Why I Climb #ClimbOut

On Saturday, I’ll join with other Warrior Moms in Newark, Ohio and around the world to Climb Out of the Darkness, the largest event in the world raising awareness for postpartum mood and anxiety disorders. I’ve already written about it, but I’m joining with a bunch of others to tell you why I Climb.

I’ve written about my journey with postpartum depression and anxiety before; I’ve shared about my intrusive thoughts. I remain open about living life with Generalized Anxiety Disorder and depression.

But I have a good story about Why I Climb.

Late in the school year, the fourth grade social studies teacher put on a Market Place. Teams of three or four worked together to create something with their own hands, market it via signs and word-of-mouth, set up a display at the market, and sell their goods.

BigBrother worked with three other great students to create an inventory of rainbow loom bracelets. In the first letter that came home to parents, the teacher asked us to help—but not do all the work. Following these instructions, I reminded BigBrother to work on his bracelets in the evenings when we watched Jeopardy and Wheel of Fortune together.

The final weekend before the big event, I sat and worked on a number of bracelets with him. I couldn’t get the actual loom process down, so my oldest son walked me through the process of making a bracelet on my fingers. His hands guided my hands as he helped me put little rubber bands on my fingers, helped me count enough to make a bracelet, helped me latch that first one. And the second one. And most of them; I wasn’t very good at latching. We spent an hour, just the two of us, working on bracelets, picking out colors, and generally enjoying each other.

We arrived at the Fourth Grade Market Place right as it started that morning. Our kid and his three teammates grinned from ear to ear. I picked out a few bracelets—ones I didn’t make—and paid for my purchases. All four students thanked us for coming and supporting their project. We walked around and checked out what each group of kids made. We congratulated them all on a job well done.

That afternoon, about an hour or so after the boys got home from school, BigBrother came into my office.

“Mom, when we split up the profits, we each got to keep ten dollars!”

I stopped typing and turned to him. “That’s great, Buddy. You worked really hard!”

“Our teacher suggested saving some or donating it to a charity. So I want to give mine to your charity to help moms.”

And then I couldn’t feel my toes.

You know that thing where you talk a lot and you think maybe your kids aren’t hearing anything you say? Or, maybe hearing but not retaining any of it? I live in that space. I talk a lot. I talk about big topics because my husband and I have this giant desire to raise kids with awareness and respect for their world. When I changed jobs last year, they asked questions about the work I do. I answered them. I said that I worked for a charity that helped moms. I explained more; I included talk about my anxiety of which they are already aware. They asked on and off for a few months, and then I thought they forgot or didn’t care or maybe it finally stuck, but I didn’t expect the latter.

Turns out it stuck.

I gathered my son in my arms, which seems increasingly harder as he won’t stop growing, and hugged him so tight. I then took us straight to my CrowdRise page, explained each step of the donation process, and had him enter his information. In his donation note, he typed, “Thank you for helping moms.”

If you had told me ten and a half years ago that someday my oldest son would stand next to me and type those words as he made a donation to Postpartum Progress, I would have laughed at you. Or not laughed really. I would have stared blankly at you. I would have worried you had it all wrong, had me confused with some other mother who knew what she was doing and could raise a child to ten, let alone one.

But here I am. Here we are. I Climb to help all moms so they don’t have to suffer in silence like I did.

Why I Climb Out #ClimbOut

I Climb for all three of my children. I fought hard to become the mother I am today, and I hope as they grow, they too know they’re never alone in anything they face.

You can still register for Climb Out of the Darkness. Find a Climb and register today. It’s free and you don’t have to fundraise. If you can’t make it to a local Climb, I’d be honored if you’d donate to my Climb.


Help Me #ClimbOut of the Darkness in 2016

As you know, I work for Postpartum Progress. This year, I’m excited to finally participate in their annual fundraiser, Climb Out of the Darkness. I’ve missed previous years due to the fact that we’ve always been on vacation when the #ClimbOut near me took place. Not the case this year, so I can get my Climb on!

#ClimbOut of the Darkness, 2016

The Climb funds the non-profits mission to create healthier families by raising awareness, reducing stigma, providing social support and connecting mothers to help for perinatal mood and anxiety disorders like postpartum depression. Not only does it bring moms still fighting postpartum depression and other mood and anxiety disorders together with survivors and their support people, but it funds a lot of what we do as a non-profit all year long. I can let you know, as Katherine just sent us the final draft of our Strategic Plan, we have lots we plan to do! We just need the money to do it.

I fought postpartum depression and anxiety (PPD/PPA) after the births of both boys. Both times it came as a severe shock, for different reasons. With our older son, I didn’t know to expect such a thing. I’d felt so excited my entire pregnancy, so to experience a panic attack while still in the hospital felt completely shocking. With our younger son, I thought that since I’d experienced it once, so I knew what to do to avoid it. Nope. I ignored my symptoms a little longer with that one because I wanted to “power through.” It didn’t work. I got help both times, and am better for it. I now spend my days helping mamas. It’s really full circle.

And so, here are three ways for you to participate in my Climb:

  • Sponsor Me! You can donate to my climb. It’s a one time donation, not per mile or anything. I’ll be putting together a special thank you for all of my sponsors.

  • Join Me! If you live locally, consider joining me on June 18th in Newark, Ohio. Our Climb Leader has done this before and is a great leader. It should be a great day full of fun, sun, family, friends, and memory making. One of my friends already signed up to join me. Please let me know if you do so I can know to expect you. (The boys and my husband will be with me, too.)

  • Donate Something! If you’re a business or an individual who wants to donate something to help make the Climb day full of fun, I will put you in contact with our Climb leader. Water, snacks, music, juice boxes for kids, etc. I’m sure no donation will be turned away. We can’t use any of the money raised on our actual Climb day (obviously, as all money goes to Postpartum Progress), so we rely on donations.

Additionally, you can join in a #ClimbOut in your area as well. Go check out the many locations we’ll be Climbing this year.

I’m so excited to participate this year. I’ve already raised $50 of my $1000 goal. I set a lofty goal because I felt like I had to make up for the previous years in which I couldn’t participate. If you can help, I would feel really grateful, especially considering I know how the money will be used to help mamas who need it.

Thank you so much!