Divorce, Miscarriage, Postpartum Depression, Menopause - Why are we silent? Are we silenced!? my eyes have recently been opened through my divorce experience. So many of you have reached out with your common shared pain; I didn't know. Compliment my microcausm with the brave examples of women publicly sharing their pain - Chrissy Teigen, Michelle Obama... I'm left very curious. What else are we silent on? Why do we feel silenced? What role does gender play? The implications are devastating - 18% of women 9 mo after a miscarriage show signs of PTSD, as high as 60% of people who have experienced divorce suffer from PTSD symptoms. By the way - I'm not trying to equate the pain of these - losing a child. sheesh. After surveying and interviewing many people, including a few men, many experience stigmas on topics they are "not allowed" to speak of. Interviews revealed that the old maxim of "Sugar and Spice and Everything Nice" having a love child with the distorted social media frames of idyllic, beautiful, positive lifes - and people feel more isolated than ever in their suffering. Grief, Guilt, Shame, feelings of Inadequacy - they pervade explanations as to why we suffer in silence. Mental health has been made much more accessible via Mental Health Month, Mental Health First Aid, and other efforts. Interviewees revealed however they want to step forward to help each other, they seek communities to help process their experience, and a strong desire to support others. No one should suffer alone and experience the isolation they felt. So here's my ask - * if you are privledged through trust to know that a friend is going through one of these things - reach out, continue to reach out, bring it up, acknowledge the pain, name it, but stand with her. * if you are stuggling, reach out to your community. It's ok. You are loved; you will still be loved. And there's a good chance that someone else has experienced something like this too. * if you don't feel like you can reach out to your community, often there are local, community-based support groups, or seek other help! There are a group of people who would be happy to talk to you. * all of you - join the conversation! Here and elsewhere. This Emily Dickenson quote resonated, rendered by Riverway Studios, Etsy. Peace be with you and be gentle on yourself.
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