• Madison Gonzalez

The Poem That Started It All: How Writing Helped Me Process My Postpartum Depression and Anxiety

I wrote the poem below, titled The Pit, about my experience with Postpartum after my second child was born. One day I woke up and this thing just poured out of my soul and onto the paper - it look about 5 minutes to write start to finish. I had never publicly shared any of my poetry before but I knew I had to share this one because I knew how many other moms that could relate. I had been open about my experience with Postpartum Depression and Anxiety before but after hitting "share" on my poem and receiving hundreds of likes, comments, and shares - I knew I had found something special in communicating through poetry. From that moment on I couldn't stop writing. I would be struck with an idea or a feeling and would have to grab a pen or phone or anything else I could put the words onto. I felt so much freedom in it.

Even as a poet, it is hard for me to put into words how writing makes me feel.

If you are a mom struggling with Postpartum, please know that it

not permanent. I highly encourage you to talk to someone you trust - it is so painful to suffer in silence and there is no shame in admitting you need help. You have to take care of yourself if you are going to take care of others. You will get better and there are lots of resources for you - medications, therapy, support groups...

and, please, take it from me - writing helps too.

Here is the poem I wrote:

The pit to the cherry.

The pit in my stomach.

Soft, juicy, sweetness interrupted by an unwelcome stone.

Impossible to chew - I can only swallow it whole.

I want to spit it out but it’s too late.

I feel the pit lodge in my throat before sinking down to my core.

Suddenly, the weight of the pit is crushing me.

I am choked up and weighed down all at once and it’s hard to breath or move or smile or even cry.

I can feel the pit’s poison spreading.

I am angry and sad and confused.

I wanted to savor this cherry.

I planted the seed, I grew the tree, I climbed the limbs, I picked the fruit.

I worked for this and waited for this… This part of my life.

This perfect cherry deserving of appreciation and adoration and instead – the pit.

The dark, cold, and all-consuming pit of despair.

Surviving the pit took all of the strength I didn't know I had.

But I don’t blame the cherry. In fact – the cherry is the most rewarding bite I will ever take out of life.

My son, Bennett, and I the day he was born.

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