M’aider: help me
repeated three times in a row
internationally recognized distress call
Next 31 days – third May I’ve tackled mental health issues for a month straight
It is Maternal Mental Health Awareness Week, the beginning of a month dedicated to opening dialogue and resources to all women in the perinatal realm; that is, attempting to conceive, prenatal, postpartum, and living the dream. There are air quotes around that last phrase there – because sometimes mothering can be a nightmare – for too many reasons to list here, but May is a month dedicated to the mental health of mothers, be their struggles situational, emotional, or physical.
As maternal mental health is an issue close to my heart – and psyche – I endeavor to share my own experiences throughout this month and explore others’ and share information. The fact that I haven’t made it each May since the inception of this blog is an illustrative example of my life and the raison d’etre of the blog itself.
While I was blogging in 2012, I’d only just started my fifth month. And while I’d signed my name in ink and blood on its byline, I don’t know that I was fully in mind of where my daily life and mental health intersected. By 2013, I felt comfortable enough in the platform to tackle a month-long series to raise mental health awareness and work to eradicate stigma. Even then, I still saw the month as other; a separate function of my blog. I showcased the fabulous Blog for Mental Health Project, but hadn’t taken the pledge myself, feeling unworthy since my blog wasn’t dedicated solely to discussion of mental illness and health. By 2014, I was ready to laser my focus on not only mental illness, but the flavor that burned the back of my tongue after the birth of my third, inciting this whole process: maternal mental health. Ironically, this laser focus blew everything wide open. I began to realize that my blog was always focused on mental health even if I wasn’t discussing DSM or sharing the latest research; because mental health, whether an individual accepts it or not, affects every. aspect. of. one’s. life.
And then, 2015, I didn’t log daily posts during May. Perhaps I was burned out by the idea of daily posts with my three minions around. Maybe I felt I’d saturated my serial idea. I know I wasn’t naive enough to think I’d covered it all. Maybe I was naive enough to think my life had hit critical mass and I didn’t have the time.
Because in May of 2016, irony of all ironies, I gave birth to my fourth child. Another surprise. Another girl. But a new beginning with no mental health issues – other than the low-grade ones I’d been dealing with for the previous seven years. Needless to say, a month-long daily series did not occur with a newborn.
Enter 2017. I’m going to try to climb back on the horse, though it may look more like the dark ride of the ring wraith than the victorious march of the Mother of Dragons.
I’m not promising anything – except my ever-continuing support of all those struggling with mental health issues.