I met Michelle almost three years ago, shortly after I became a new mother. As a mother of five, she became a great source of knowledge and support for me. I eventually came to know the rough outline of her experiences as a young mother, but it wasn't until she joined the project that I heard her story in detail.
It's a fine line we walk as mothers. What we decide to share with the world can be so deeply buried that it takes months to resurrect into words. She promised that she would be succinct in her writing and I believe she was. After reading the few pages she wrote, I believe that there is much much more she could have shared. I ask the women that participate to write about their experience with PPD. I want them to share what it meant to them, how it made them feel and whether or not they have recovered. Most importantly, we are coming together to share stories so that other mothers that have suffered or that are suffering can step out of their comfort zone and open up a dialogue with those that they love in pursuit of recovery. I believe women like Michelle are helping others do just that.
With Mother's Day right around the corner, I want to share Michelle's story. Survival in motherhood is more than just sleepless nights and terrible two's. Survival can mean the worst kind of humiliation for a mother suffering from PPD. It's balancing act on a high wire with a crowded street below. A woman with an acute mental illness, that wants more than anything to care for her family and babies the way she always dreamed. Happy Mother's Day to those mothers.