Letters from My
So Here's What Happened...
On August 20, 2023, I was admitted to the ER and diagnosed with Postpartum Psychosis (PPP).
According to the National Library of Medicine, PPP is "characterized by extreme confusion, loss of touch with reality, paranoia, delusions, disorganized thought process, and hallucinations." Postpartum Support International (PSI) states that it occurs in approximately 0.1% of births and the onset is sudden and often happens within the first 2 weeks postpartum.
Recovery can take up to a year, so at the time of this writing (one month since my initial ER visit) I certainly have a ways to go in terms of my recovery. However, as I've learned in a recent PSI support group meeting, "healing is not linear." With that in mind, part of my healing process is to write about what happened to me as a way to spread awareness of this rare mental illness.
Sharing My Story: The Intention & The Format
This is a nuanced, multi-faceted story that may look completely different from another mother going through this. So please keep that in mind while reading my posts — this is my lived experience, told the best way I can given how sick I was.
Also, I've decided to write my experience as a series of letters from my psychotic self. One, because for me, that version of myself was a completely different person, and it helps to compartmentalize in this way to make sense of what occurred. And secondly, as a survivor of this illness, writing these letters represent the complicated relationship I have with PPP. This writing is cathartic, and allows me to move past the shame and guilt of not being present for my family. Through these letters, I am getting closer to understanding that in my healing I'm becoming a better, healthier version of myself for them.