It’s been 5 years since I was diagnosed with postpartum obsessive compulsive disorder. At my lowest I was in a constant state of panic. There are literally months of my oldest daughters first year that I do not remember. Those days were supposed to be the happiest of my life but they were the exact opposite. I still look over my shoulder and wonder if the darkness will come back. Traumas like that make people search for meaning out of chaos or at least a way celebrate their victory over darkness. Postpartum Progress’s Climb out of the Darkness has become my personal way of celebrating my fight.
The first climb I led was a family and friends only affair. We met at the Zoo and talked about our struggles. It felt wonderful to bare my heart and share my story with family. I opened the second Climb I led up to the public. I only had one non family member register but she has become my co leader and friend. She led the Climb last year as I had a new baby and wasn’t up to the responsibility. She is straight up awesome!
I climb because I know how lonely recovery can be. I climb because I MUST make the hell that my family and I went through be worth something. I climb because I don’t want any family to feel like they are powerless in the face of PMAD’s. I lead these climbs because I know there is light and I hope to show other moms the way.
Climb Out of the Darkness® is the world’s largest event raising awareness of maternal mental illness, including Postpartum Depression, anxiety, OCD, psychosis and pregnancy depression and anxiety. The event was created and is run by the nonprofit Postpartum Progress Inc. Every year on or near the Summer solstice (the longest day of the year in the Northern Hemisphere), teams of mothers and their supporters gather to climb out of the darkness by walking, climbing or hiking together to help shine the most light on maternal mental illness and raise funds to support the work of Postpartum Progress.
Follow #climbout and #whyiclimb on social media for updates!