Desiree Fortin, a newborn photographer from Encinitas, California, recently shared an open letter to her anxiety disorder on the Today Parenting Team forum. Fortin and her college sweetheart husband (who both happen to have twin sisters) welcomed triplets, two boys, Sawyer and Jax and one girl, Charlize in 2015. Unfortunately, Fortin also experienced postpartum depression and anxiety along with her baby joy times three.
Fortin created a confession-style video that was released by the Today Parenting Team. the letter that Fortin penned is dispersed in bits and pieces over photos that document her pregnancy, the birth of the triplets until the recent 3rd birthday of her toddlers.
Her letter reads as follows: "Dear Anxiety, I am 1 in 5. I remember the first time that I recognized your presence. It was the middle of the night and my boys wouldn't stop crying. I could feel the panic rising in my body. I was tired and frustrated. I wept with my babies. You were cruel. You fed me lies about who I was as a mom and I believed you. You stole my confidence and joy. I was afraid, housebound, and lonely. But then, I made a choice to change. I am 1 in 5. A woman diagnosed with postpartum depression and anxiety. And that's OK. I am on medication and using coping mechanisms to overcome you. And that's OK. Three years after my babies were born, I still face you daily. But you have underestimated me. I will stand against you. You do not have power over me. You do not define me. And I am a good mom."
Fortin didn't elaborate on what coping mechanisms she used to overcome her anxiety and there are so many out there. For anyone suffering from anxiety and/or depression as well as postpartum depression, relief may be found from a combination of coping mechanisms such as yoga, meditation, massage, eating well-balanced meals full of veggies and fruit, greatly limiting alcohol and caffeine, daily exercise, deep breathing and even something as simple as counting to 10 slowly and steadily and repeating as needed.
Talking to someone sounds cliche but by speaking your fears and troubles out loud, you are unburdening yourself and a trusted friend or even a healthcare professional may be able to provide good tips or act as a resourceful sounding board to help find solutions to some of the problems that anxiety can cause.
Another coping mechanism that may sound so silly in its simplicity but really works is laughter. By catching up on an old favorite or new sitcom, reading a funny book or watching a comedy show live, a great big belly laugh can release endorphins and make you feel heaps better. Even if it is a temporary fix, it can have a remarkable effect on the rest of your day.
You can learn more about Fortin on her blog or watch the gender reveal video of the triplets for some light-hearted fun. Anxiety and depression disorders can create major roadblocks in leading a happy and functional life but there are several avenues of help that are available in many ways and forms. Don't be afraid to seek solutions or ask for help. As Fortin says, you are not alone. Hang in there, mamas!