Monday, October 15, 2018

Pregnancy Loss Remembrance Day

Today is International Pregnancy and Infant Loss Remembrance Day. I don’t often speak publicly about my own miscarriages, but today I feel the need to share. 

Grief is always hard, but unless you have experienced this particular type of grief it is hard to describe. Losing a baby means that not only do you grieve for the loss of someone you love, you grieve for all of the memories that you never got to make. You grieve for all of the tomorrows that you don’t get to have. You grieve not just the big things, but so many little things - skinned knees and first haircuts and learning to ride a bike. My heart was shattered five times, but even knowing the pain I still would never have missed the time I had with my sweet angel babies. I never got to hold them in my arms, but they live forever in my heart. 

My children taught me important lessons about my own strength, the utter devotion of my husband, and the kindness that even total strangers can show. The loss of my babies initiated me into a sisterhood of remarkable women who have survived horrible losses, but can still reach out a hand to lift you up. They brought a new depth to friendships I already had and brought some very special new friends into my life.  I am so grateful for the gift of my babies and all of the lessons that they taught me. 

In memory of Billy, Katie, the twins, Shrimp, and Little One.

Friday, June 8, 2018

No more secrets

This morning news broke that Anthony Bourdain had committed suicide. Earlier this week Kate Spade committed suicide. This has truly been a horrible week and I am heartbroken. I am heartbroken for Anthony and Kate that their pain was so great that didn’t feel they had any other options. I am heartbroken for their families and friends that have lost a loved one. And I am heartbroken for the world that we have lost such talent.

Every time a famous person commits suicide there are a rash of social media posts about how we have to destigmatize mental illness. I have posted it myself a few times. I talk a good game about how there is no stigma and no shame in mental illness. That makes me a hypocrite, because I hide my own mental illness. I have treatment resistant major depressive disorder. I have never before spoken those words to anyone other than my husband or a medical professional. I was ashamed. I was afraid that people would think I was weak. So I put on my happy mask and talked a good game about ending stigma. 

In hiding my own depression I have contributed to the stigma. No more! Today I stand up and openly say that I have depression. There is no shame in that. If somebody thinks that I am weak because of it, then that isn’t somebody I want in my life anyway. If a future employer hesitates to hire me because of it, that isn’t a company I would want to work for. 

So, now my secret is out there. It is a secret no more. And I feel hella strong right now.