For the third year in a row, I am organizing Hoboken's Climb Out of the Darkness - a walk to shine a light on maternal mental health illnesses - as a woman, a mother, a survivor and a volunteer activist. COME JOIN US FOR FREE by clicking "Register" and meeting me on Saturday at 11 AM at Maxwell Place Park.
After Rebecca was born in 2011, I suffered from severe postpartum depression and anxiety. I knew I ran the risk of the disease returning when I got pregnant again, but also that this time I would have the tools to tackle it at the ready, and there would be a light at the end of whatever tunnel I would find. After Lila was born in September, I found myself once again grappling with maternal mental health issues - this time the reverse - severe anxiety with just a bit of postpartum depression.
I am in the midst of recovery again, though light years ahead of where I was four years ago. So this year, I walk for myself and my two incredible daughters (and the husband that has been my rock throughout both struggles). I walk for the mothers who are suffering silently in shame, and those suffering who don't even know that is not how motherhoood is supposed to be. And I walk so anyone I know who knows a mom that may benefit from my experience can and will share it.
Postpartum Progress’ Climb Out of the Darkness™ is the world’s largest event raising awareness of maternal mental illnesses like postpartum depression, postpartum anxiety & OCD, postpartum PTSD, postpartum psychosis, postpartum bipolar disorder, and pregnancy depression and anxiety. Climb Out is held on or near the longest day of the year annually to help shine the most light on perinatal mood and anxiety disorders. The event features mothers and others across the globe joining together to climb mountains and hike trails to represent their symbolic rise out of the darkness of maternal mental illness and into the light of hope and recovery. Funds raised support the 501c3 organization Postpartum Progress (http://postpartumprogress.org).
I can’t wait for Climb Out of the Darkness 2015, to be held Saturday, June 20th. Mark your calendars and please join me!