By: Graeme Seabrook.
To me those are the most powerful words in the English language. In any language, come to think of it.
When my son was born I lost myself. I became an angry, sensitive, anxious, scared, jumpy woman who tried to cover all of those feelings and who failed. I failed a lot.
Family and friends told me that they loved me. My mom told me that I was a great mother. She told everyone how great a mother I was. It made me feel like the biggest fraud on the planet.
My family told me exercise and fresh air would help.
My doctor told me that medication would help.
My therapist told me that talking about it would help.
I took walks, I took the pills and I spilled my secrets and I waited to feel better, to feel normal. And I did feel a little better, but I still felt so alone.
Then, one day I wrote a blog post about what I was going through. I wrote about the panic attacks when I tried to leave the house and the anger that seemed to come out of nowhere. I wrote about sleepless nights and how desperate I was to just enjoy my baby and how heavy the guilt was that I couldn’t. I clicked ‘Publish’ and I waited for the condemnation to roll in.
The first comment was simply two words on my Facebook page: Me too.
And I started to cry. I rocked and cried while the emails and comments and messages came in one after the other from moms who were going through the same thing, or who had gotten through it. That is when I really started to feel better.
We are, none of us, alone. About 950,000 of us will suffer from a maternal mental illness each year. That’s 1 in 5 moms. When you are struggling it can feel like you are all alone, but here’s the thing you need to know: Depression LIES. Anxiety? LIES. OCD? LIES!
There are so many moms just like you, and me. We are stronger when we are together, when we can look each other in the eye and say: Me too.
We would love to have you join us at one of the three support groups that we run in the Charleston area. Please click on this link for more information.