Today’s post in celebration of Katherine Stone is brought to you by Deborah Forhan Rimmler, a member of the board of Postpartum Progress. There’s no intro to do it justice so I’ll just let you read.
I’m always curious about where God might pop up. You see, I’m the kind of girl who finds a connection to the Divine in random places—a quiet snuggle with my boys, when my husband loves me even when I’m being a jerk, a long bike ride, my dear aunt’s funeral. You get the point.
Five years ago I was struck with horrible postpartum OCD, the soul stealing kind where you have visions of hurting your own baby. Even then, I was still lucky. I had a swanky doula, got a great psychiatrist and slowly got better. Still, there was this huge gaping hole in my heart that only I knew was there. I swear you could see all the way to infinity and back that hole was so big. I was sure I would never really be happy again or be joyful as mother because this terrible experience haunted me. I put on brave face. I cared for and played with my baby. I prayed, tried to meditate, did yoga, and watched chick flicks. I did all my happy things. Only it was still there. That big gaping hole of fear and sadness over this experience.
Then I met an angel—the working class kind, which in my opinion is the very best type. You see, she is one of us. A human with no special wings or privity with God’s plans for the universe. She was just a very brave mother who had dared to share her story with the world about how she, too, had these intrusive thoughts about hurting her baby boy. And I mean the whole world—she put in on a blog! She just put it out there in a matter-of-fact way about how postpartum depression, anxiety, OCD and psychosis are simply treatable diseases. And she got other women to share their stories on her blog. And she gave up her lucrative marketing career, at a significant financial cost to her family, to build this blog day after day. For. Ten. Years.
Every story was just as beautiful and brave as the one before. And in these stories there was a divine truth that healed my draining soul. We women are not alone, and it is not our fault we got sick. I even felt God’s love for me, my sick brain, and all the other suffering mothers past and present in the community of these stories. And the gaping hole in my heart and soul got plugged with the honesty and bravery of these women sharing their truth. And one day I started to feel happy again. Full of hope for my life as a mother.
Thank you, Katherine Stone, for being that angel. Day after day you shine the light of goodness and grace on the dark side of motherhood helping to piece our broken hearts back together. And when that light sparks a sad, tired soul and starts to help it heal, you give the gift that only a true angel can give: Hope.
Bless you my darling friend and congratulations on the Ten Year Anniversary of Postpartum Progress!
Deborah is a postpartum OCD survivor and on the board of Postpartum Progress, Inc. She is a corporate attorney and lives with her husband and two sons in Western Massachusetts.