Today, at 1130 a.m. EST, a gathering will take place. A gathering that has been years in the making, has had some of the most amazing and dedicated supporters I’ve ever had the pleasure of meeting, and a gathering that celebrates the thousands and possibly millions of lives which will be saved in the years to come.
Senator Menendez, Rep. Bobby Rush, Carol Blocker, Susan Dowd Stone, Katherine Stone, Sylvia Lasalandra, and several other advocates are gathering on Capitol Hill to celebrate the enactment of the MOTHER’S Act. This is a momentous day indeed.
This past year I spearheaded a blog event to help increase grassroots support of this bill. Several other women also worked diligently to increase support and gather signatures for a petition which was presented to Senators in support of this bill. It was not an easy task. We had opposition. Opposition which attacked us like nothing I’ve ever experienced. They said things about us that simply were not true in an attempt to bring us down and decrease our support for the bill. But it didn’t work. We persevered through their words, through their hatred, through their guilt-ridden tactics. Was it easy? Heck no. But we kept on in the trenches because we had truly been IN the trenches fighting off our own battles with Postpartum Mood Disorders before our births as advocates. We knew what it was like to be tragically alone in that cold, damp place. And we were gonna be damned if we let that continue to be the norm.
Along the way, we proved our compassion for all new moms. We provided resources and supported them as they cried out for help in the darkness of their battle with Postpartum Mood Disorder instead of attacking them for choosing to use certain therapies available to them.We lifted women and families up with love, warmth, and cherished each one of their experiences. We cried with them, laughed with them, celebrated victories and comforted in times of loss and grief. We were there.
We won a good fight.
Today’s just the icing on the cake – the party.
But beneath that icing, rest assured we will continue our hard work. We WILL be there for all those who contact us, who lean on us for support, for reassurance that yes, YOU too can beat this beast.
Today though, I’m giving you permission to have your cake and eat it too. We’ve damn well earned it.
Well said, Lauren. Thank you for pointing out how many women have been supported and heard during this battle. We have not been spouting hateful ideologies. We have been caring for one another.
And, hasn’t it been interesting that opponents of The MOTHERS Act attacked specific, life-saving therapies instead of the disease itself? I wonder if they ever asked, “Why did this happen to me in the first place?” I wonder if they ever think about prevention of the disorder or understanding of what happened to them, instead of prevention of side effects at any one else’s cost? I wonder why they can be convinced that psychiatric medications caused their problems, instead of the myriad other possibilities?
I wonder if they ever consider true healing, and what that would look like.
Anyway, I’m still tendered from all the criticism of me and my amazing group of colleagues. Mostly my heart aches for the pain that would cause someone to react in such vile ways. But I certainly won’t be prevented from the following:
*being there for women who are suffering
*building programs that will support, educate, and research
Thanks be to God for this legislation.
AMEN, Cheryl. Amen indeed.
My heart aches for them too but as I say my prayers each and every day, they are all included in them. I pray for safety, for happiness, and compassion. For all of us. Because not one of us deserves to experience a Postpartum Mood Disorder but many of us have. I pray that those of us who have experienced walking down this path will be blessed to show compassion to those who are behind us.