The Blue Rose project is one that has come to me over a period of time and something that is very close to my heart. It reflects the exceptionally difficult journey that I have travelled since I was diagnosed with severe postnatal depression, the struggle that I have seen other beautiful women conquer and the hope that we have all collectively gained over time for health and mental healing.
As new parents we all share a common interest in raising our beautiful children to the best of our ability while simultaneously make the difficult decision to put our own recovery from mental illness a priority. Some of us bring our bubs into hospital with us, dealing with our confronting illness with courage despite watching the often severe toll it places on our husbands who are left at home alone while we receive acute care. Others make the difficult decision to come into hospital alone, suffering intense motherhood guilt while we try to remind ourselves that it is better that a child has a healthy mother no matter how difficult our separation.
Perinatal mental health disorders are prominent within our community. One in five women will suffer some element of this disease – that’s right – 20% of the population! Even so, it is a topic that is still not readily talked about, fully understood or accepted by our communities and workplaces.
If there is one thing that I have taken from this experience, it is a desire to increase awareness, provide education and give hope to other special mothers who are feeling alone struggling on their journey to recovery. If I can help just one mother to be reminded that there is light at the end of the tunnel, or to reach out for help when she is in the midst of personal despair, I will have been privileged to have worked on this project – no matter how large or small.
As my doctor often reminds me, “You have the right to look after yourself”. I hope that you too can find self-compassion and hope in your fight against this debilitating disease. I am assured that long-term recovery is possible. The more that we begin to talk with one another, the less isolated we will alone feel on our journeys.