The very first blog that I ever wrote, was basically a long-winded PSA about what I was experiencing in my life postpartum. Every day I had numerous people in my very large (and amazing) tribe asking me how new motherhood was treating me. I did a lot of smiling and nodding, a lot of saying what people wanted to hear, and A LOT of lying, before I actually shared my truth. That’s where my first blog post came in. It was my way of informing the masses of what I was dealing with behind closed doors, without having to repeat myself to every single concerned loved one.
I was completely blown away by the response I got. Of course I had people coming out of the woodworks to offer support, help, empathy, and so. much. love. But more than that, I had an endless stream of people filling my inboxes and call logs, expressing their gratitude for my candid vulnerability. There were so many people telling me of their battles with mental illness, asking for advice, and simply thanking me for sharing mine. I didn’t realize how prevalent mental illness is, or how completely underexposed it is on social media and otherwise. And it definitely didn’t occur to me that I would hit the hearts of so many other people, just by publicly word-vomiting my postpartum hell.
So after that, I continued to write. I wrote of my daily struggles, my ever-changing diagnosis, my tumultuous journey with doctors and medications, and most importantly, how I was juggling all of THAT with the earthquaking responsibility of caring for a new human. In the beginning, my blog served as a journal, but after a while, it became so much more than that. I quickly understood just how many people quietly struggle with postpartum mental illness, or mental illness of any kind. And I also realized, that I may actually be helping some of them.
When I was in the throes of my hell, the one thing I sought most was a story like mine. I had heard enough about how I was “going to get better”, or how “it wouldn’t last forever.” I wasn’t satisfied with my misdiagnosis or all of the other stories I had read of women with very different symptoms than mine. I just wanted to find ONE blog or article, that told the story of a woman whose most prominent first symptom was disturbed vision and disconnect from reality. A woman who had voices in her head constantly, paranoia of her partner and family trying kill her and her baby, delusions and hallucinations, and acute crippling panic. A woman who couldn’t sleep, eat, or do anything but fight to stay alive one more day. But the internet failed me for a long time.
After what felt like an eternity of searching, my browser landed on a postpartum blog that I could actually relate to. It was after that, that I was connected with a doctor who ultimately gave me the accurate diagnosis of postpartum psychosis which altered my life and path immeasurably.
Since beginning my journey as Honest Mama, my life has changed to an almost unrecognizable state. But the thing that has remained constant since my very first post, is the outreach of people on the internet telling me of their struggles, asking for advice, and thanking me for sharing my story.
So here I am, two years postpartum, with an undeniable nagging pull in my gut to continue writing and telling of my ongoing journey with mental illness. And THAT my friends, is why I’m back in front of my computer.
I am so incredibly hopeful that I can continue to reach the hearts of other mothers, fathers, and HUMANS through this platform, giving my times of anguish and hardship a bigger purpose.
Stay tuned for a weekly dose of honest, candid, and messy motherhood!