On Sept. 30, I’ll be at the Alanis Morissette concert when her tour stops in San Diego. It isn’t just because she’s an evocative singer/songwriter celebrating the 25th anniversary of her album “Jagged Little Pill.” It’s because she’s also a survivor of postpartum depression. In fact, she believes so strongly in the need to educate and help new parents that she’s throwing her support behind the cause in a real and tangible way.
I’m attending Alanis’ show as part of Postpartum Support International. I’m honored to serve as the first California chapter liaison of this exceptional organization, which promotes awareness, prevention, and treatment of mental health issues related to childrearing. We’re going to share information from a booth set up at the concert arena to help spread the word about perinatal mood and anxiety disorders (PMADs).
Even better, Alanis has partnered with PSI, the National Alliance on Mental Illness, and the Center for Addiction and Mental Health on a cool fundraiser. She’s selling a specially designed T-shirt bearing the words, “Everything’s gonna be fine, fine, fine,” a lyric from her famous song, “Hand in My Pocket.” The shirt’s beautiful and meaningful for anyone who’s dealt with PMADs, plus it’s made from 100% organic cotton. All of the profits from the $30 T-shirt will be split between the three organizations. (And you can order the T-shirt online if you can’t make it to one of her shows!)
Alanis has three children, and she has said she had postpartum depression after each birth. Not only that, but the depression symptoms would get worse each time. Her youngest, Winter, just turned 2 in August, and Alanis said her most recent bout of postpartum depression ended just a few months prior to that.
It’s not surprising that someone who so brilliantly captured the agony of heartbreak in her songs (“And every time you speak her name/Does she know how you told me/You’d hold me until you died/Till you died, but you’re still alive) would also capture the heartbreak of postpartum depression. She said it felt like being “underwater and also covered in tar,” according to TODAY Parents.
In 2019, she posted a moving personal essay about her postpartum experiences on her blog. Anyone who has experienced PMADs understands her description of the fogginess, anxiety, hormonal imbalances, pain (emotional and physical), and much more that she endured. But what I find so beautiful and relevant is the hope her essay also offered (spelling and punctuation are hers):
“i have been here before i know there is another side. and the other side is greater than my ppd-riddled-temporarily-adjusted-brain could have ever imagined: as a mom. as an artist. as a wife. as a friend. as a collaborator. as a leader. as a boss. as an activist. i saw how things got richer after i came through it the last two times. i have my eye on that prize again.”
If you’re struggling with PMADs, Alanis Morissette would be the first to tell you that you are not alone. Postpartum Support International has support and resources available, they are here for you!
Alanis Morissette was terrific in concert last night–and it was even more amazing to be there representing Postpartum Support International (PSI) to spread awareness about PMADs! I was joined by dear friends Julie Lopez, @tatrolopez, and Dr. Daniel Singley @men.excel. For several years, we have served together, organizing the annual Climb out of the Darkness @climboutofthedarknesssandiego event in San Diego, another fantastic event put on by PSI.
Julie and I represented PSI-CA State Chapter Board of Directors @psi_ca_chapter at the concert PSI information table. We are survivors of PMADs, and both feel the best thing that came out of our struggle with PMADs is our precious friendship. Talking to people who came by the table about the hope of surviving PMADs, the resources provided by PSI, and helping to take the stigma out of PMADs was an honor and filled up my heart. And, of course, getting to do it with my friends Danny and Julie was the best!
Alanis has a moving PMADs story of her own, and her support of families is invaluable. It’s not too late to order her special “Jagged Little Pill” T-shirt, with the proceeds earmarked for PSI, the National Alliance on Mental Illness, and the Center for Addiction and Mental Health.
PSI Helpline Call or Text: 800-944-4773
#1 Español or #2 English
PSI Text Español: 971-420-0294
Science has shown that sleep is essential to help cope with PMADs; contact me if you need sleep support. I can help your family.