I am stunned by the response to my last post. I am alternately grateful, proud, terrified and moved to tears. In my haste to post it, I somehow disabled the comments. Clearly, I still need to keep visiting the help forums at WordPress. I was humbled and honored by both Katherine Stone and Lauren Hale linking to my post from their sites. Those two women helped me find my online support team. Once I enabled my comments, I was again humbled and grateful for the women who chose to share their stories with me.
I also decided to let my extended family know that I am a mental health blogger who blogs about her struggles with postpartum depression and anxiety. I am the oldest of twenty-one grandchildren on my father’s side of the family. To say that I always feel like the responsible older sister is the understatement of the world. I thought if I could help any of my cousins by sharing my story. I would rather tell my story and be a little embarrassed at first than risk them suffering alone in silence and shame.
In light of the tragedy in my area, I also opened up to my coworkers and my boss regarding my struggles. They do not know that I am a mental health blogger. I decided against sharing that information with them. I would like to discuss with my HR department at length regarding personal blogs and if there is a need to disclose this.
Now that I have opened myself up, I feel a bit raw and exposed. I have received nothing but love and support. I cannot stop projecting other’s judgement on myself even though it is my judgement on myself. I do not feel comfortable letting all my Facebook friends know that I have a blog although I would like to create a select list who could view my posts. Some of my Facebook friends are merely acquaintances or old classmates or former coworkers that I just don’t feel should have all this access into my life.
I know that I am writing a blog, and I am semi-anonymous. I do not have a Facebook page for my blog. I am a pretty small niche blogger. I should expect some criticism and judgement for telling my story, but it is scary to put those thoughts and words out there on the Internet for posterity. How will I explain my blog to my daughters? I don’t know. I don’t need to decide today. That is just what is mulling around in my head now.
To process all of this, I am using all the tools and resources that I have available. I do know that I have a place that I can go on Facebook that is a welcoming community where I can vent without judgement and learn different tips and techniques to help me cope. It’s the Mama’s Comfort Camp page. My lovely friend Yael Saar is the camp director, and I was honored to be a part of an incredible group of den mothers.
“Imagine a safe haven of Self-Kindness and support for moms:
A group in which all of our motherhood struggles are met with understanding, sisterhood, and hugs. Where we can safely spill our guts, ask questions, ask for ideas and commiseration, while knowing that we will not be judged, and not be given unsolicited advice. This group is a refueling station, where mamas from all over the world come together to vent, stomp, laugh, cheer, high-five, and more than anything: share deeply, and support each other in a completely safe space. And we don’t have to get dressed or schlep a diaper bag or car seat anywhere. We can do it all in our PJ, from the convenience of our Facebook streams. Welcome to Mama’s Comfort Camp Facebook group: a pool of resources, a bank of ideas, an ever filling reservoir of eyes and ears and shoulders and hugs.”