Growing Pains

Today I'm writing a post I promised to Sarah Fader of Stigma Fighters*. The piece, about living with and being vocal about mental illness, is due tomorrow (ohai procrastination) and being part of Sigma Fighters is super important to me.

Also important is a piece I've been working on is a submission to the HerStories Project's upcoming publication Mothering Through the Darkness. I saw that the deadline was moved back a month to January 1st on the exact same day I was lamenting having missed it, and am trying to take that as motivation to, I dunno, not miss it again. The topic, mothering in the face of postpartum depression (and other struggles) seems right up my alley, right? Just like Stigma Fighters is right up my alley. Hello alley, here I am! I write for you now, you lucky bastard!

In reality, I am totally freaking out.

The Un-Secret Secret of My Postpartum Depression

Anyone peeking into any given moment in the months after my children's births would see a woman in the midst of a life-and-death struggle. I either wept or nearly wept as I paced the floor with Jonas, terrified to be alone with him after sixteen weeks of support in the NICU. Uniquely attuned to his feeding apnea, I was the only one who could feed him for months; that quickly morphed into a belief that I was the only one who could care for him at all. I was so sleep deprived that I experienced hallucinations and so anxious that my hands chapped from repetitive washing.

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