This is one book that holds a special place in my heart. I think it was the very first book I bought that had anything to do with postpartum depression after I became sick. I even remember the day I purchased it.
Mother’s Day. My very first Mother’s Day. G was four months old. I went into a large chain bookstore to purchase Down Came the Rain: My Journey Through Postpartum Depression by Brooke Shields as it just had recently been released. I laid the book on the counter and the young lady ringing it up asked about my baby, and she mentioned she had a baby the same age.
Then she said, “I just don’t see how anyone who has had a baby can be depressed.”
Did she really just say that? Did the sales clerk really just comment upon my purchase? It felt like I had been slapped across my face. My heart hurt and I revolved between anger and crushing sadness.
That incident combined with other comments that had recently been said to me sent me into a tailspin that I did not cope well with. I went into a depressive episode. I did go back to the store and speak to the manager about the clerk and she apologized profusely and knew who had said it. I really wanted to make sure it was not done to another mom like myself. She had no idea how her ignorant comment had hurt.
See? Memories tied to this book…on to my thoughts about it, which will admittedly be biased because it was the first book I bought about PPD and it was at a crucial time in my illness.
I really, really loved it. I felt understood and not alone. I was impressed with Ms. Shield’s bravery to be so open, and her story gave me hope. Sprinkled throughout was information that was very helpful. To this day, I wish I could give her a hug. I am not a celebrity fanatic by any means and make an effort to avoid the gossip mags at the check-out line, but she is one person I admire. I’m proud of her. Is that ok to say?
Her subsequent debate with another member of celebrity society about PPD and meds, and her openness, has always inspired me to not be ashamed and to speak out as well. This is not an illness to be ashamed of in the least.
Down comes the rain, but out comes the sun. There is hope. Check this book out, I think you’ll be encouraged.