Prompt: Pretend you’re making a time capsule of you & your health focus that won’t be opened until 2112. What’s in it? What would people think of it when they found it?
The first thing my husband said when I told him I was participating in the WEGO Health HAWMC again this year was, “which health issue are your going to write about?” We both laughed. Because you see, I’m a mess. This year in addition to the anxiety, I’ve battled antenatal depression, have a newborn and thus am guarding against a PPD relapse, have struggled with breastfeeding due to baby’s reflux and my OLS (overactive letdown syndrome), and have injured my back…again. But the one that still impacts me the most is my anxiety. Any of my other conditions have the added risk of triggering the anxiety, and possibly becoming worse because of it.
So I’m going to focus on mental health again this year, including postpartum depression, antenatal depression, and generalized anxiety disorder.
I’d like to think that on April 1st, 2112, my time capsule will be irrelevant. That anxiety and mood disorders will be so well-treated and understood that it will be incomprehensible to anyone who opens it why I have included the items I chose. That people will look back 100 years to a time when stigma surrounding mental illness prevented new moms from getting help and will regard it as barbaric. And while neither of those will probably happen, a girl can dream, right?
Bottles of Medication: If there’s one thing I have really learned during my experience with mental illness, it’s that psychotropic medications carry a heavy stigma. I didn’t realize how many misconceptions and negative stereotypes I myself held about anti-depressants until I was faced with the decision to take them. It took me nearly a year to make peace with my need for medication but now? I take my pills without any shame. I did nothing to cause my condition and I can’t magically wish it away or fix it with positivity.
Now I hope that in 100 years the pills will be a mystery. But if they aren’t, I’d like to think that they will be considered just a part of a person’s medical care, as necessary as a daily aspirin and just as banal.
Medical Journals and Research: I’d want people 1o0 years in the future to see how far the medical community has come. You know how they say that you have to learn about history so you don’t repeat it? I think that’s true.
Photographs: Pictures of moms and their babies – families who have overcome mental illness. These need to be included. They serve as a reminder that others have paved the way, proving you can survive and thrive. I do feel like I’m paving the way for future mothers – perhaps my daughters and their daughters one day. I want them to see that mental illness is nothing to feel shame about and can be triumphed over.
The Music of Lady Gaga: Just to mess around with the future folks. I’m sure they’ll look back and wonder what we were all smoking.
Of course, all of these objects will be lovingly contained in a stray baby wipes container. Cause that’s all I have lying around.