What I Learned from Postpartum Depression: Your Greatness Is Ever Present

It’s amazing how life works. You haven’t thought about or talked about a particular subject or life experience in months, and then all of a sudden, it’s in your world everywhere you turn.

I haven’t thought a lot about my two bouts of postpartum depression, however recently, it’s been all around me. In a good way – from an awareness-building and stigma-busting perspective.

First, I read Tonia Jashan, award-winning entrepreneur of Sipology by Steeped Tea, share her postpartum depression story. And on LinkedIn of all places. Yes, a professional network was her go to mode to share her story. You go girl.

An hour later I’m on the phone with a woman getting a reference, and she shared she had just come out of hospital for PPD. Just like that. No stigma, no hesitation. It’s just a fact. She shared it so openly. And I shared mine. And because she shared it, I could stand for her greatness as I was her 15 years in the future.

Then a colleague involved in the filming of a Rogers TV episode on my experience with PPD reached out to me. It’s like the universe was telling me something. And you know, if it tells me something, I have to tell you. That’s just what us speakers do…we talk about stuff!

CLICK HERE to watch the video on Rogers TV

I have had PPD. Not once, but twice. It’s forever impacted my sleep. It made it tough to bond with my babies when I was going through it. It put tension on my relationship. However, on the other side (one might argue the #flipsideoffailure), I have a level of empathy and compassion I never knew I had. And I sure as heck got serious about changing our life immediately when one of my children’s mental health tanked (you may have learned about our story before).

We can’t wait for Mental Health Awareness Week to talk about mental health and wellness. Imagine how much easier others could detect, manage and recover from psychological setbacks if we were open about our own.

From a professional standpoint, the more we talk openly and share how it impacts our careers and businesses, the more empathetic we’ll be to each other in the workplace too. Let’s share our stories as strong, powerful, successful women and how, despite PPD, we are still great at what we do. It doesn’t change us. In fact, the experience might transform us for the better (but be patient with us until we’re better please.) 

To have PPD doesn’t make you a less grateful mom. It doesn’t make you a less competent professional. It doesn’t mean you’re weak. 

It means you’re human. 

Ten percent of women will experience PPD during pregnancy, after the birth or even a time after the birth of their child. That’s a lot of women in the workplace and, frankly, a lot of partners standing by watching the person they love suffer. What are we doing for them? Are we recognizing their greatness while they’re distracted and worried and confused about how to help the person they love?

Your greatness, by the way, is not present despite your PPD. It’s there with your PPD. It is ever-present. Even when you don’t feel it. It is there. 

Want to check out more resources about how you can recognize other’s greatness? Check out these articles:

“There is more hunger for love and appreciation in this world than for bread.”

– Mother Teresa

Deb Rakonjac

Organizational Development, Purolator Inc.

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Director, Marketing and Special Events, Encana Events Centre

"Funny, full of energy and incredibly motivating – all words to use when describing Sarah and her passionate stage presence. We were fortunate to have Sarah join us as a speaker for Spark Women’s Leadership Conferences and her presentations about leveraging greatness hit the core of our objective at SPARK: “A rising tide lifts all boats”. I would not hesitate to recommend Sarah to other organizations that are searching for a well-prepared, well-organized, thoughtful and passionate storyteller."
Shelley VanVeen

Learning & Development Manager, Libro Credit Union

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Sylvia D’Intino

Executive Director, Community Living Hamilton

"THANK YOU so very much for leading the engagement activities today! You’re a constant professional, with an amazing attitude and always seeing the great in everyone. I am grateful for how you have helped us this year to transform our in-person staff recognition events into virtual and on-location events. Our staff feel more inspired, appreciated and motivated after they hear you speak, and I know our amazing in-house team here looks forward to designing engaging appreciation events with your support."
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Manager of Professional Development

Canadian Dental Hygienists Association

"We work hard at CDHA to give our members a wonderful conference experience, so we were thrilled to have received resoundingly positive feedback on Sarah's opening plenary keynote. It was the highest attended of the entire conference for both dates!"
Jamie Campbell

Director, The Center for People in Organizational Development, Sheridan College

"Smart, challenging, innovative, committed, dependable, and reliable, I highly recommend her for all your recognition needs. I have brought Sarah into my last two organizations to help build a culture of recognition and celebration. The focus on appreciation is more important now than ever."

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