My Experience with Postpartum Rage

When you imagine someone with depression, you imagine them crying a lot, maybe sleeping a lot. I never imagined them angry, but anger and rage can be symptoms of depression, postpartum depression, other mood disorders and postpartum mood disorders. Before I went through severe postpartum depression, most people even closest to me would not describe me as someone with a temper. My husband, maybe at times, like when we fought, but even then, nothing like the rage I had postpartum at times. People would mostly describe me as happy and bubbly, even when I was pregnant. I honestly think sleep deprivation was the main contributor to my rage because it was the worst in the middle of the night, when my daughter would not sleep, and therefore I did not sleep. This made me so angry, because I was so exhausted, and the angry person I was becoming made me even more angry, a vicious cycle. I wanted to be happy and bubbly again. I felt like I was being the worst version of myself for my daughter and I did not know how to change it.  

I also showed the rage only at home usually around my husband and daughter where I felt the most comfortable. Unfortunately, we often take it out on those closest to us for this reason. This is the main reason my marriage almost ended, and this is what I felt the most guilt for when it came to how I treated my daughter postpartum. However, now she is almost 13 and does not even remember those moments. I have also told her about them and she understands as much as a 12 year old can, or honestly at 12, it seems like she understands better than most adults, and I hope that never changes. Since then of course, I have found healthier ways to take things out, or to deal with them before they come out in the form of rage. I do not think I am the happy bubbly person I was before my depression. I am pretty often, I mean I am a preschool teacher, but not as happy and bubbly as I used to be, and I don’t say that as a bad thing. I do not bottle up my emotions all day anymore and only let them out at home. I was not intentionally doing that before, more subconsciously really I think, but I of course learned this was not the healthiest thing for me or those around me. Also, when my husband I do argue, which is a lot less these days than even before my postpartum depression, and definitely a lot less than in the midst of it, there is not as much built up as before, and I don’t think I even have the temper I had in fights that I did before, although he may say otherwise, but don’t listen to him. Don’t listen to him about how many Amazon packages I order either. 

I used to have such a head in the clouds view of the world and since that world has been shattered, I have become more of a realist. I honestly hate it sometimes and wish I could be in the clouds again. I try to get closer to that again the more time that has passed, but I am still so scared to get knocked out of the clouds again and for that rage to return. I honestly do not think it ever would as strongly though, because I have been knocked down before, and it took a while, but I was able to get back up.  

Here is one good source I have found for those looking to parent without the constant anger and losing their cool and who want to enjoy parenting more. This one is aimed at mothers but currently, due to COVID, I think everything is online right now anyways through zoom, podcasts, etc. Even when in person they probably allow men, or could supply some other good resources for fathers as well I am sure.  Help for postpartum depression, anxiety and rage | Happy as a Mother


Bio: Amanda Dodson Gremillion published her first book in 2012. She began revising it in 2019 and republished it as Just Buy Her A Dress and She’ll Be Fine. The story chronicles her experience with severe postpartum OCD, anxiety and depression. Amanda is a graduate of Auburn University, and now lives in Calera, Alabama, with her husband, Jay, their daughter, Aubrie, and their two dogs, Honey Girl and Cooper. She hopes to write more books in the future. Follow Amanda’s journey on Facebook,  or twitter at https://twitter.com/AmandaGremilli2 and order her book here.  Also, follow her on the Mighty here Amanda Dodson Gremillion | The Mighty Contributor or listen to her podcast here Just Buy Her A Dress and She’ll Be Fine • A podcast on Anchor . You can also find her on Instagram here Amanda Dodson Gremillion (@justbuyheradress) • Instagram photos and videos.

Great Book for Explaining Postpartum Depression to Kids!

I ordered this book to read it myself before suggesting and it seems like a great book to explain postpartum depression to a small child whose mother may be going through it after having a younger sibling.

Bio: Amanda Dodson Gremillion published her first book in 2012. She began revising it in 2019 and republished it as Just Buy Her A Dress and She’ll Be Fine. The story chronicles her experience with severe postpartum OCD, anxiety and depression. Amanda is a graduate of Auburn University, and now lives in Calera, Alabama, with her husband, Jay, their daughter, Aubrie, and their two dogs, Honey Girl and Cooper. She hopes to write more books in the future. Follow Amanda’s journey on Facebook,  or twitter at https://twitter.com/AmandaGremilli2 and order her book here.  Also, follow her on the Mighty here Amanda Dodson Gremillion | The Mighty Contributor or listen to her podcast here Just Buy Her A Dress and She’ll Be Fine • A podcast on Anchor . You can also find her on Instagram here Amanda Dodson Gremillion (@justbuyheradress) • Instagram photos and videos.

Mothers Need Sleep and the Homeless Need Homes

In a postpartum support group I am a part of, mothers often post desperate for solutions to their baby not sleeping. Many are on medication and/or in counseling or trying other things to recover from postpartum mood disorders, but medication and therapy do not solve sleep deprivation. Many others will offer endless advice on how to get your baby to sleep through the night and if you try any and they work, that is awesome. I was one of those desperate mothers years ago who tried everything and my child just would not sleep. Now she is 12 and I can hardly get out of bed before lunch sometimes. I now work in a daycare and there is almost at least one child in every class that will not nap no matter what you do. At work, I feel like a baby whisperer sometimes as I get 5 one-year olds to nap, and sometimes for 2 to 2 and half hours. I could not even do this with my one child at that age. Before she was born, I usually slept through the night. Meanwhile, some people, like my mom and husband, can often function on little sleep.

I dealt with serious sleep deprivation for years and I am sure it contributed partially to my OCD, anxiety and depression getting so bad. So to mothers who are asking, what do I do? Especially in the midst of a pandemic right now? Many say they have no help, but you have to find a way to get sleep. Whether it is allowing your baby to safely play in their crib or a bassinet or pack in play next to you or in their own room while you sleep, even if they do not sleep, whether it trying to form at least one good friendship with a neighbor, even if you have no family in town, to have someone who can occasionally help you or watch your child while you rest; whether it is paying someone if you can afford it or seeking free help if you do not. On a show I watch, I remember the adults on their street used to take turns every weekday taking care of all the kids on their street, so one person would have all the kids one day a week, which seems genius to me and costs nothing.

Even during the pandemic, the daycare I was work for is open and safe. I actually caught COVID-19 before working there from my husband’s work. He is a restaurant manager and I have not gotten sick at all since working at the daycare. We clean way more than most of us do at home and we wear masks, etc. Before the daycare, I did keep two kids in their home for a family who was working and none of us got sick. If you have a partner, whether you stay at home or work or both work, it does not matter. Neither of you can work 24-7, take shifts, give each other breaks.

If you still say there is no way, you have no help or partner, or you breastfeed and have to be the one to feed the baby, do not give up, try to figure out a way whether it involves pumping or other solutions. I personally chose not to breastfeed for my mental health. My daughter is super smart and healthy. I am not trying to discourage breastfeeding at all, but your mental health is more important for you and your baby in my opinion, so whatever reason, do not give up on finding a solution. Sleep is so important, and taking care of yourself so you can take care of the baby is so important. Move closer to family if you have to, take drastic measures if needed. If you live close to me, I would love to keep your child while you nap or even get a full night’s sleep for free, I am a mother and take care of children for a living and have offered and no one has ever taken me up on it.

People often attempt to resolve the homelessness problem by giving the homeless food, giving them temporary shelter, trying to help them get off drugs or alcohol or forcing them to in return for shelter, or assisting them in getting a job, donating them supplies, and sometimes they actually give them a home. Luckily, that last one, the only one that actually makes them no longer homeless, is becoming more common. People often do not like this option because they do not get a home for free so why should anyone else? So instead, we spend more tax dollars on emergency services used due to these people living on the street then we would just building them a place to live.

Many of these people are veterans, people who were willing to sacrifice their life, but instead sacrificed their mental health for the rest of us. Some are just people who have just fallen on hard times temporarily and need a little help, but many have some mental health issues or addictions to drug or alcohol that cannot be quickly or easily resolved. In the mean time they need a home. Mothers getting sleep with young children cannot be quickly or easily resolved, but they need sleep in that waiting time until their kids sleep past lunch when they are older. Many mothers are sacrificing their sleep and mental health for their families. Can we just start homing the homeless and allowing mothers to sleep somehow instead of wasting more money and time doing things that do not resolve either issue?

Bio: Amanda Dodson Gremillion published her first book in 2012. She began revising it in 2019 and republished it as Just Buy Her A Dress and She’ll Be Fine. The story chronicles her experience with severe postpartum OCD, anxiety and depression. Amanda is a graduate of Auburn University, and now lives in Calera, Alabama, with her husband, Jay, their daughter, Aubrie, and their two dogs, Honey Girl and Cooper. She hopes to write more books in the future. Follow Amanda’s journey on Facebook,  or twitter at https://twitter.com/AmandaGremilli2 and order her book here.  Also, follow her on the Mighty here Amanda Dodson Gremillion | The Mighty Contributor or listen to her podcast here Just Buy Her A Dress and She’ll Be Fine • A podcast on Anchor . You can also find her on Instagram here Amanda Dodson Gremillion (@justbuyheradress) • Instagram photos and videos.

Having Our First Child Almost Ended Our Marriage

My therapist once told me that when people have young children it is the hardest time on a marriage. I never realized this before. My mother left my father when she found out she was pregnant with me and my sister was not even two years old yet and if you ask my mom why, she says she would have tolerated his behavior forever, but realized she could not put her kids through the same. So you think since that is how my parents marriage ended, that I would realize a lot of marriages end around the same time. However, my mom met met my stepdad not long after and they were married by the time I was 10 months old. He had one child already and she had two, so they started their marriage with 3 children and this is the main marriage I grew up seeing. They are still together over 37 years later. I always grew up seeing them the same way, with kids around all the time. It was not until they were empty nesters that I actually saw a different type of relationship. When the grandkids were around, it was a lot like my childhood, but when it was just the two of them only, I think they had to adjust because they were not used to that.

It was the opposite for me and my husband. We met at 14, started dating at 16, were engaged at 21, married at 23 and had Aubrie at 26. We had been together 10 years just the two of us, we did not even have a dog.  By the time we were ready for that responsibility we decided to have a baby.  Now we have two dogs and a 12 year old daughter and are trying for more kids. If we have more, this time it would not be the shock to our alone time it was the first time of course. If anything, now we have gotten used to this and going back to an empty nest would be another adjustment, but one we are well aware of this time. If Aubrie is even gone for a day, we think it is too quiet in the house. If Aubrie and I both go somewhere without my husband, he gets lonely. I picked on him for being the main one to freak out when she went to Kindergarten, but that might be me when it comes time for her to move out, like the mom in the movie Blockers.

When I worked in a retirement community for years, some of the women would often come hang out in the lobby instead of their apartments or homes across the street. They were so used to their husbands working, but now they were retired and home all the time and got on their nerves. My mom and stepdad are both now retired and have my mom’s mother living with them and they all need breaks from each other at times. I am still part of a postpartum support group to help women who are still going through postpartum depression like I did years ago. Without sharing anything that would identify anyone, here are some regular posts from it relating to marriage:

“Mamas who are/have fought & argued with their husbands a lot… does it get any better?... I feel a lot of anger, resentment, & disappointment towards him. I still love him, but I don’t feel like he hears me anymore, or cares. He says he does, but it doesn’t feel like it.”

“Is this normal? Will this likely get better with time? I feel like we’re heading towards divorce, which scares the crap out of me because I am a stay at home mom…”

“Anyone leave their husband while pregnant or with a newborn? I’ve begged my husband for more support, financial and emotional and haven’t gotten it…”

“It was tough emotionally to leave my husband, but it literally burned my soul to feel like a single parent while laying beside my partner. I begged him to help but it fell on deaf ears because he assumed I was just being a emotional woman…”

“It’s been 19 months since I’ve given birth. I feel as if my marriage is falling apart. I feel like my husband is grieving the person I use to be and I can’t blame him. I hate the way I feel now. This isn’t me. It isn’t the person I want to be. Home doesn’t even feel like home anymore. I just want to be the person I was before having a child.”

For those of you feeling this way right now, you are not alone and it can get better. Your marriage can survive this, but even if it does not, you will be okay. At one point I did not think mine was going to, and my doctor even said I grieved the loss of my marriage like a death. I went through the stages of grief and eventually I decided I had to be okay for me, for my daughter and for everyone else who loved me regardless. I could not control the actions of my spouse and it takes two, so yours could still end even if you personally try everything you can to fix it. It was not easy and it took a lot of time and it took both people admitting their mistakes and trying to do better. Ten years later I feel my marriage is so much stronger and better. It is so important to parent as a team. Life has changed for both of you, you are both tired and stressed a lot of the time, both of you might be missing the freedom you had before and the person you were before, and one or both of you also might be missing the person your spouse was before. Whether you both work outside the home or one stays home or one or both work from home, you both need to support each other instead of it always being a competition of who has it worse or is doing the most.

A lot of times as parents, we try to push through exhaustion, sickness and everything else to take care of our kids. Every once in a while though, if you do this for too long without a break or help, you often reach a breaking point, and when someone helps you even just in those breaking point moments, it can make all the difference in the world. Now my husband and I do a better job of recognizing when the other one is at that point. I try not to keep score anymore on who does what. I do what I can when I can and if I get too overwhelmed or tired or sick or anything else to do it, I know now that my husband will probably realize it and help me, and I try to do the same for him.  Of course our marriage is still not perfect. My husband is not even thrilled about my book and blogs, never has been. He is not as open of a person as me. He will give you opinions about politics and current events and religion all day long, all of that controversial stuff, but when it comes to talking openly about the worst year or two of our lives and marriage, not so open. I had him read my book before publishing it and asked if he suggested changing anything. I even wanted him to write his own chapter or allow me to based on what he told me, but he had no interest in doing that. He tries to be supportive regardless, because he knows for me, the sharing helps me and it helps others too and it is something I feel I need to do.

Bio: Amanda Dodson Gremillion published her first book in 2012. She began revising it in 2019 and republished it as Just Buy Her A Dress and She’ll Be Fine. The story chronicles her experience with severe postpartum OCD, anxiety and depression. Amanda is a graduate of Auburn University, and now lives in Calera, Alabama, with her husband, Jay, their daughter, Aubrie, and their two dogs, Honey Girl and Cooper. She hopes to write more books in the future. Follow Amanda’s journey on Facebook,  or twitter at https://twitter.com/AmandaGremilli2 and order her book here.  Also, follow her on the Mighty here Amanda Dodson Gremillion | The Mighty Contributor or listen to her podcast here Just Buy Her A Dress and She’ll Be Fine • A podcast on Anchor . You can also find her on Instagram here Amanda Dodson Gremillion (@justbuyheradress) • Instagram photos and videos.

How Postpartum Depression Helped Me Find My True Self

It has been 10 years since I finally realized I had severe postpartum depression and got some help. I finally realized I had always had Obsessive Compulsive Disorder that also caused Anxiety. This got severe after having a baby, going through a layoff and a couple of deaths in the family while also dealing with the effect this all had on my marriage. It also caused me to get severely depressed. While going through it, of course I did not act like my old self. My old self was so responsible, my old self was always trying to be perfect. My old self finished college in only 3 years and graduated with honors, had a 401k and her own insurance at 21, and her own house at 22. My old self did not drink until I was almost 22 because I did not want to become an alcoholic like my father. My old self had not tried a cigarette. I started getting treated for my depression, OCD and Anxiety at 28.

I tried my first cigarette finally at 29 just because I never had. Just like with drinking and gambling, it did not become a common habit, just an occasional social thing. Turns out I do not have that addictive nature. I hardly drink, gamble or smoke, I do not drink coffee and I used to hate shopping. I like it sometimes now, especially online in my pajamas, but I am still definitely not addicted. My husband might say differently based on all of the Amazon packages he sees on a regular basis at our door, but don’t listen to him. My only true addictions are cheese and Dr. Pepper. Not that these last two are to be taken completely lightly. They have caused me some weight gain over the years, and I have majorly cut back on both to lose weight and be healthier.

We all have our vices, but a lot like Randall on This Is Us, I eventually realized in my late 20’s, that my biggest vice was trying to be perfect and trying to take care of others and please others instead of myself. I eventually learned that taking better care of myself made me better at caring for others. It also made me happier and those around me happier. Who knew being a little selfish actually allows you to be more selfless? It did not make everyone around me happier though. Some people do not like it now when I speak my mind, even though I have always had to hear them speak theirs. I have been asked what makes me think anyone cares about my opinion. I have been told that before I may have not given my opinion enough, but now I give it too much. I had to have new boundaries, but I found this was only in relationships that were not great to begin with. I have had to set boundaries in relationships with certain family or coworkers in order to maintain a civil relationship. It is a constant challenge, because you have to always weigh the effect of continuing or ending the relationship on your mental health. You can end relationships, even with family members, and you can change jobs, but neither is usually easy.

I have also found though, that when being my true self, I formed closer relationships with people I did not have close relationships with before. Turns out some people that did not like me when I was not my true self, liked me now that I was my true self.  Meanwhile, others liked me when I was being who I thought they wanted me to be, but no longer did once I was my true self, and luckily there were some that liked me before and after, because they always saw my true self. The thing is I was not intentionally not being my true self. That is the thing about being lost, you do not even realize you are sometimes. I ignored the signs and red flags, they are always easier to see looking back. My daughter has got me into a show recently about two best friends called Alexa & Katie. When Katie, who has Anxiety, decides to major in Business instead of Acting in college, because how practical becoming an actor is, she starts to have panic attacks, and does not realize it is because she is making a decision to be practical instead of doing what she really wants to do.

When I work on my book and blogs, I cannot explain the peace it gives me. I work my thoughts out through writing and I enjoy it so much. I also enjoy that some others enjoy it. I know many do not, and think I ramble even, but if I could do one thing regardless of how much money I ever made, this would be it. Obviously this is new to me and I have not made my fortune doing it yet, so I still am a preschool teacher on the side, but lately I make sure even my side job is something I enjoy a lot. It needs to be enough to pay the bills and that is it. I may never make a lot of money doing this, but I will still do it, because I do not do it for the money. Although, of course I would not mind becoming a bestseller.

I share my story for many reasons. One is that maybe what I went through could have been prevented. Maybe if I had done certain things earlier, realized certain things other it would not have happened. Or maybe it had to happen for me to find myself. Even if it had to happen, I still want others to know they are not alone in this and it can not only get better. You can not just get back to your old self, you can become a new better you. I feel like some people never experience this. I know some people who seem to handle anything life throws at them. They never seem to stop and get majorly depressed or if they do, they push through and do not show it, but they also seem to just get through life. Maybe that is the only way they can survive, but for me personally, facing a lot of scary truths and questions and learning to live life to the fullest as my true self has been so hard, but was also needed for me to survive.

Bio: Amanda Dodson Gremillion published her first book in 2012. She began revising it in 2019 and republished it as Just Buy Her A Dress and She’ll Be Fine. The story chronicles her experience with severe postpartum OCD, anxiety and depression. Amanda is a graduate of Auburn University, and now lives in Calera, Alabama, with her husband, Jay, their daughter, Aubrie, and their two dogs, Honey Girl and Cooper. She hopes to write more books in the future. Follow Amanda’s journey on Facebook,  or twitter at https://twitter.com/AmandaGremilli2 and order her book here.  Also, follow her on the Mighty here Amanda Dodson Gremillion | The Mighty Contributor or listen to her podcast here Just Buy Her A Dress and She’ll Be Fine • A podcast on Anchor . You can also find her on Instagram here Amanda Dodson Gremillion (@justbuyheradress) • Instagram photos and videos.

The Worst Day of My Life Was my First Day Towards Recovery

The worst day of my life was when my husband left me. We were both twenty-eight years old. I am now about to turn thirty-eight in less than a month. We were high school sweethearts. Our daughter was two years old. The day he left also happened to be the same day he had asked me out twelve years before. We were both sixteen years old. I remember the day Jay left in bits and pieces, like most things then. He probably remembers things differently than I do. I remember being up with Aubrie because, as usual, she would not sleep. I think I had to be up for work in about four hours. I could not wait for Jay to get home to offer me some relief.  He was closing that night. I would often get excited at the sound of the garage door opening. That night, Jay texted me that he was going to Waffle House with some coworkers before he came home. This upset me and that upset him. I am pretty sure at this point he said he could not take it anymore and that he was leaving.

When Jay left, he did not take Aubrie with him, even though I was a mess. That was the moment I realized he still expected me to be her main caregiver. I just wanted him around more, and now he was leaving for good. I was angry that I was going to have to raise Aubrie as a single mother. I wanted to run away to the beach the day he left, and I thought about it. I knew Jay believed I would not do it. I wanted to prove him wrong.  I wanted to make him, and everyone else worry. I could not go through with it. Even in this state, I thought too much about the consequences. I was so tired of thinking about the consequences. I think I even drove down the street at one point, and came back before I left the neighborhood.

The worst day of my life was also my first day towards recovery.  It was the first time I acted in a way that finally made me, and everyone else around me, realize that something was wrong with me. I would later realize that I had always had #ObsessiveCompulsiveDisorder and #Anxiety, and that both got severe after losing my father, having a baby, losing my grandfather and then losing my job. I also got so depressed I did not want to live anymore. I decided to stay with my parents and get some help. I went to the doctor and to therapy. I only missed one day of work. At the time, I worked in a retirement community, and we had a therapy dog. She must have sensed the pain I was in. She came into my office and put her head in my lap a lot that week.

After a year and a half of being on and off again, my husband and I eventually worked things out. Over the years it has made my marriage stronger, and I finally got help for my #ObsessiveCompulsiveDisorder and #Anxiety. I no longer try to just power through both without help. I have also shared my story to help others, because the one thing I wish I had known was that I was not the only one thinking these thoughts and going through this. My experience changed me so much. I have always had an open mind and will continue to, but I eventually realized what my own beliefs were as opposed to what I was raised to believe. I truly found myself, and became more comfortable being myself and sharing my true feelings without shame. I kept trying to get back to the same person I was before, but that was not possible. I was different, but I finally realized that was not a bad thing. If I ever went through the same thing again, I would be more prepared. I was stronger. Even if I never went through the same again, I know I will go through hard times. That is just a part of life. Now I feel better prepared for this though.

People say time heals, and it does, but you are forever scarred. Most of the time, it is hard for me to remember feeling as badly as I did. Occasionally, something, often a song will remind me, and I will remember that pain just for a moment. If Jay had never left, I think I would have gotten better without getting as bad as I did and without needing as much help as I did.  However, I might have not gotten the help I needed for my general #ObsessiveCompulsiveDisorder and #Anxiety like I did. Also, like a lot of other women, I am not sure I would have ever completely realized I had #postpartum #ObsessiveCompulsiveDisorder/#Anxiety/#Depression. After sharing my story, I have had many women tell me they think they had it long ago without even realizing it. I think I was starting to get better right before Jay left. I was starting to realize something was wrong. I recently saw a quote that said, “Even though your wounds are not your fault, your healing is still your responsibility.” This took me a long time to realize. Most of the time you don’t get rescued. Even if someone tries to, they often fail, despite their best efforts. You must want to get better yourself. You must fight and save yourself most of the time.

I never thought I would relate to people who did not want to live anymore. I used to get angry at people who died by suicide. Like a lot of people, I thought it was selfish. I now know that the people who get to that point do not mean to be selfish at all. I have more sympathy and less judgment. They don’t realize they are just passing the pain onto others who love them. They truly believe you will be better off without them. They are suffering so badly, and just want to make it stop. There are better ways to make it stop.  I never tried to kill myself or planned it out, but I did want to die at times. I am not sure if there had not been a pill in front of me that I could have easily taken at certain points, that I would not have. I am glad I did not. Life is better than ever for me now, and I hope to make others realize it can be for them too.

Bio: Amanda Dodson Gremillion published her first book in 2012. She began revising it in 2019 and republished it as Just Buy Her A Dress and She’ll Be Fine. The story chronicles her experience with severe postpartum OCD, anxiety and depression. Amanda is a graduate of Auburn University, and now lives in Calera, Alabama, with her husband, Jay, their daughter, Aubrie, and their two dogs, Honey Girl and Cooper. She hopes to write more books in the future. Follow Amanda’s journey on Facebook,  or twitter at https://twitter.com/AmandaGremilli2 and order her book here.  Also, follow her on the Mighty here Amanda Dodson Gremillion | The Mighty Contributor or listen to her podcast here Just Buy Her A Dress and She’ll Be Fine • A podcast on Anchor . You can also find her on Instagram here Amanda Dodson Gremillion (@justbuyheradress) • Instagram photos and videos.

Racism, Sexism and Postpartum Mood Disorders

I have been wanting to write a blog about current events without it feeling like I am writing an obligatory George Floyd post. Of course if you write about current topics it is more likely to be shared by other sites and read etc., but even if I wanted to how could I relate it to what I write about which is normally mental health, parenting, and mood disorders, especially postpartum ones? Also, I am not black, but my black friends have been encouraging us to speak out more for them lately more than ever. Over the last few weeks, I have seen two different ways these current events do relate to what I write about, even though there are probably many more.

I have always posted a lot about women not receiving enough care before and after birth and this being worse in the United States than most other major countries. This is the case for black women even more than white woman though. Too many women die giving birth, too many have premature babies, too many women get postpartum mood disorders and do not get proper treatment for them, but black women are 3-4 times more likely to die from pregnancy related causes than other races, 50 percent more likely to give birth prematurely compared to white women, according to the March of Dimes, and at least twice as likely to get postpartum depression and less likely to be treated properly for it. Some will say this is due to other issues such as poverty, drug addition, etc. but if poverty and drug addiction are affecting one race so much worse than others, how can that not still be related to race?

Also, it is not just poverty and drug addiction. I have ready many stories recently about middle class or rich black women who have felt they were treated differently during pregnancy or birth due to race, including Serena Williams. I have also read stories of some even losing their life like this one: https://thegrio.com/2020/02/19/distraught-father-sues-cedars-sinai-hospital-after-his-wife-dies-during-childbirth/. I do not think the majority of these cases are doctors or nurses being outright racist, although we all know that exist on some level. It seems like with many other things it may truly be stemmed in systematic racism. Anyone can experience police brutality, but black men seem to experience it the most.

The people affected most are trying to fight against these things, but we should all be fighting together because they affect us all. I have friends and family that are cops. Just because I believe in reform within the police department (and also prison reform and so many other things while we are at it), does not mean I am siding against them or I do not think their life matters too. I truly do. If anything, I think some reforms would benefit police as much as citizens, although I am not for getting rid of the police dog on Paw Patrol and I stand with Chase. If citizens are less scared of police, than they are less hated and are safer. If things are put into place to reduce the number of women dying giving birth or giving birth to babies prematurely, why would anyone be against this?

If you are still wondering the second way I think this relates to what I write about, when I was younger, I often heard people imply that racism and sexism no longer exist, or are no longer major issues. Then I experienced sexism repeatedly. I experienced it the most when I became a mother, but I experienced it some before that. I experienced boys being able to grab your body and get away with it, I experienced fear of getting too comfortable or drinking at a party, or wearing certain things or acting a certain way, or going certain places alone at night, because if something happened to you it would be your own fault. I experienced sexism in so many ways in my career.

I experienced sexism with an accountant a couple times before I finally realized and used someone else. My husband and I have taken turns being the breadwinner in our marriage. When we first married, he was still in school and I was earning more. When we went to get our taxes done for the first time, the man doing our taxes had swapped our incomes. I tried to pretend this might be an honest mistake, it was fixed and we filed. Next year, the same thing happened again, so of course I started doing our taxes on my own using Turbo-tax. I also caught another mistake he made that year I knew about because of my job that would have cost us hundreds off of our refund.

When I went through severe postpartum depression years ago, my husband and I got so close to divorcing that I tried to remove him from my bank account. I had this bank account since I was in high school and eventually had him added to it when we got married. He did not even use it, I just wanted him to have access to it if he needed it or something happened to me which is exactly what I told the bank when adding him. When I tried to remove him, it turns out the bank had made him the main one on the account when I added him, so I was not able to remove him, even with his permission. I had to open a new account. Seriously? This explains why when they sent me new checks back then, I wondered why his name was the main name on them and mine was on the second line. I did not even want his name on them at all unless it had to be, and never requested he be the main person on the account or on my checks. I probably should have switched banks over this, but I realized the person who did this had done it years ago and may not even work for them anymore, but I did voice my concerns to them.

We have yet to have a female vice president or president but sexism no longer exists? I do not know how many times in my life by the way, I heard that a woman could not be president because she would be too emotional and might get us blown up. I usually try not to get too political in my posts because people of all beliefs get postpartum mood disorders, and I hope to help them all, but even if you are a Trump fan, can we all agree that argument went out that window when he became president? That is one emotional man.

Black men got the right to vote 50 years before black women or white women, but many still face barriers legally voting even now and ever since it became legal. Black people and women both gained a lot of rights in the late 1960’s and the 1970’s. Women could not even open their own bank account before the 1970’s, or breastfeed in public (and they often still get shamed by many for that second one, and that bank account experience in this blog occurred around 2011). Women still often have to have permission from their husband or have had to have a certain number of children before some doctors will provide them a hysterectomy or tie their tubes, but men do not face the same when getting vasectomies. Clearly sexism and racism both still exist. At least we are making progress, but it seems we still have a ways to go.

Bio: Amanda Dodson Gremillion published her first book in 2012. She began revising it in 2019 and republished it as Just Buy Her A Dress and She’ll Be Fine. The story chronicles her experience with severe postpartum OCD, anxiety and depression. Amanda is a graduate of Auburn University, and now lives in Calera, Alabama, with her husband, Jay, their daughter, Aubrie, and their two dogs, Honey Girl and Cooper. She hopes to write more books in the future. Follow Amanda’s journey on Facebook,  or twitter at https://twitter.com/AmandaGremilli2 and order her book here.  Also, follow her on the Mighty here Amanda Dodson Gremillion | The Mighty Contributor or listen to her podcast here Just Buy Her A Dress and She’ll Be Fine • A podcast on Anchor . You can also find her on Instagram here Amanda Dodson Gremillion (@justbuyheradress) • Instagram photos and videos.

How Complete Strangers Helped Me Heal From Postpartum Depression

When my daughter was two years old, and I finally started to get help for my postpartum depression, I joined a Facebook online support group. It was so helpful talking to others daily from all over the world going through the same. Once I started to heal though, it became too depressing to read the same stuff over and over. I had to take a break for a while. Eventually I got far enough away from what happened that I joined one again, but this time more to offer advice and comfort than to get it.  As I read some of the same things over and over then and now, I could not help but think how many people have no idea their mother, sister, wife, daughter or friend are having these thoughts. It is not as rare as you think.

These support groups often have tens of thousands of people in one support group alone and there are so many. I decided to post some of the thoughts I have seen over the years that are pretty common to see, while removing anything that could identify anyone who shared them. I have shared some of my own similar ones in my book and I know they shock people, but so many people are thinking them and feel more comfortable sharing them with strangers than the people they love. Here are a few common ones:

“If you were me.. Accidentally driving your car over a bridge… doesn’t seem such a bad idea at this time. But then again, I thought of my… kids, overthinking, again, who’s gonna look after them if i did drove a car over a bridge. So no. Felt different suddenly. And thought just suck it up. Tomorrow is another day woman. Hopefully not like today. We can do this. I can do this. I hope.”

“I feel so broken. It’s 2:45am and I’m sitting on my bedroom floor crying as silently as I can so I don’t wake my  baby, who has been awake 5 times since 8pm. I haven’t slept yet, insomnia is hitting me hard tonight…I wanted to scream at her, I wanted to punch the wall. The tears started and the guilt washed over me. I feel like the absolute worst person in the whole world. She doesn’t deserve this. I hate that I feel this way. I hate that I’ve wanted a family my whole life and now that I have one all I feel is rage and sadness and like this was a huge mistake.”

“What do you do when you absolutely hate the person that you are? I used to be a good person and a good mom, but now I don’t feel like I’m either. I don’t even feel like a good wife or friend. I feel like I’m failing my kids and my husband. I’ve completely lost the person that I used to be and I don’t know who I am anymore.”

“My child is 2 ! Why am I still suffering ??? ”

The estimates vary but it is estimated that 70 to 80 percent of women experience baby blues the first two weeks after having a baby. These go away on their own but another 10 to 20 percent develop postpartum mood disorders such as postpartum depression, postpartum OCD or postpartum anxiety. Sometimes they develop more than one and how long they last can often depend on how quickly they get help. Less than one percent of women develop postpartum psychosis which is what you normally see cases of on the news due to women harming themselves and/or their children. Even most women with this disorder do not harm themselves or their children. Usually the symptoms are more obvious, so it is caught earlier and they normally get help earlier.

What this all tells us is that most women get depressed if even for a short time after having a child, but most of them do not end up harming themselves or their child. The fear of people thinking that is one big reason a lot of people do not get help sooner. They are scared to tell anyone and they feel ashamed for their thoughts even if they cannot help it and do not act on them. I just want anyone going through this to know, you are not alone and you can get better. A lot of people do not want to talk about it because it is depressing, which is why my book has some humor in it and so do some of my blogs and posts on my pages. Learning to laugh about everything again was another step in healing for me.

Bio: Amanda Dodson Gremillion published her first book in 2012. She began revising it in 2019 and republished it as Just Buy Her A Dress and She’ll Be Fine. The story chronicles her experience with severe postpartum OCD, anxiety and depression. Amanda is a graduate of Auburn University, and now lives in Calera, Alabama, with her husband, Jay, their daughter, Aubrie, and their two dogs, Honey Girl and Cooper. She hopes to write more books in the future. Follow Amanda’s journey on Facebook,  or twitter at https://twitter.com/AmandaGremilli2 and order her book here.  Also, follow her on the Mighty here Amanda Dodson Gremillion | The Mighty Contributor or listen to her podcast here Just Buy Her A Dress and She’ll Be Fine • A podcast on Anchor . You can also find her on Instagram here Amanda Dodson Gremillion (@justbuyheradress) • Instagram photos and videos.

Those Closest To You Won’t Always Be Your Biggest Supporters

When I first started writing a book about my experience with Postpartum Depression, OCD and Anxiety, of course I was worried my daughter might one day think I did not want her, or that she was somehow to blame for how I felt or what I went through. I needed to tell her my story regardless, even if I never told the world, because I did not want her to go through the same thing.  Who knew she would end up being my biggest fan and supporter. She is only 12 now, some might think this will change one day. I do not think so though. I have been as honest with her as I could as she has grown older. I know she still does not completely understand and will more with age, but she is gifted and I think she understands a lot more than some adults. She thinks the thought of me having a book on Amazon is awesome and so do her friends. Yes, she has read my book. Yes, I discussed everything in it with her first. She understands that I love her like crazy, she was very planned, and that what I went through had nothing to do with her and was not her fault.

When I wrote my book, I thought my husband and family and friends would be my biggest fans. I thought they would all buy copies, share all my posts, give me nothing but encouraging words, etc. I thought they would help me sell enough copies to make some money to actually get the book professionally edited and to advertise etc. In reality, this was the case with some, but I ended up giving a lot of free copies away, so many I did not lose money, but broke even. I received some praise but I heard a lot more criticism. Of course, this is something you should be prepared for when writing a book, but I was not ready. I think I was still healing and that is why for the time being, I unpublished the book, and did not try to republish it again for years.  Now that I am republishing, I have almost 1k Facebook friends, but less than 300 likes on my Facebook page and I believe over half of those are strangers. I believe most of my Twitter followers and blog followers are strangers.

My daughter and a friend were the ones who got me wanting to give it another try.  When I told a friend I did not know when I first wrote my book about it, she asked why did I have it unpublished if it could be published and I could be making money on it?  Also my daughter asked why I did not have it published anymore and I did not want to tell her I just gave up because it was hard, so I gave it another go. I am so glad I did and she has been my biggest cheerleader and encourager by far! Of course the big dream is to become a best seller, but the more realistic one is to make some money doing something I love while helping others. The worst case scenario is I don’t make money but fulfill my childhood dream and still feel like I helped people and I will still feel accomplished. Writing is like acting. A lot of actors start as waitresses. You have to have another real job at first because you don’t make any money at first. Only those that make it huge make tons of money, but many do make enough to make it a living, others make enough to make some good extra money.

It is really important to me now that I tell my story in a way that my husband is okay with. He will be reading my final professional edit this weekend and hopefully approving it. When I first wrote the book, instead of just thinking of my target audience as being women going through the same, I also thought of my audience as those around me who missed the signs liked my husband. I eventually gave this up. I mean don’t get me wrong, I still hope and want everyone to read my book and blogs, even those who have not been through this or are not going through this, for one, in case they ever do, or because it is very likely that someone they know will, is or already has.

However, the way I got better was because I finally quit waiting for others to understand, or rescue me. Not saying I did not have any help or support, but even those closest to me did not understand what I was going through in the way others going through it did or I did. I had to do a lot of things that made me uncomfortable to get better including medication and therapy. Some family have never even acknowledged I had a postpartum mood disorder. If I ever discuss it they do not say anything, they either ignore it or change the subject. I feel like they hate me telling my story publicly, while at the same time not being embarrassed to post their extreme political beliefs on Twitter, and yes I do think this has a lot to do with why I suffered so long in the first place or suffered at all. “One stranger  who understands your experience exactly will do for you what hundreds of close friends and family who don’t understand cannot. It is the cool glass of water in hell.” This quote from Laura McKowen in We Are The Luckiest” is why I wrote my book and why I blog and share my story.

Do not get me wrong, I have had many friends and family members, probably reading this right now, who have been so supportive, some that have been through what I have and some that have not, but honestly it has mainly been my daughter and complete strangers keeping me going-hundreds of strangers who have told me I have changed their life, or given them hope and made them realize they are not alone and that they will be OK. My husband and I were at a concert for his favorite band recently and he was talking about how amazing it must be to have a whole stadium singing and relating to the lyrics you wrote. I told him that is how I feel when someone loves my book or my blogs, or writes a comment, or sends a private message about how much they relate or it changed their life. I think he is finally starting to get that.

Bio: Amanda Dodson Gremillion published her first book in 2012. She began revising it in 2019 and republished it as Just Buy Her A Dress and She’ll Be Fine. The story chronicles her experience with severe postpartum OCD, anxiety and depression. Amanda is a graduate of Auburn University, and now lives in Calera, Alabama, with her husband, Jay, their daughter, Aubrie, and their two dogs, Honey Girl and Cooper. She hopes to write more books in the future. Follow Amanda’s journey on Facebook,  or twitter at https://twitter.com/AmandaGremilli2 and order her book here.  Also, follow her on the Mighty here Amanda Dodson Gremillion | The Mighty Contributor or listen to her podcast here Just Buy Her A Dress and She’ll Be Fine • A podcast on Anchor . You can also find her on Instagram here Amanda Dodson Gremillion (@justbuyheradress) • Instagram photos and videos.

What COVID-19 and Postpartum Mood Disorders Have In Common:”We Are Not All In the Same Boat”

I have often wondered why only some women get postpartum mood disorders if we all go through the same hormone changes, etc. I discuss this in my book some, but lately I have been wanting to blog about how this compares to how people are dealing differently with the current COVID-19 pandemic. I have heard it said more than once during this that we are not all in the same boat right now. Some have lost their jobs, some are still working but fear getting sick, some want to work and can’t, some have small businesses and may lose everything, some have gotten stimulus checks and/or unemployment, others have not. Some of us know people who have died or have been or are sick, some of us do not yet. We all know of someone though, including some famous people.

Some of us are enjoying time at home, some are sick of being home and it is affecting their mental health. Some wish they could be home and working through this is affecting theirs. Some already have a history of mental illness, others do not. Although I do suffer from obsessive compulsive disorder with anxiety and had postpartum depression years ago, I am actually probably doing better than most during the pandemic. I am making more money during the pandemic than before. I am still getting paid by my work while babysitting for essential employees and received a $2,900 stimulus. My husband is still working and my daughter is 12 and doing school from home. She is a very good student, is gifted and hardly ever needs help, so that is going well.

I can still walk the dogs, I get to swim with the kids I babysit with and play video games and board games with them. I have actually caught up on all my TV shows and started some new ones and watched several movies. I have even re-watched some of my favorites. Don’t get me wrong, there have been some challenges. For one, like everyone else, I have been scared at times. I have never experienced anything like this in my lifetime. I am scared of high risk people I know getting sick, I am scared of me and my family getting sick. I also regularly get massages to help manage pain from an injury from falling down the stairs years ago. I have gone a while without one and I am feeling it ,and having to use every other way to try and manage it in the mean time.

Of course I miss going to the movies, and out to eat, and getting my hair cut and my dogs bathed and their nails trimmed, those last two are torture to do myself, let me tell you. I miss my work babies and my coworkers so much. Also, the kids I babysit do not willingly do their school work, so that has been a fun challenge, that may have given me a panic attack one day. They are also siblings who fight a lot and I am used to an only child.

When women have children, they do not all have the same support from their spouse and family and friends. Some have none, some have a lot, some work, some stay at home, some have more money than others, some have a history of mental illness, some have a great birth experience, some have a horrible one, some planned their pregnancies, some did not, some had an easy time getting pregnant, some had a very hard time, some experienced deaths or layoffs or other sad experiences around the time they had a child, while others did not, some already have several kids different ages, some have none, some are younger when they have kids, some are older, and all have different life experiences.  Some babies are great sleepers, others are not, some babies are happy all the time, some have colic and cry all the time.

When I was pregnant with my daughter, my real father died. We had not spoken in three years. Less than a year after she was born my grandfather passed and I was laid off from my job. My daughter was not a good sleeper and I did not handle sleep deprivation well at all. When my daughter was 2, my husband left me and I finally lost it enough to not hide my depression anymore and got help. I knew many had been through worse, but it was the worst I had ever been through. I once had a dream where I had a rash, but other people around me had a worse rash. Mine kept getting ignored because it was not as bad, until it got worse and worse and I could not stop itching. We are not all in the same boat. Regardless of our religious, political or other beliefs, this is affecting everyone differently, so we should all try and have some compassion for everyone. No one knows the right or wrong way to react to this yet. Most of us are trying our best though.

Bio: Amanda Dodson Gremillion published her first book in 2012. She began revising it in 2019 and republished it as Just Buy Her A Dress and She’ll Be Fine. The story chronicles her experience with severe postpartum OCD, anxiety and depression. Amanda is a graduate of Auburn University, and now lives in Calera, Alabama, with her husband, Jay, their daughter, Aubrie, and their two dogs, Honey Girl and Cooper. She hopes to write more books in the future. Follow Amanda’s journey on Facebook,  or twitter at https://twitter.com/AmandaGremilli2 and order her book here.  Also, follow her on the Mighty here Amanda Dodson Gremillion | The Mighty Contributor or listen to her podcast here Just Buy Her A Dress and She’ll Be Fine • A podcast on Anchor . You can also find her on Instagram here Amanda Dodson Gremillion (@justbuyheradress) • Instagram photos and videos.