As many of you know, I am a survivor of Postpartum Mood and Anxiety Disorders. In fact, I consider myself still surviving as I am still trying to navigate understand the why's and how's this happens and dealing with the guilt and sometimes embarrassment that goes along with it. Unfortunately, I was lucky enough to experience overwhelming mood disorders with the pregnancies, birth and aftermath of both of our pregnancies. I still feel like I lost 3 great years with my son in trying to brush aside and not deal with any of the feelings I was experiencing. Devastatingly, these got worse with the 2nd pregnancy and I was finally referred to someone who could help. This woman saved my life; not only in helping me understand what is going on but staying with me through my recovery, and continuously allow me to be involved in her ever growing effort to battle PMAD's. With time and the right kind of help, I did get better. This disease debilitated me so much it effected my work life and my family life. At the same time, I am so thankful to have gotten through the journey through my own personal hell to a place where I am proud of and enjoying motherhood. My relationship even grew stronger and I'm excited for the chapters I will experience with this little family we have become.
I have been joining this climb as a survivor for the past several years. I've been so thankful to the few members of my friends and family that have joined me in the past. Over the years of becoming the mother I am today, I have grown with PSI, become a member of the international organization, helped start the local PSI Chapter, became the chapter's web developer, became a volunteer with the Arizona Warmline and the technical contact for the warmline volunteers. Last year was particularly kind to my growth in this effort as I was given the opportunity to participate in a partnership with 2020 Mom and Women's Health Innovations which provided a scholarship to become a certified peer support specialist and help provide research in creating a peer support programs specifically for PMAD's. I was also elected onto the AZ Chapter of Postpartum Support International board. This year I was given the opportunity to attend a 2-day training to become certified in Perinatal Mood and Anxiety Disorders and surprisingly asked to lead the Phoenix 2019 Climb. I know I have huge shoes to fill providing the last couple of years and the successes of their events.
This year, I would like to be part of raising awareness of the mission of Postpartum Support International and raising funds for our PSI Arizona Chapter. This fundraiser is incredibly important to the successes of the AZ Warmline and the continued educational effort of our volunteer board. RIght now our funds through membership and the gracious donations that are personally given are used for basic phone services for the warmline and printing brochures for local health centers and educational fairs to hand out to families experiencing PMAD's. My hope as a board member is to help expand those services and be able to pay for volunteers and members to continue their education and certifications through sponsorship through the chapter.
Your support means so much to me! I wouldn't be where I am today without my family, my friends, my previous co-workers, my fellow PSI members and board members, the wonderful volunteers that donate so much time to this cause, even through their own recovery. I'd love it if you would come join me in the walk. If you know me, you know my event will be themed, fun for all ages and not require a whole lot of actual climbing. Register today! There isn't any financial commitment. Just signing up means you support the cause and you might come to my climb party. All donations and fundraising are just an awesomely appreciated perk!
I love you all.
Postpartum Support International's Climb Out of the Darkness is the world's largest event for raising awareness of perinatal mood and anxiety disorders, while raising money and building community.
You are not alone. You are not to blame. With help, you will be well.
If you or someone you know is suffering, PSI can help: Call 1.800.994.4773 or Text 503.894.9453