I’ve been candid about my struggles with miscarriages and postpartum depression (PPD) on my blog and in other media outlets (Scary Mommy, Honest Mom, etc.). Last fall, I was having a Facebook chat with Jessica Azar (Herd Management), whom I had met through a blog conference and as a fellow NickMom Ambassador. Jessica and I were talking about the insanity of the upcoming holidays, and I was joking around about the fact that I felt pretty good…now that I was on medication. At the end of our exchange, Jessica asked me if I would be willing to submit a couple of essays about my experiences with PPD to be considered for an anthology about mental illness she was editing with Alyson Herzig (The Shitastrophy). I jumped at the chance (why not?) and was delighted to hear that one of the essays I had submitted was selected for their Surviving Mental Illness Through Humor Anthology.
Today marks a pivotal date in my writing career, as Surviving Mental Illness Through Humor (SMITH) is finally released and available for purchase! While my own essay is about PPD, you’ll find a montage of essays about many types of mental illnesses: panic disorder, eating disorders, bipolar disorder, agoraphobia and more. You’ll read stories of struggle, and humorous accounts, but will be left with an overwhelming sense of hope in the end. Each contributor to the Surviving Mental Illness Through Humor Anthology illustrates that it is possible to live a fulfilled and meaningful life despite battling often crippling and debilitating mental illnesses. And, each contributor is sharing his/her story in an effort to destigmatize [mis]conceptions surrounding mental illness.
Not only are we, as contributors, attempting to share our [often insane and zany] stories to provide levity and comfort for others, but we are each contributing a portion of our proceeds to a charitable foundation close to our hearts. While most of the SMITH contributors are donating to a local foundation, I was adamant that my contributions go to a foundation that specifically dealt with miscarriage and recurrent pregnancy loss. I searched far and wide, but was unable to locate an organization, with such a specialized focus, in the United States (where I reside), so I have chosen to contribute to The Miscarriage Association, based in the United Kingdom (where I grew up). While The Miscarriage Association works to promote awareness, perhaps their greatest contribution is through the support they provide families who have suffered the loss of a baby in pregnancy. From their website:
“Those experiencing miscarriage often feel isolated and ignored, and understanding and sensitivity from friends and family can help enormously. It is much easier for people to give this when they have some knowledge about pregnancy loss and the impact it can have. The Miscarriage Association works with the media to raise awareness of these issues.
The Miscarriage Association works to raise awareness and sensitivity amongst health professionals through lectures, workshops and articles in professional journals. Their attitude and care can make all the difference in coping with the loss of a baby in pregnancy.”
I did not have this kind of support after my miscarriages, nor was I treated with sensitivity — these were all contributing factors to the development of PPD after miscarriage. My hope is that more support will become available for the many women who suffer the devastating loss, or losses, from miscarriage each year.
I share my story, freely and often, in hopes of destigmatizing the silence surrounding miscarriage, and letting other women and families know that they are not alone. I truly hope that you will take the opportunity to read my story, originally entitled Prozac Parade, and those of the 35 other contributors to the SMITH Anthology! Without further adieu, here are the links to purchase your copy:
Amazon Paperback ($12.99)
Amazon Kindle ($3.99)
Please note that the Amazon links are affiliate links; this means that I will receive a small portion of any of the sales of the book from Amazon.