I’m Hannah. I’m a 25-year-old Sagittarius, whose favorite pass-time is laughing to tears with my tribe. I’m a native Oregonian, born and raised and probably never leaving. I am in love with my home state; it’s luscious green trees, the completely indecisive weather patterns and the incredible people who fill it. I have a loving relationship with food and a cold cider, and there is absolutely no shame in my fried food loving game. I’m a newly established stay at home mom, who absolutely loves her job around the clock. I was raised with the knowledge that there is absolutely nothing more important than your family, both chosen and not, and that is a principal that is firmly placed in my hard wiring. I truly believe that my purpose here on this beautiful ball of light, is to leave a legacy of love and connection as far and wide as I can reach. Most days you can find me spreading that love and growing my village.
I have an incredible man by my side, who is constantly helping, loving and supporting me in all of my craziness. He has so gracefully navigated a much less than easy situation, and shown me what unconditional, patient, and steadfast love looks like. He fell for me at a time when I couldn’t even love or care for myself, and loved me through a treacherous road of indecision and turmoil. Most importantly, when he chose me and this life, he chose Ollie, too. He fell in love with me, and fell (maybe even harder) in love with my son. He loves and supports Ollie fiercely, with no conditions or strings. As impossible as I always thought it would be to find my perfect partner, it happened for me. I have landed my soul mate, and I have to remind myself daily that he is real and all ours. How lucky am I?
Now, the most important piece to my puzzle, my 2-year-old son. Oliver David Schimmer-Wright is his name, and filling love cups is his game. He is a tiny boy in size, with a personality larger than life itself. He soaks up all the air in every rooms he enters, and I have yet to meet a person who doesn’t love him after meeting him. Like every mama, I am head over heels for my sweet baby. He has made my life far more fulfilled and purposeful, just by existing, and I simply can’t imagine a life without him in it. He is my light, my purpose, my joy and my reason for being.
When I gave birth to Ollie in December of 2015, I also gave birth to a new life. At first, it was a life plagued with paralyzing and terrifying postpartum psychosis, but now it is a life filled with joy and light – a juxtaposition that I still can’t even comprehend myself. I spent the better part of a year fighting for my life day in and day out. I fought through paranoia, panic, derealization, depression, fear, delusions, voices within me, and I fucking won. I’m on the other side of this battle now, standing tall with a sense of relief and achievement unlike I’ve ever known.
Although the worst of my postpartum is behind me, I live on with a permanent diagnosis of bipolar disorder. Mental illness is something that so abruptly entered my life, and unfortunately will never leave. My mental stability is vulnerable and my capacity to take on the every day challenges is lower than before, but my sense of confidence and strength is higher and more prominent than ever.
I am here to share my story with you all. The good and the bad, the triumphs and the failures, the beauty and the mess, the excitement and the monotony of living life as a mother with mental illness. If you want to read about real shit, you know where to find me.
Jay Eads // Monique Serra Photography // Amanda Meg Photography