’m not embarrassed. Disappointed in some ways, yes, because I would have preferred to have a happy time with my beautiful boy when he was born. No doubt about that. Postpartum depression is not what I would have chosen, and I wouldn’t wish it on anyone. Yet, it chose me. It wormed its way into my brain and stayed for a nasty while and I did my best to fight it off, often in ways that weren’t very pretty, but I did chase it away eventually. Me, plus the medication and the therapy and my family.

Postpartum depression chose me and gave me a different path to my life and now I get to know all of you. The vast majority of my readers and many of my dear friends are women who’ve been through some form of postpartum depression, so I get to know what PPD moms are like and I’m here to tell you they’re wonderful. I’m surrounded by PPD on all sides because of the work that I do and out in the world people might think that means I’m inundated with crazy, or with weak or undesirable. They couldn’t be more wrong.

I don’t think the world would be so judgmental, so quick to dismiss or make fun of or blow off or question, if they knew people like Morra Arons-Mele, who founded We Are Woman Online and the Mission List. Or Stephanie Stearns DulliJill Williams Krause of Babyrabies. Morgan Shanahan, who writes the blog The 818 and is a fellow Babble Voice and BlogHer’s entertainment editor. Advocates like Lauren Hale, who created the #PPDchat on Twitter or Amber Koter-Puline, who runs the Warrior Mom Book Club, and Adrienne Griffen who created Postpartum Support Virginia. Catherine Connors, the editor-in-chief of Babble. Becky Harks, founder of Band Back TogetherHeather KingCasey MullinsEmily EllingKristen HowertonAllison McDonaldJenni Chiu, Erin Margolin, Sharon DeVellis and Alexandra Rosas. Rita Arens, author and senior editor at BlogHer. Miranda Wicker and Kate Sluiter and Beth Ann Ballance and Addye and Susan and Esther and Robin and Kimberly and Yael and Alena and Jenna and Mirjam and Yuz and Jaime and Jen and Cristi and Andrea and Lindsay. Heather Armstrong and Molly Wizenberg and Andrea Scher and Kathleen Schmidt. These women, and so many more I can’t list all of you, are stunning human beings. If you knew them you’d know there are so many moms just like you, who’ve gone through exactly what you have, who struggled so mightily with pregnancy and new motherhood.

If you were lucky enough to be surrounded by all of these people in one room, all of whom have struggled with postpartum depression or anxiety or PTSD or psychosis or antenatal depression, you’d could see how outrageously special and wonderful women with PPD are. You would see that you’re not the awful person you think you are right now.

Go look at all of them. Look closely. They are you and you are they. It’s no wonder that I’m proud.

Share Button
About Katherine Stone

is the founder & editor of Postpartum Progress. She was named one of the ten most influential mom bloggers of 2011, a WebMD Health Hero and one of the top 25 parent bloggers using social media for social good. She also writes the Fierce Blog, and a parenting column for Disney's Babble.com.

Tell Us What You Think

Comments

  1. *sniff*
    and… YES.

  2. Thank you – for everythign you do for this community of warrior moms.

  3. Thank you for this. The times I got to meet you and some of the other women you listed in your post are some of my most emotional and fondest memories.

  4. I complelety agree! PPD changed my life in many many ways. I couldn’t be happier than I am now helping others to reduce the pain in their own unique journey of poor maternal mental health.
    Go Katherine!

  5. postpartumandpigtails says:

    Finding this community of women was the beginning of healing for me. I don’t know where I would be if I hadn’t found this amazing support. And I can’t thank you all enough.

  6. thank you, katherine. you saved my life.

  7. You know, I’m glad I met the women I have met because of PPD but I would trade that ANY DAY to never have gotten PPD which translated into Bipolar Disorder. It seems like people lately are trying to make these illnesses trendy. I had days where I would ignore my family to talk to these women. It shocks me that anyone would ever say they’re proud having had the illness. Whether you’re proud to have had it because you’ve helped others or the relationships made because of it, I would trade it in a heartbeat. I have helped hundreds through my blog and yet still, I’d trade it in. This baffles me.

    • I don’t think there’s anything trendy about it, Pamela. I do appreciate your position, and I’m sure there are other people who feel the exact same way you do. I respect that you don’t agree. For me, though, I am proud. I’m proud to be associated with all these women who have struggled and triumphed and who continue to struggle and do their best to get through every single day. This doesn’t mean that I don’t recognize how awful it is — as I said in the post I wouldn’t wish it on anyone else.

  8. I feel the exact same way. 100% proud of it, an open book about it and confident in who I am after it. And you (and all the Warrior Moms you listed) are inspirations to me as I seek to make a life where all I went through, and all that I learned, helps me help other women through their journeys.

    And I share your disappointment in the fact that we did have it and were robbed of that happy newborn time… which is why, at two years later, I now can actually consider having a second, I am excited at the prospect of actually having that time this go-round. (And terrified of PPD coming back, but actively working with my therapist to avoid that as much as possible!)

    Bring. It. On.

  9. Seriously, Katherine. You have me in tears here. This was so very beautiful. So very. And I am honored to stand among the many you mention here today. Thank you for sharing. You are amazing, woman, and I am beyond thrilled to know you and have met and hugged you.

  10. ::fist pump:: to all of this…and to us.

    We are a force to be reckoned with, that is for sure!

  11. *soaked tissue clutched in my hand* Thank you for this post. And thank YOU for being you – and amazing. <3 you SO much.

  12. You are amazing. As are all of the women you listed. This website gave me hope at a time when I felt all was lost. I am so thankful for all of your hard work, and your inspiration. I recently “came out” to my family (I had been keeping it a secret) and was treated with love and open arms. Now that I’m through the darkness, I feel so empowered to help others the way you have helped me. Even if my story helps one other person, that is one more person who knows they, too, can beat this.
    Thank you again. :)

  13. Fighting back tears. I feel the same way.

  14. So moving and so true! Love it

  15. Katherine, this made me cry happy tears. I am so blessed to know so many of the women on this list. My motto is if I can overcome PPD, I can do anything.

  16. I don’t know whether to hug you or high five you. Both! And ditto.

  17. I think we can’t forget http://ivysppdblog.wordpress.com/

    • Absolutely Walker. There’s so many people. Fadra Nally too. Kimberly Wong. Melinda Hamby. Dawn Greene. Susan Stone. I’m fortunate to know so many, but that’s also a problem because I can’t possibly list all the names of these fantastic people!!

  18. I agree! 100%!! I hate what PPD stole from me, but I feel that by fighting and meeting my amazing support system (many of which you’ve listed above) that I am better for it. It was hard to imagine I’d ever feel that way, but PPD made me in to a fighter and a survivor. And many of the skills I had to learn in order to beat PPD helped me survive my divorce. I love you K!

  19. And now I’m swelling with pride. I can’t say enough times how this amazing community of fellow warrior moms saved me. How meeting you in NY in 2010 and surrounding myself with some of the very women you’ve listed here — thanks to your beacon of light that allowed us to find each other, was the beginning of the end for my PPD. Like you, through community, through family, and through strength I overcame it, and like you there’s no ounce of shame or regret for having had to wage that battle, because I know I’m only better for it.

  20. This is a community I never imagined I’d belong to, but found myself increasingly grateful to be accepted into. So proud to be a part of the circle of support. xoxo

  21. This makes me cry, because I remember coming to your site almost four years ago, so grateful to find a community.

    SO GRATEFUL.

    Thank you, Katherine, for building a community where every woman has a resource, support, love and acceptance without judgment.

    Thank you, Katherine Stone.

    And to all the women mentioned here: you are fierce and stronger than WOnder Woman, no matter what our minds tell us on those days–we are SO STRONG.

  22. I just want to say “thank you” Katherine. Knowing I wasn’t alone helped me recover from PPD and PTSD. It’s been almost ten months since I won the battle. Without this community of warrior moms, I know it would have been so much harder for my recovery. I really appreciate all that you do.

  23. sarah freeman says:

    think there might be a difference of language here which is why I disagree. I agree about meeting extraordinary people who helped me get better, and realising how great life can be and how wonderful I am :-) but PPD was a bitch, a liar, a soul sucking killer that tried to wreck me and my family.
    I am not proud, nor ashamed, lets be clear, but I am furious, very angry, that such a thing exists and that it got a hold of me, and had been slowly picking me away for so long before I realised. Stupid, awful, liar, killer. That’s how I feel.
    But I think what you mean is that you see this, and agree, and you got through it in an extraordinarily positive way?

  24. Hi Katherine – What a great thing you have created. An awareness of this very real mental illness and also the transformational effects of shifting and working through such a personal experience. I have tears in my eyes. thank you.

Trackbacks

  1. [...] What moms with postpartum depression are like, and why this mom is proud to be one of them. (Gorgeous post, Katherine.  [...]