About two years ago, one of my dearest friends very unexpectedly and very late into the postpartum period, began suffering from a horrible perinatal mood disorder. The Postpartum OCD from which she suffered permeated her life and was further complicated by the fact the her physical health was the source of her anxiety. In addition, she had already had one uneventful postpartum period and two uneventful pregnancies under her belt. And, she almost made it through the second postpartum period unscathed. And then...nearly 8 months after giving birth she began to experience symptoms that were terrifying.
My friend recovered and I was honored to be a tiny piece of that happy ending, by providing her phone and email support. She, upon getting back to herself, sent me the sweetest note and a flipbook filled with inspirational quotes. Happy and healthy or in the midst of a horrific nightmare, everyone could use a little lift once in a while, right?
I keep that flipbook on my desk. The one at which I do all of my work for both church and for advocacy and support for perinatal mood and anxiety disorders. Each week, I close my eyes and turn to a page where my fingers fall. Whether it's God or just the way the quotes are written, they always seem to be exactly what I (or sometimes maybe you readers) need to hear. The above quote is the one I happened upon today.
If you do a search for faith and hope on my blog, you'll find that the two topics are popular labels here. Hope is something I've defined as THE most important component in recovery from PPD. Faith, well that's also important. Whether it's a religious or spiritual faith, a faith in yourself or your support system when you can't have faith in yourself, or even a faith that the treatment you've chosen will be effective, you must have faith.
Today I am hoping to be a little kindle or maybe fuel to your fire. Even if you can't see or feel it, it is burning deep and powerful inside of you. May your fire burn every last bit of the suffering you endure into ashes and may the winds of change blow those ashes away forever.