I Was Alone…

I woke up this morning with snippets of Canadian singer Bryan Adams’ song How Do Ya Feel Tonight? in my head (I’m a child of the 80s and yes, I like Bryan Adams)…

is there anybody out there?
anyone that’s loved in vain
anyone that feels the same…”

“is there anybody out there?
anyone that can’t explain
anyone that feels no pain…”

we all need something new

something that is true
and someone else to feel it too…”

“is there anybody out there?……someone else to feel it too…” 

These lines stuck with me.  It was what I found myself dwelling on almost 10 years ago after the birth of my daughter.  10 years ago before the terms Postpartum Depression and Postpartum Anxiety were common and more well known.  10 years ago when I was falling into a pit hoping to be buried alive.

I was alone.  

There was not one person I knew at the time who could say, “You’ll be okay, I’ve been there.”  My diagnosis came one month after my daughter was born when I was sitting in the ER of the hospital wondering if I was dying of malnourishment.  Wondering if the mental pain would ever stop.  Wondering if I would ever be able to swallow anything and keep it down.  Wondering if the sight of my daughter wouldn’t cause hate and anger.

I was alone.

Once in the hospital, after they threw the term Postpartum Depression and Anxiety along with the word Severe in front of it at me, I was treated as if I was a typical case of Depression.  Medications were pumped into me.  Dosages were adjusted.  Sometimes they were changed.  Twelve days there and the only thing these professionals accomplished was making me a void, a void of all emotion, a true walking zombie or Data from Star Trek.  Not once in those twelve days did they even discuss my Postpartum Illnesses and what was causing them.  They didn’t offer me articles to read.  They didn’t suggest any books.  And lastly, upon exiting the hospital after almost two weeks, they didn’t offer me any therapists with Postpartum training or any outpatient programs focused on Postpartum Illnesses.

I was alone.

It wasn’t until 2014, when I noticed an ad on Facebook for a group called Postpartum Progress, that I would realize I wasn’t alone (yes, six  years later).  The name intrigued me.  I clicked and was taken to a group  for women who have or are suffering from a Postpartum Illness.  Hmmm… this was a concept I was unfamiliar with, a group of women, who like myself, suffered, hated their babies at one point, had intrusive thoughts, wanted to run away.  A group where we were not alone.  This, this is what I needed way back in 2006 after the birth of my daughter.  It is just upsetting that the community really didn’t exist back then and that it was most likely stigma that kept it from existing.  I mean, what mother can’t handle her baby?!

I wasn’t alone?

Postpartum Progress runs a pseudo race type of event to raise awareness and it is also the main source of their funds called Climb Out Of The Darkness.  Held on the Saturday closest to the Summer Solstice, women, men and children all over the world climb (or hike, run, walk) to tell the world we suffered and we are here to break the silence surrounding Postpartum Illnesses.  That first year I found Postpartum Progress in 2014, I did a solo Climb with just my husband.  I raised over $500 myself.  The next year and this current year, I have joined up with a Co-leader.  I have also become a Warrior Mom Ambassador trained in Mental Health First Aid.  I have helped several of my friends find someone that they or their loved ones can talk to about what they are going through within an hour of posting for help in our Warrior Mom Community.  Why?  Because…

I was alone.

I don’t want any woman out there to ever feel like that.  No mother should have to suffer in silence while robotically taking care of an infant that they are supposed to love and honestly don’t.  No woman should have to ponder and plan leaving their spouse and infant because it would be better for them (the spouse and child).  No woman should have thoughts of jumping off a bridge or crashing a car to end the mental anguish they are going through but can’t quite explain it to their doctor or are afraid to.  No woman should have to die from this anymore. 

I was alone… but that ends now.  I help so that no other mother has to be alone.  You are not alone!

#MaternalMHMatters #climbout #WarriorMoms

Resources can be found below:

If you would like to join my Climb or contribute: Stephanie Trzyna’s Climb.
If you would like to find a Climb in the area:  Climb Out Of The Darkness

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