If I Survived PPD, I Can Survive Most Anything

Since the new year began, I’ve had several situations loom over my head like a dark, ominous cloud.   All sorts of situations that I won’t get into detail here.  I’ve posted recently about and shared with friends in recent weeks the fact that I seem to have reached a turning point with the publication of my book.  A turning point in which I promised myself I would no longer let ghosts of my past continue to keep their stronghold over me.  My personal mantra has become “If I survived postpartum depression (PPD), I can survive most anything.”

In essence, ever since the start of this year–and it’s merely a coincidence that I’m vowing to stay on this path right now, at the beginning of 2013, but this is NOT any kind of new year’s resolution because I never make any–it’s like I’ve been self administering cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) by realizing how certain ways of thinking and behavior are self-defeating and highly detrimental to me and then telling myself to think and respond differently.  Basically, I’m going to be more self nurturing.  Because, you know what?  I’M WORTH IT.

So, what exactly am I going to do differently?  Well, for starters:

  1. I am going to say what’s on my mind when people say obnoxious things to me. I used to hold back, only to kick myself afterwards for doing so.
  2. I’m not going to let old crippling thoughts take control of me, like automatically thinking “Why me” and retreating under my covers (both figuratively and literally) in despair.
  3. I’m not automatically going to cower in defeat like a dog with its tail between its legs when I experience ANY kind of bullying–whether it be at work or online.  By “any” kind of bullying, I mean isolation tactics too, as excluding people deliberately is a form of bullying.
  4. I am going to continue my mission in maternal mental health advocacy, of helping moms feel less alone in their PPD experience through this blog.  I may be writing less frequently because, as time goes on, the anger that ignited the passion in this blog is waning.  Yes, anger used to fuel the stream of words that easily appeared in my blog posts.  Without anger, there is no passion.  Without passion, words fail me.
  5. I would like to increase my efforts when it comes to anti-bullying advocacy and providing support to teens struggling with issues of self esteem and bullying (support I needed but never got when I was a teenager).  For example, on January 30th, I learned about Noah’s struggle, and I immediately started to write a letter to him and didn’t stop that evening until I completed it.  I know and am very happy that so many caring individuals have written to Noah.  You can still do so.  He is turning 13 on Friday, February 8th.  Click here to see the Letters for Noah Facebook page where you can find out how you can help.
  6. And last, but certainly not least, I am not going to let my fear of speaking prevent me from speaking in front of people–be it on PPD (and my book) and/or on bullying.  They say some people fear public speaking more than they fear death.  Well, while that may not necessarily be the case for me, it comes pretty darn close.  I’ve been and will continue to keep the valuable tips I gleaned from Nicole of NWK Consultants in mind during speaking opportunities.

Basically, I am determined not to have any reason for karma to come biting me in the a$$ one day.  I want to live out the rest of my days knowing that I will do the best I can for my family, myself and whoever else I can help along the way.  I want to provide the kind of help I didn’t have when I was a teen and then a new mom struggling with PPD–both situations in which I felt alone and desperate.

This sign, which I stumbled across on Facebook and pinned a couple days ago, says it all for me.  I keep these words firmly engrained in my mind whenever there is a hint of thought that wants to derail my self esteem and put me on the glass half empty train.

If the words of this sign pertain to you, may it give you the strength to carry on as it is helping me.

BE PROUD OF YOURSELF.

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12 thoughts on “If I Survived PPD, I Can Survive Most Anything

  1. Ivy, hello. I stumbled across your blog while I was looking up sleep deprivations symptoms. I am a mother of 2 daughters. I have a 4 year old and a 6 month old. At 5 months postpartum I woke up with a super racing heartbeat and was taken in an ambulance to the local hospital. My heart was in afib and ever since that night I cannot sleep more than 2 hours at a time without waking in panic. I had thorough examinations with doctor and cardiologist..even went for 2nd and 3rd opinions. I cannot get to sleep at night for fear I am going ot wake up with that rapid beat or die in my sleep. My pregnancy was good until about 6 months when baby was constantly kicking me at night and I could not sleep. At 37 weeks, I developed preeclampsia with not symptoms other than high blood pressure. I was induced and had a very scary delivery, epidural was horrific crashing my blood pressure 3 times, after baby my bp would not come down and had to experience magnesium sulfate for 4 days. I definitley have post traumatic stress from the event. I know my not sleeping is contributing to my panic attacks and not feeling well. I need to get to sleep. I am on Zoloft 50 mgs for about a month now. I do have ativan to take before bed but have not taken it..I’m afriad to. Any thoughts or suggestions would be greatly appreciated! Thank you for sharing your story with us! Starr Kav

    • Hi Starr, Well, I am glad you stumbled across my blog! You have really gone through so much from your traumatic delivery and now your experience with panic attacks which is preventing you from getting the sleep you need. Having gone through some of what you are going through, I can totally understand how anxious you feel about not being able to return to your old self. I am glad you have sought medical treatment. Are you finding that the Zoloft is helping? Are you still experiencing panic attacks? I think the Ativan was prescribed to help with the panic attacks and until the Zoloft can fully kick in. I don’t think you necessarily need to take the Ativan right before bedtime. I remember taking my Xanax during the day. Have you thought about seeing a therapist that specializes in PPD? You can get a list of some near you via this site: http://www.postpartum.net/Get-Help/Support-Resources-Map-Area-Coordinators.aspx. And Postpartum Support Int’l has a warmline 800-944-4PPD that you can call with your concerns and questions you may have. Please keep me posted on your progress!

  2. The work you do is so important & I can tell how passionate you are about bullying & PPD. It’s clear you were meant to do this. You have made me feel so welcome & accepted in this huge online world & I can’t thank you enough for that. I didn’t know about that boy Noah so I checked out the facebook page & it’s amazing the support that he is getting from so many people & I love that you wrote him a letter :) Keep doing what you are doing!! xo

    • Hi Andrea, Aw, thank you so much for the kind words! Your support means so much to me! Why would I not welcome and accept you in terms of the PPD blogging community? We need as many PPD survivors sharing their experiences with others. Each voice is important, and the more voices we have speaking up, the better!

      You are such a warm and caring person, and I am SO glad we met. I’ll never forget that you drove so far from your home to my book event in S. Hadley last April. I am glad you are part of the PPD blogging community, and are helping moms in your state! Hugs, Ivy xo

  3. You were the first light at the end of my dark tunnel, Ivy. I will never forget that. Don’t ever stop doing what you’re doing. We are stronger because of what we have been through…you rock sister. Hugs…..

    • Hi Julie! I’ve been thinking about you! Sorry I couldn’t respond earlier! I haven’t heard from you in so long! Hope you’ve been doing well! Thank you SO much for leaving me such a warm and caring note! I so want to hug you! xoxo

      • I am doing so good. I am weaning of antidepressants..and seeing where that takes me. I am finally feeling like a human. It’s taken me 3 years.. but I think I might be there! Big hugs to you too! Maybe one day…:-)

        • I am go glad to hear this! It would be lovely if we get to meet one day! And I would very much like to keep in touch more via email. Since I have your email address, I will drop a note to you now and then. I believe you have mine as well. Take care, and hugs.

  4. Hi Ivy – I loved this passionate post! Go girl! Your life resolutions are inspiring ! And you are growing and moving towards other passions besides the PPD work you already do! I am proud to know you! I love your statement about not letting karma bite you in the a**! Good resolution! I think I’ll borrow it. And, Yes exclusion is a form of bullying and it is painful and puzzling. People are funny, adults do it all the time, cliques abound then we wonder why bullying exists? Children do as we do, not as we say. Take care, Kathy

    • Hi Kathy, Aw, thank you SO much for your support, as always! I am so grateful to know someone like you, so like-minded, empathetic, and understanding. Our paths were meant to cross! We inspire each other! :) I don’t understand what makes people do what they do that end up hurting others. A superiority complex? Or an insecurity complex? Regardless, it’s mean and it’s unnecessary. And it makes me feel like I’ve time traveled back to my teenage years. And I’m NOT going to let it get to me!!!!!!!!!!

  5. Ivy, your words and your work inspire. Your mantra has become my mantra as well. There is no stopping us. We are worth it. I am continue to work towards showing myself more self kindness. Hugs.

    • Hi Jen! Thank you so much, my friend. Means the world to me to have such supportive friends like you! You inspire me with your blogging and the work you do with the Mama’s Comfort Camp crowd. And yes, there is NO stopping us!

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