Prompt: Reflect on why you write about your health for 15-20 minutes without stopping.
This was one of my favorite prompts last year during HAWMC, and everything I wrote HERE still rings true. I write to decrease stigma. I write in the hopes that my story may help someone. I write to connect with my online community.
But these days? I’m really writing for me.
Baby No2 was born in December, and after a long, successful battle with antenatal depression, I was prepared to meet postpartum depression head on, with my team of experts. I scheduled appointments with my therapist and psychiatric nurse, and made sure to take care of myself, getting as much sleep as I could and eating well. And after a few weeks? I started to realize I was okay. I kept waiting for the other shoe to drop, so to speak, but it never did. And so with my therapist’s guidance, we set a plan in action that includes putting weekly/monthly therapy on hold unless I need a session. I check in with my psychiatrist’s office once in a blue moon, and I’ve already passed my 6-week physical check-up at the OB. I’m on my own these days.
Writing is one of the keys to my success. It’s my favorite method of self care (because peeing alone does not count as me-time, mamas) – and the time to decompress without a small child or screaming baby is priceless in the early postpartum period. But it’s more then that. Writing about my battles with postpartum depression, antenatal depression, and generalized anxiety frees me from my shame. It reminds me that I am a person suffering from these disorders and that I am more than the sum of my mental illnesses. If I can put my truth out there for the world to read about, then I know I can separate myself from the moods.
I hope my readers continue to come back for inspiration and hope. And I want to keep fighting the stigma surrounding mental illness by sharing my stories with friends and family… but ultimately, if my blog becomes only a love letter to myself? That’s okay, too.