postpartum depression

Healing in Connection with Others

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I remember well what it felt like to be unhappy.

It was exhausting. It was isolating. It was such an unnatural state like my body was to be in. It was rejecting my emotions by making it physically painful to be so sad.

Post-partum anything is nuts. The period after you give birth where you try to make sense of a seemingly new world order is tough for any mom. I had just brought two beautiful boys into the world. They were healthy and they were happy. Why couldn’t I be?

I will never forget the moment when I read the story of another mom who had been diagnosed with post-partum depression (PPD), and who had anger escaping her, hurling itself at the people she loved the most, with such lack of self-control, that she was scared. Something changed inside me as I read her words.

It was like she was telling my story.

When I saw myself in another woman’s story, I felt immediate permission to hope. I wasn’t alone in what I was experiencing. I wasn’t a lost cause. Maybe, just maybe, I would be happy again.

As I read my story in her story that day, I connected with her. She didn’t even know it, but her bravery in telling her story, her bravery in being real and honest and flawed, made it okay for me to be real, too.

That moment was the beginning of my new life.

It has been eight years since I read that story. And those eight years have had ups and downs, but mostly ups. Along the way, I have discovered that there is one thing that elevates a person’s health, happiness and wellness to increasingly new heights, and it’s actually very simple.

That one thing is connection.

I define connection as the energy that exists between people when they feel seen, heard, and valued; when they can give and receive without judgement; and when they derive sustenance and strength from the relationship.
— Casandra Brené Brown

The one thing that wraps itself around each and every helpful wellness technique, from healthy eating to mindful gratitude practice to making time for movement, is the fact that all of it, every single last bit of it, endeavours to make you feel connected.

• Connected to your real self.
• Connected to your body.
• Connected to your soul.
• Connected to the people you love.
• Connected to your community.
• Connected to people who share your story.
• Connected to source, a higher power, or whatever resonates with you.

For the last few years, I have been busy creating safe spaces for people to be real among a tribe of like- minded others who get them, hear them and make it safe for them to no longer feel alone.

And through that experience, I have learned that life is a series of moments in time. It’s in those moments that we are offered a simple choice: to feel alone and disconnected by our challenges, or to choose in favour of our happiness and thrive in connection with others.


Originally published: November 2, 2017

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Sarah Hutchison, Contributor and co-owner of She Thrives

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Sarah Hutchison is co-owner of She Thrives, an innovative women’s wellness centre in downtown Belleville, and co-founder of Bliss B4 Laundry, a company that hosts life-changing, transformational wellness events for women. Sarah is a creative soul, spiritual mama, and an ever-passionate rooter for the underdog who loves to meditate, read thought-provoking books, and write about life.