#pndsolidarity feature: solidarity and sisterhood by Caroline

With post natal depression it can feel like I am the only one experiencing what I am going through. Alone. Sole. December 2015 I moved online to find support, and was fortunate to connect with #pndchat which was set up by Rosey at PND and Me. Through this experience, I built a tower of support with other mums (all bar one of whom reside in the UK) who were going through or who had gone through post natal depression. I also connected with mothers in Australia and the UK who had experienced psychosis. The power of online media was apparent.

Caroline was fortunate enough to meet many people who form part of #pndchat and #pndfamily at a meet earlier in the year. It is clear through her post (originally posted on her blog) that these connections have made impact on her journey with PND. You can follow more about Caroline’s journey with PND on her blog Pop Tarts and PND.

onkfvc7h_400x400Growing up with a mum who was emotionally unsupportive took its toll on my interactions with other girls and women. I had no idea how to be sisterly, how to respect the opinions, life choices and beauty of other women. I was raised to be judgmental, I was a judgmental arsehole in my head…

Until I started to tweet the #pndfamily. I was greeted and reassured with electronic hugs, and I remember feeling quite awkward…I wouldn’t accept or like a real hug, so what am I supposed to do with twitter hugs?

I’ve been tweeting for 2 years about my post natal depression, electronic hugs are a mainstay of my online experience. I have learned the value of having someone to sit with you, in your darkest moments. Sitting together, being there, being kind when your depressed mind cannot remember how to be kind.

The sisterhood and solidarity shown to me in those early days helped me to learn, that I am capable of being nice, genuine and caring. That my empathy, kindness and experience have value not just to me, but to my family and other people who are struggling.

I was a jigsaw that was completely jumbled up. As I put myself together during the late part of 2014, the kindness of those people who had become my friends helped me to become someone better than I was before.

That’s why I still, regularly check and interact with #pndchat. Because I want to be there for others who are in their own dark, sad, depressed, anxious places.

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