I woke up extra early this morning…4 am extra early. My thoughts were whirring with plans for tomorrow and next Thursday.
Tomorrow, I will join with family and friends to walk a 2.2 mile route in the beautiful park Independence Oaks in Clarkston.
You can still join us. Sign up here–https://www.crowdrise.com/charitycole-cotd2014/fundraiser/charitycole or donate at the same URL if you would like. All money raised will go to the non-profit organization Postpartum Progress.
Postpartum Progress gives hope, help and community to families living with a postpartum mood disorder, including, but not limited to, postpartum depression, postpartum anxiety, OCD, and psychosis.
I found Postpartum Progress 3 years ago as I fought my own battle with postpartum depression (PPD) and postpartum anxiety (PPA). I felt so alone as the struggle raged months after Patrice was born. I didn’t understand all that was going on. I mean, I knew what situational depression had looked like for me at previous junctures, ie., an engagement called off over the phone or long hospitalizations with Multiple Sclerosis. I knew and understood those experiences. This? Not at all the same. My thoughts raged day and night.
“I must escape.” “My family deserves so much better.” “I need to die.” “I can’t stop moving.” “My thoughts make no sense.” “I can’t keep up no matter how hard I try.”
How could I think these things about this amazing family?
Thing is, I didn’t, but I didn’t know how to make sense of my thoughts. I didn’t know what was going on. Finding Katherine Stone and her non-profit organization Postpartum Progress was the first step in finding understanding and community.
I met her via her blog and then connected on twitter. I followed her to the twitter group, #ppdchat; women who were or had lived it. Women who could help me make sense of my thoughts. Women who talked me through suicidal thoughts until I was safe again. Women who supported me through two hospitalizations. Women who have become friends.
We have found and created community. And I found it all through Postpartum Progress.
Now it is my turn to give back.
Tomorrow’s walk is just that, me giving back, me helping the 1 in 7 women who will have a perinatal mood or anxiety disorder.
But my efforts will not end tomorrow. I have one more fundraiser on Thursday June 26. I have partnered with Noodles and Co. in downtown Royal Oak to raise money for Postpartum Progress. We will get 25% of all dine in or take away meals if the customer mentions Postpartum Progress/Climb Out of the Darkness–or has a printed flier.
We will, of course, have yummy Noodles food (family favorite here!!!) and there will be a kids activity to add to the fun. Please come join us from 4-9!!!! And please mention Postpartum Progress/Climb Out of the Darkness.