The Postnatal Project is 3 years old!
My first daughter was born in June of 2015. The Postnatal Project was born in January 2016.
When I think about the beginning of The Postnatal Project, it surprises me that I wasted no time in creating this space when I was in the midst of being so, so unwell. Mentally, physically, emotionally, spiritually... I was the lowest I'd ever felt.
Obviously, I was in a sleep deprived, bewildered state - so, timelines get a bit blurred. I hadn't realised that it only took me 6 months to build this fire in my belly. There was a lot to fuel it - disappointment in how I was treated, the isolation that I felt and the gap between what I felt I needed and what I felt was achievable given the circumstances.
My husband and I were chatting about the name. Initially, The Postnatal Project was about survival. How can I drag myself and others out of this deep, dark hole they call they postnatal period? How does one do that? What would that look like?
The name flowed off the tongue and it felt like home.
Now, the name has even more meaning to me. I've moved on from suffering so greatly and so deeply with a debilitating depression to a place of progressive self development. I have healed. But that's not where the road stops for me. The word "Project" really feels like a special place to "do the work" and uncover even more. It feels targeted, it feels sacred, it feels possible.
To progress to this place of not only surviving but absolutely thriving with a few wobbles here and there is of amazement to me and an absolute credit to my strength. I'm humble in most areas of my life but not when it comes to my recovery from postnatal depression. Anyone going through that right now knows how bloody hard it is. I'm here for you.
The Postnatal Project needed me but I needed The Postnatal Project.
Where would I be without this space? I honestly don't know.
Not only that, my children have benefited from this journey too. I am so passionate about perinatal mental health and I know how this flows on into the care of our children too. From this experience, I am able to offer such a holistic support system to myself, my family and the rest of the world.
I never wondered what would happen to The Postnatal Project when I healed because that just didn't feel like an option for me. It was relentless and felt infinite. Now that I am well and have been for quite some time, it still doesn't occur to me that this journey should be over. The Postnatal Project will never be over for me.
The fact that my experience still haunts me, is a gift for me - so that I can give the gift of knowledge and compassion to others. I am able to carry the fact that I will and can never forget. I can hold the weight of that. It is in my resilient nature to use that in order to build something else: hello, The Postnatal Project.
The mission remains the same: I refuse to utter the words "postnatal depression" in a hushed tone. But if you're ready to dig a bit deeper and not only survive, but thrive, you know where to find me.