“Friendship is born at that moment when one person says to another: ‘What! You too? I thought I was the only one.” — C.S. Lewis
I came across this quote today and it stood out to me so bright like the gleaming sun reflecting off of the ocean during a sunset. As a thirty-something year old woman, I’ve had many friends throughout the different stages in my life – childhood friends, high school gal pals, college partners in crime, and a lot of those friends are still a major part of my life, but nothing, and I mean nothing could prepare me for the friendships I made during my struggle with my postpartum anxiety.
I walked into a center for maternal wellness when Jake was 2 months old without realizing that I would meet fellow warrior mamas who were struggling with the same issues that were suffocating me. I surveyed the ladies I met with a closed heart and mind for fear of judgment. I didn’t want to share my story or admit to the things that were weighing me down. Momming should be easy, right? Rainbows, butterflies, and unicorns with a splash of glitter for everyone!! Well, not so much. I always wanted to be a mom, so how could I admit that my anxiety was literally taking over my life? What kind of a mother would that make me? So I kept my distance, casting judgments in my mind like “They looked normal,” or “Why are they even here?” It wasn’t until I decided to go to a peer group therapy session that I saw beyond their masks. It was such an “aha moment” when I heard how there were all feeling similar emotions, tangled up in the same worry, paralyzed by the same fears, and triggered by the same situations. I quickly realized, “I’m home and these are my people.” I started to open up more, slowly letting my guard down, no longer afraid of the judgment or criticism. These women are my go-to’s, my life-lines, my cheerleader. I can remember clear as day when I walked out of that group in the middle of a panic attack because my baby was crying (one of my biggest triggers), and one of those angel moms followed me out with her beautiful baby girl. She gave me the space to be, to cry, to find calmness. We found out that our babies were exactly 2 weeks apart, we both had older sons, and lived a couple blocks from each other. The stars had aligned with this one. I found my person. My warrior mom bestie. I am so thankful for her friendship and all of the women who contributed to my story.
We come from all walks of life and parent with contrasting styles, but the constant is this, we have a bond so deep, so real because we came out on the other side together. In a world full of so much discourse, it’s easy to get swept up in negativity, but these women filled me with love and positivity. So here’s to the moments that we all said, “Me too” and realized we weren’t alone in this crazy thing called motherhood. They are part of my story, a hand in my healing, and a piece of my heart.
“If you concentrate on finding whatever is good in every situation, you will discover that your life will suddenly be filled with gratitude, a feeling that nurtures the soul.”