Six months have passed since I started this blog (that’s right, Sunshine Spoils Milk is six months old!), eight months have passed since I returned to therapy, and countless days, minutes and hours have become more meaningful because of both. You see, writing has always been my outlet. Whether I shared it or not and whether I published under a pseudonym or my own name didn’t matter, it was the words themselves that changed me. But I never imagined how my words changing others would change me, and that is why I write today.
I started Sunshine Spoils Milk as a way to hold myself accountable and as a way to speak openly and honestly about depression, postpartum depression, and the imperfect side of parenting. (And, if I am being totally honest with myself, I started this blog out of desperation: a last-ditch effort to save my sanity, my friendships, my daughter — from my instability — and even my marriage.) While some of my posts have stuck more closely to this theme than others, all of my pieces come straight from the heart and from a place of passion and compassion. As I opened up to the internet, purging some of my deepest, darkest secrets in blog form, I also opened up (albeit more slowly) to my family and friends. I found I was able to ask for help more easily and to share my feelings more readily, though I would be lying if I said I was better — and I know I am still a difficult read. I gained my voice as I gained my readers, and that is not coincidental. It was you, my readers, who reminded me I wasn’t alone and allowed me to become even stronger. How? Through your openness, through your candor, and through your bravery.
In the last six months I have been honored to have my words grace numerous websites, sites I admire and respect like HuffPost, Scary Mommy, Mamalode, BonBon Break, BLUNTMoms and The Good Men Project. I have become a regular contributor for Sammiches and Psych Meds and an advocate for Postpartum Progress, contributing to their Mother’s Day Rally and being an active runner (and #warriormom) during this year’s Climb Out of the Darkness event. I have written, and shared, more content in the last 31 days than I have in the last 31 years, and that is because of you — because even on the days I don’t feel like writing/especially on the days I don’t feel like writing I realize I need to. Those are the feelings that often don’t get written about, those are the stories that often go untold, and they are the ones we need to share the most.
But well beyond the list of credentials is something even more amazing: It is the something I have found within myself. I have found myself feeling confident in my abilities not only as a writer but in the areas of which I speak which I, again, attribute a great deal to this blog and to a sound investment in ongoing therapy. It’s ironic that it took me loosing my voice to a year-long battle with postpartum depression to find it, but I am finding it happened for a reason — and that reason is for you as much as it is for me. (As a friend says, “is it odd or is it God.)
Thank you isn’t sufficient, because thank you doesn’t adequately sum up everything you have given me. I’m just a strange voice on the internet, one you have listened and one you have followed up with, through comments and private conversations, with some of the most heartfelt messages I have ever read. And yet thank you is all I have. Thank you is all I can say.
So thank you. Stay strong, and keep moving forward.