The importance of family and support

I was devastated and then furious after I read the latest blog posts from my good friend, Anonymous Momma http://anonymousmomma.wordpress.com/2012/07/17/bye-bye-baby/  and http://anonymousmomma.wordpress.com/2012/07/22/just-when-i-thought-i-could-breathe/ She is a wonderful mama who became a Warrior mom after the birth of her second child, just like me.  We both suffered with postpartum depression and postpartum anxiety.  We differ in our current diagnoses – I continue to struggle with GAD (generalized anxiety disorder) and she received a new diagnosis of bipolar 2.  If you do not follow her on Twitter, you are missing out on a hilarious running commentary of this SAHM.  She is a fierce ninja who conquered PPD and PPA.  Now she’s taking on Bipolar 2, and I am placing my money on her.

What hurt my heart the most about these posts is the lack of support that she is receiving from her in-laws.  To accuse her of faking her illness is cruel.  Mental illness is an invisible illness much like diabetes.  We cannot open up our minds and show people the mess that is inside.  Our disability is not visible like someone with a physical handicap.  That does not mean that we do not suffer.  For many of us, depression and anxiety wreak havoc on us physically.  When I suffer panic attacks, I feel completely drained of all energy. 

I am grateful that I have family support from my family of origin and my husband’s family.  Not all of my in-laws are privy to my struggle with PPD and PPA.  I have two sets of in-laws.  I did disclose my struggle to my mother-in-law, and she has been nothing but a fantastic support to me.  I have confided in both my sister-in-law and my teenage niece, and they have given me so much love and support.  My stepmother-in-law has also been a great sounding board for my work/life balance issues by offering practical solutions. 

To my lovely friend, know that you are beautiful inside and out.  You have struggled with so much within just one year of Diva’s birth.  You exemplify courage every day.  You maintain your sense of humor even throughout all of your struggles.  I love your wicked sense of humor.  I am praying that your in-laws will grow to understand and accept how debilitating a mental illness can be.  I know that Diva and Monkey will be empathetic and compassionate children because they will be led by your example.  Just living your life openly without shame will pave the way for them to understand what an awesome ninja their mama is.

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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8 Responses to The importance of family and support

  1. story3girl says:

    I’m going to throw more love on the pile. You are both awesome mamas and I hope you can get the support you need from somewhere, even if it’s not from your family.

    • Thank you sweetie. I have found some of my support in the most unlikely of places (ie the Twitter). I never thought of myself as a big social media person, but now I cannot imagine my life without my Twitter friends. I wish for all of us to have more support from friends and family so that the stigma and shame would be removed.

  2. anonymousmomma says:

    Oh my dear dear friend. Thank you for those very kind words. I love you so much. You are about to make me cry with your awesomeness

  3. Lisa says:

    Yes, because faking an illness like that would be soooo much fun. There are all types of people in this world…I gravitate towards the ones who make my heart sing. The other ones, I just slowly back away. Sending your friend lots of support.

    • Thank you so much Lisa. It has taken me a while to realize that it is okay to back away from certain friendships or acquaintances that are toxic. I want to be with the people who “make my heart sing” too.

  4. Lance says:

    I am estranged from my parents and sister because I’m chosen to talk about my social anxiety disorder and being sexually abused as a 12-year-old. Mental illness is the same as heart disease or a physical ailment. The fact we still stigmitize mental illness saddens me.

    I’m so glad your blog and twitter are around for me to read and enjoy and learn from.

    • Lance, thank you so much. I am a huge fan of your writing and your blog, but I rarely comment. I get stage fright at times when commenting. I want to say the right thing.
      Hugs. I cannot imagine how difficult that must be to be estranged from your family. You are brave and honest for telling your story. If we keep quiet about our struggles, then we end up raising children who have unrealistic expectations of life. I tell my oldest who is 4.5 that I take “patience pills” to help mommy be more patient and not get upset. It’s a bit hard to explain anxiety, but I try to talk about how a particular behavior of hers would trigger my anxiety.

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