Finding my online tribe

I spoke about my tiny tribe of IRL warrior mom friends. Today I want to talk about my online tribe. I first discovered the PPD blogging community through Katherine Stone’s blog, Postpartum Progress. She has a blog roll that led me to several blogs about PPD. I read every chance I could get regarding other warrior mom’s struggles. I found Lauren Hale’s blog http://mypostpartumvoice.com, and I discovered the hashtag #ppdchat. I had heard about Twitter, but I was reluctant to set up an account.

After about two weeks, I took the plunge and set up a Twitter account specifically for joining #ppdchat. I found two lovely first-time moms: Story of http://hardtomommy.blogspot.com and Becky of http://blog.prismaticdesign.com/. They were so kind and did not dismiss this stalker person who kept tweeting them. I finally got the courage to join in on #ppdchat conversations, and I found comfort. The Internet saved my life. I knew one person who had experienced postpartum depression. This friend was in the midst of a contentious divorce. I felt like I could not burden her with my struggles. I found Robin of http://farewellstranger.com , Yael of http://ppdtojoy.com and Frelle of http://mademorebeautiful.com. As more and more women break their silence and shame regarding postpartum mood disorders, my circle of PPD moms has expanded exponentially within the past ten months that I have been on twitter. It was at these moms’ gentle encouragement that I found the courage to tell my story. My name is Jenny. I continue to suffer from GAD (generalized anxiety disorder), and I am a survivor of postpartum depression and postpartum anxiety. I am a proud member of the #ppdarmy. I continue to participate when I can on #ppdchat. This hashtag is amazing. There are moms around the globe that surround you with love if you send out a tweet when you are struggling. I have made some wonderful friends through this online support I have grown to rely on this network as heavily as I rely on my husband, my family, and my friends. As I start speaking up about my struggles, I am discovering that more friends and acquaintances have suffered from postpartum depression. It’s one of those things that is only spoken about in whispers. I am not afraid. I am not ashamed. I have a mental illness, but it does not define me. I am not just my illness. I am so much more. I have learned so much about listening and empathy through my experience with #ppdchat. There is an army waiting for you if you need it to surround you with arms of love.

About tranquilamama

Juggling parenthood, housework and working outside the home in the corporate world with my wonderful husband. Mom to 2 beautiful girls. PPD and PPA survivor. The title of my blog is after a phrase that was repeated to me in Spain during my semester abroad in college. It roughly translates to relax and calm down. Trying to tame my inner perfectionist and just be a good enough mom.
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20 Responses to Finding my online tribe

  1. Laura says:

    I can’t remember if I’ve commented before…but I’ve been reading. I’ve been a part of the greater blogging community for a few years, but recently found a new niche. Oh joy! I’ve had a hard time finding many PPD blogs. Thanks for the links!

    • Laura, thank you so much for reading and commenting. I just checked out your blog. The PPD community is growing by leaps and bounds. I will send you some more of the other bloggers I read. I hope my story gives you hope.

  2. Isn’t the internet amazing sometimes? I’ve found a wealth of love and support too during a very difficult time. And I’m so glad to have “met” you as well!

  3. jamesandjax says:

    Beautiful post, my friend. I wish I had discovered #ppdchat & my tribe a few months sooner than I did. Who knows how my recovery would have been affected! XOXO

    • Thank you Jaime. I consider myself so blessed to have found the #ppdchat community, you included. Your tips on anxiety was a lifesaver for me. I feel that my online support facilitated a much quicker recovery for me.

  4. Sandy says:

    This rings so true for me! Finding Postpartum Progress, then PPDChat, then discovering the many wonderfully honest blogs about other women’s journeys have been instrumental in my recovery. Well said.

    • Thank you so much Sandy. I spent my lunch hour at work just reading through Postpartum Progress and all the blogs. It was such a relief to know I wasn’t alone.

  5. Happy and proud to be here for you, mama.

    xo

  6. So glad to have met you, Jenny. I remember that first phone call and will never forget the gratitude I felt that my hardest story helped someone else and the hope I felt for you. And you’ve pulled through and have become such a part of the army. I’m so thankful for your support as well, and I second (third? fourth?) everything you said about #ppdchat.

    • Robin I am so grateful to have met you. I still have the email you sent me. It felt like a life preserver at the time. I clung to the knowledge that I would get through it I still struggle with rage, but I am working on my triggers and taking a step back. Huge hugs for writing about the most difficult time in your life. It saved me.

  7. I am so happy to have found this tribe,. I have been looking and I feel found,.

  8. I feel so honoured to know you & to be part of this amazing army of women. Like you I stumbled across this group while watching my twitter feed & seeing the #ppdchat hashtag & it’s all gone from there. Love you lots my angel & keep being the amazing woman you are xoxo

  9. @YaelSaar says:

    It is an honor and a pleasure to be a part of your tribe, and I’m so grateful that you are a part of mine. hugs and love, my friend.

  10. Pingback: Online support and setting boundaries | tranquilamama

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