I’m working on my story for the Biographie project. There’s a fair bit of procrastination going on. Like this post, for example. My story is about my depression after Finn was born. That’s circa 2012, folks. But it lasted a reaaaallly long time. It lasted so long in fact, that the question of whether it really was PND or whether it was stress brought on by a string of shitty events around that time is still up for debate.
I’ve been “mommy blogging” for almost two years and I still haven’t shared my biggest challenge in motherhood so far. It was hard to live through, so naturally it’s hard to write about.
When I start to write about the experience, I have clarity about the whole thing. I hear a story about someone having PND or I recall one of the countless conversations I’ve had with someone who went through something similar. I get angry at society for not talking about it enough. I decide it’s my responsibility as a human being to be honest and help to bridge the gap between common knowledge about having babies and the reality.
LIKE, LET’S START TALKING ABOUT IT GUYS!! WOO HOO!
So I start writing.
And then I start to worry that maybe one day Finn will read my story and that he might wonder about us. Me and him, back in the day. And whether my depression effected him somehow. Or worse, that maybe he had something to do with my depression.
I worry that I’ll be labeled Depressed. I had depression. I’m not Depressed. But I also understand how stigma works. And how humans sometimes work. I worry that some people will judge me and that they’ll talk. OohooOooooh. Scary!
So I’ve had to keep reminding myself of why I’m telling this particular story for the Biography project in the first place. I remind myself that mothers are suffering and they really shouldn’t be. The statistic, which doesn’t represent all the unreported cases of postnatal depression, is 15%. I’m doing this for all the women, like me, who don’t seek help. The ones who seem happy.
I have an entire theory on why women in today’s society suffer postnatal depression. It involves the politicizing of the family unit, socially constructed gender roles and Bourdieusian theory on the structure of suburbia. I’m super edumacated on the whole thing. Apparently I’m also a total hippy because the upshot of my theory is that we should all go live in a commune.
Everyone keeps saying “it takes a village”, but the majority of us spend most of the newborn months at home with our babies alone at home, isolated and unsure and sleep deprived and we are suffering. So while we continue to suffer, shouldn’t we also continue to talk about it until a solution is found? (I’m also open to suggestions outside of the commune idea.) I feel like if I can go some way to help the conversation, I’ve done my part.
And if Finn reads it I’ll explain to him that he actually saved me. I had to get up every day for him. I won’t have to explain that the love I have for him is bigger than the sky in Montana because he already knows that. And I’ll never stop telling him. And if people talk? Hopefully they’ll also share a link to the Biographie project.
Biographie launches in two weeks! I’m so excited to share stories from an amazing group of beautiful mamas who are kicking off the project with honesty, introspection and humor. We’ll be launching with nine stories over nine days and then one each week after that. If you have a story you would like to share, go up to the Biographie tab in the menu bar and click on the drop down “submissions” for more info.