On June 20, 2015, women around the world will be participating in a grassroots event by going on a walk or hike outside on the longest day of the year to shine a light on postpartum depression (PPD) and related illnesses. This event is called Climb Out of the Darkness.
Climb Out of the Darkness® is the world’s largest event raising awareness of PPD, anxiety, PTSD, psychosis, bipolar, and pregnancy depression. The event was created by and benefits Postpartum Progress Inc., a registered 501c3 nonprofit organization that raises awareness and supports pregnant and new moms with these illnesses.
I’ve participated in Climb Out of the Darkness every year since it started three years ago. The first year I walked up the street and back. The second year I participated in Northern Virginia’s Climb at Great Falls National Park. This year I’m very excited to announce I’m LEADING a climb here in Fredericksburg, Virginia.
Struggling with depression and anxiety during and/or after three pregnancies, there have been too many days I haven’t been able to see the forest through the trees. Too many days where the thought of having another task added to my routine would make my anxiety skyrocket, causing me to shut down
It’s hard to believe it when you’re in the thick of a maternal mental illness, but it gets better. I’ve learned that, like grief, there’s no set time limit and it varies for everyone. Even now, I’m still struggling with my postpartum anxiety 16 months after L’s birth whereas I was already off medication and feeling fine by the time G turned 15 months. But this time I know things can get better and that’s what keeps me going.
If you had told me a few years ago that I’d be leading a fundraising event benefiting a non-profit focusing on maternal mental health I wouldn’t have believed you. The fact I’m in charge of anything other than keeping my kids alive proves that I’m getting better.
Climb Out of the Darkness is open to anyone supporting our cause. Fredericksburg is one of four Virginia Climbs this year. You can join and only fundraise. You can join and only Climb. You can join to merely show support! It doesn’t matter if you’re a survivor, still fighting, or never struggled. If you want to crush the stigma around maternal mental illnesses and help moms struggling with them, then we want you on our team! Registration is required but free and fundraising is optional.
Team Fredericksburg will be meeting at Alum Spring Park on June 20 to enjoy a picnic lunch before taking a walk around the park. Nothing big. Nothing fancy. Just an excuse to get outside to enjoy the outdoors with fellow Warrior Moms and the people who support us.
What other ways can you help moms around the globe?
* Donate! Even $5 can offer a struggling mother some hope. Sponsorships are available and start at $250. Not only will this support Postpartum Progress, but also Postpartum Support Virginia, another non-profit that provides Virginia residents with information and support. 15% of the funds raised by team Climbs in Virginia will be donated to Postpartum Support Virginia. Worried about how your donation will be used? Check out Postpartum Progress’ 2014 Impact Report.
* Attend our SweetFrog fundraising event at Eagle Village June 12-15! Bring in the flyer or tell the cashier you support Postpartum Progress and a portion of your sale will be donated to Postpartum Progress.
* Raise awareness! I’m hosting a giveaway on my personal blog through June 20. Help raise awareness about maternal mental illnesses and Climb Out of the Darkness for a chance to win one of two Silpada necklaces!
* If you work with pregnant and new mothers and babies or a mental health advocate, please consider attending the screening of Dark Side of the Full Moon on Tuesday, June 9. Tickets are $12 and a portion of the sales will be donated to Postpartum Progress. Tickets will be on sale until 3:30pm on Tuesday, June 9. I’m teaming up with Adrienne Griffin, founder of Postpartum Support Virginia, to host two opportunities for discussion of the film: a Facebook chat on Wednesday, June 10 at Team Fredericksburg's Facebook page and a conference call on Thursday, June 11. Both discussions will begin at 7:30pm.
I hope you’ll consider helping us shine some light on maternal mental illness. Even if it’s simply sharing this post with your family and friends, as a fellow Warrior Mom, I thank you.
Register or Donate: http://bit.ly/COTDFredericksburg2015
For more information about Postpartum Progress and Climb Out of the Darkness: http://postpartumprogress.org/
For more information about Postpartum Support Virginia: http://www.postpartumva.org/