Thursday, July 9, 2015

Gone Warrior Mom Conference-ing!

Tomorrow I am heading to Boston for a few kidless days that will be filled with - well, talking about having my kiddos! I am off to the inaugural Postpartum Progress Warrior Mom Conference. With the theme of, "From Pain to Power," it is the first-ever maternal mental health conference solely focused on the patients themselves, and it is going to be all of the things - fun, funny, sad, scary, triggering, cathartic, healing and - AMAZING.

I can not wait to be in a room filled with more than 100 Warrior Moms. Women who went through the same types of experiences I did, and just.. get it. If I could tell you how it feels to be in a couple of Facebook groups with people who just inherently understand the struggle, the feelings that (yes, still) come along with it, and don't need you to say anything more than, "Having a hard day..." to know to just send virtual thoughts, strength, love and good vibes... empowering doesn't begin to cut it.  Some of these women I've never met, some I have gotten to know online or via phone through my work on the Climb and on the Board of Directors, some of them I've met before if only just for an hour or two, but I can't wait to see again. There have been jokes about the sponsors we should have attracted - Kleenex, waterproof mascara, and I'll throw big pharma into the mix.... and deep gratitude to those who have sponsored the event, making it possible for us to gather, heal, learn and strengthen ourselves. It is going to be life-changing not just for attendees, but for those we then go forth and help afterwards...

Items on the conference agenda include a panel on Educating and Empowering, speakers presentations entitled, "Thriving after Perinatal Mood and Anxiety Disorders" "Making the Most of your Advocacy Online," and "Expanding Outreach to Underserved Communities." There will be self-care workshops and I am thrilled to be one of the peer facilitators for the breakout sharing group discussions  on Sunday morning.

I am going to be exhausted - though having my own hotel room without a nine-month-old who can't seem to get the hang of putting the damn pacifier back in her own damn mouth and for whatever reason finds it appropriate to be waking up at 5:30 recently bodes well for a couple of good nights of sleep... if the anxiety stirred up by these discussions allows that to be the case.

So - I've been MIA coming off of the Climb and gearing up for this (not to mention keeping my freelance writing and PR business chugging), and will be MIA this weekend - but come Monday, I am starting a new chapter - Lesley Neadel, Postpartum Advocate. I just made up that title, I think, but I'm going with it - and it's going to be the most fulfilling role I've held to date. I can't wait...

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