I felt completely awful about myself when going through postpartum obsessive-compulsive disorder. Full of shame and guilt and ickiness. If there was a place lower than Hell, further South than Antarctica, darker than a black hole, I was there. I needed someone to help me see that rather than being weak and defective, I was strong. I didn’t feel strong, yet I was. Because as sick as I was I still tried to make it through each day the best I could. Even though I was violently ill, I made the effort to hold it together as much as I could to care for my baby, with breaks of falling apart in between. Looking back on it now, and knowing as many of you as I now know who have been through perinatal mood and anxiety disorders or are going through them right this minute, I see you as strong, beautiful women who are growing, albeit painfully, into strong, beautiful mothers.
Thus the inspiration for our logo, the Warrior Mom logo®:
When people see this logo or any of our named Warrior Mom projects, they can trust it came from Postpartum Progress. They know it’s peer-to-peer. They know the work is focused on effectively helping moms understand if they have a perinatal mood or anxiety disorder, providing those moms support, and helping them through recovery. It’s amazing to me how much the empowering Warrior Mom logo® itself has impacted moms. They’re getting tattoos of her. They’re getting jewelry made featuring her. What this tells me is that there was a real need. We need to honor our experience. We need to recognize that we aren’t defective. We aren’t at fault. We need to see there’s power in surviving. In making that very scary call for help and in being patient for months on end as our brains heal, all the while changing diapers. If you are currently struggling or have struggled in the past with a perinatal mood or anxiety disorder, you are part of our Warrior Mom community.
I’m excited about using our nonprofit to harness the passion of moms who’ve been there to help others. I’m even more excited that we’re changing the face of PPD. Keep kicking ass, mamas. We can do this.