The One Where I Delete My Compulsion to Delete

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I have had the serious inclination to delete yesterday’s post. DELETE. Not that I will, of course. But there’s something about telling people you do NOT have it all together that is very frightening.

Don’t be vulnerable in public, for goodness sakes. Vulnerable around friends and family, okay. Your community, sure. But when it comes time to be a leader, nope. Especially not when you’re planning to go round the world telling everyone how buttoned up you are and why they should give you money to change the status quo of postpartum depression. God forbid you appear to be wavering. Or hesitant. Or lacking in fortitude.

But then I remind myself, you don’t have to be fearless to be fierce. That’s my credo, and I’m the one who needs to be reminded of it more than anyone else.

You don’t have to be fearless to be smart and powerful. Or to make change. You don’t have to hide the fact that you have anxiety when you are an advocate for women with perinatal mood and anxiety disorders, DUH. You don’t have to have a special degree to know that change needs to come now for pregnant and new mothers.

I can’t pretend to be that other kind of person that barges into the boardroom.

Well, that’s not true, now that I think about it. I can. I did that when I was at Coca-Cola and I did just fine. But not about this stuff. This is different. This is my life and the lives of women and their babies we’re talking about. And there is data, there are numbers and I can put together all sorts of charts and I will because that’s what people will want to see but behind that is humanity, including mine. And vulnerability, including mine. And so I can’t delete the previous post or the one before that or the one before that because that would be in direct contradiction to the message of my life and of Postpartum Progress and the Fierce blog: It’s okay to be vulnerable and have fear and for those of us who have had or still crushing anxiety and doubts as we charge forward, that’s perfectly okay too.

No deleting.

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  1. One of the scariest things I ever did was to “come out” with all of my mental and physical problems – to share my weaknesses openly with the entire Internet. I still have those moments of fear before I hit “Publish” when I write about the bad times, of which there have been far too many.

    But it’s still been a [mostly] positive decision. When you get far more “hang in there” and “thank you for sharing” messages than the…other kind, you realize that your own vulnerabilities are just like everyone else’s. And while some people don’t get that, there are so many other people who are so grateful that someone else came out and said what they’ve been feeling for so long. It’s healing for them to realize they aren’t alone, and it’s healing for you, too. And that’s empowering in itself.

    Rock on, fierce mama.

  2. Like PSI says “You are not alone” in sharing what you have; I’ve been thinking and feeling this way for far too long. Speaking the truths about our experiences, when starting-up Postpartum Progress was like opening a window to let the fresh air in – to bring about the necessary changes in so many areas of perinatal health care. Since then your courage to bring about education, prevention and support to those needing it most is admirable and I thank you so much! Opening that window gave hope to so many women – women who can now have a chance at finding the Exit Door from many of the maternal mood disorders they may experience along the way to Motherhood. Kudos! and turn up the volume gal!

  3. What a beautiful post! more of us need to be vulnerable and real with each other! When I came out about my past anxiety and panic it was a scary thing and I was advised against doing it BUT I am so glad I did – so many of my clients relate to what I went through and it helps them to be more open too.
    Thank you for being fierce!

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