(Ep. 23) ‘If Mommy’s Being Honest’ with Allie

I’m so excited to share this episode of Beyond Postpartum with all of you. Our guest for this episode is Allie Brite-Hamel who’s journey through postpartum anxiety and depression inspired her to write her first book ‘If Mommy’s Being Honest.’ It’s a children’s book about perinatal mental health, but it’s just as much for parents, as she explains in our conversation. She also shares about her own story, grieving the recent loss of her younger brother, and the role her faith played in her healing.

CW: Discussion of suicidal thoughts and ideation

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

In this episode we talk about:

  • Having a history of anxiety and depression
  • Taking medications for anxiety and depression
  • The importance and value of counselling and how it has helped her to cope
  • Being a young parent at the age of 21
  • The first sign that things were off
  • Her first panic attack
  • Her son’s birth story
  • The first moment she felt connection with her son
  • Their first week home as a family
  • How her anxiety spiraled out of control in the postpartum
  • Being isolated
  • Having suicidal thoughts – and how this was what led her to finally reach out for help
  • Going to counselling
  • The recent loss of her younger brother in a tragic car accident
  • The distinction between grieving and mental illness
  • Suicidal thoughts being a flag that we are in pain and we want the pain to end
  • Premenstrual Dysphoric Disorder (PMDD)
  • Associating mental illness with a lack of faith, and how unhelpful that is
  • How it’s so hard to do anything ‘right’ and facing contradicting judgements
  • The difference between stress and an anxiety disorder
  • Deciding to take medication, or not, and how Allie made that choice for herself
  • The process of finding the right counsellor
  • How she knew she was starting to get better
  • Feeling freer from expectations now than she did before
  • Life not being ‘this OR that,’ it’s ‘this AND that’
  • The downsides of social media
  • How she came to write her book
  • Why it’s a children’s book – but for moms
  • The power in admitting that we are not ok and reaching out for help

Resources