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Wednesday, January 3, 2018

Go Ask Alice

Didn't we meet in the night in my sleep somewhere? (Yes)

They say that you are the king
Of this whole damn thing
Now they got me believin'
Said I don't stand a ghost 
Of a chance with my host
God, I wish I'd believed them
So let's drink a few
Here's lookin' at you, I swear
Didn't we meet in the night in my sleep somewhere?
Didn't we meet 
In the night in my sleep?
Didn't we meet
In the night in my sleep

~Be Loud, Be Purposeful, Be Strong, Be Courageous, Be Creative, Be Something~

Tuesday, December 5, 2017

Praying for Your Soul

Beautiful Song

I hope you're somewhere prayin', prayin'
I hope your soul is changin', changin'
I hope you find your peace
Falling on your knees, prayin'

You brought the flames and you put me through hell
I had to learn how to fight for myself
And we both know all the truth I could tell
I'll just say this is "I wish you farewell"

~Be Loud, Be Purposeful, Be Strong, Be Courageous, Be Creative, Be Something~

Saturday, October 22, 2016

I'll Eat Your Sins

Sin Eater

natachia barlow ramsey, postpartum psychosis, maternal mental health, postpartum psychosis stories, depression, sins, suicide

Send me your broken, send me your dreams
Send me your heartache, Send me your screams
I'll take the hopeless, I'll take the lost
I'll take your helpless, I'll pay the cost
The taunted, the tortured the sad and the blue
The beggars, the paupers, they all can come too
We'll be an island, of dysfunctional shame
We'll huddle together, our souls set aflame
Unwanted, unfit and cast far aside
The hidden, the shamed, we all have to hide
I'm here to tell you, I'll eat your sins
I'm here to say, you can start fresh again
I'll be your voice, I'll scream out your thoughts
I'll share your madness, all tied up in knots
We'll be an island, of dysfunctional shame
We'll huddle together, we'll play their game
Send me your broken and send me your dreams
send me your heartache, send me your screams
I'll take the hopeless and I'll take the lost
I'll take your helpless and I'll pay the cost
I'm here to tell you, I'll eat your sins,
I'm here to say you can start fresh again
I'm here to tell you, I'll eat your sins

~Be Loud, Be Purposeful, Be Strong, Be Courageous, Be Creative, Be Something~

Originally posted 12/10/2015

Friday, October 7, 2016

Upon My Death, Do Not Let Me Die

When I am gone

I don't want my story to stop being shared. When I am gone, be it by accident, disease, tragedy or triumph; I want it to be known. Say it out loud. I give my permission now to share my story. Share all my stories and if you have more stories of me, share them too. 

Upon my death, do not let me die.

*Originally shared October 10th, 2015. Right after the big flood last year. Now we are about to face Hurricane Matthew. So I share again*

I have lived an extraordinary life so far. I was reminded yet again very recently that we don't always know if we will wake up tomorrow. When we are young and/or naive, we seem to think we are invincible. That will not happen to us or those we love. We can walk away angry. With words left unsaid and that we will always have another day to say those
Myrtle Beach South Carolina, Postpartum Pychosis, Natachia Barlow Ramsey, When I Die, Flood, Thousand Year Flood
things we wanted to say.

I am living and have been living in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina. I have been here for almost six months and the last two weeks we have seen some amazing flooding take place. I have seen some things I hadn't seen before. Some, as simple as a cotton field.

Near the end of this summer we lost a woman who wanted to share her own experience of Postpartum Psychosis. Her name is Naomi Knoles; and she wrote We All Have A Story To Tell. Her husband is continuing that journey and wrote a short piece I will share here. I know personally how difficult that road is. I myself, along with many others within the Mental Health community took a hard hit when she died. I think it also provided a wake-up call.

Even one year; 3 years, 5, 10, 20 years after you have been in "recovery" and everyone thinks you have gotten past the worst of it; you can still have bad days and not make it out. The hole you have found yourself in, that dark, black hole that many of us have described. Well, that hole is deep, it's dark and even when you think you have walked out and beyond it's reach; it still has the ever so slightest grasp sitting lovingly upon your chest. It caresses your cheek and whispers in your ear. It says familiar things to lure you back and before you can blink away the tears, you are seeing black again.

Court for my grandchildren and things happening with my daughter take a lot out of me. Along with advocating.
Job discrimination is huge. I had a job, that I enjoyed very much and was doing well at. The minute, and I do mean the minute, they found out about my past; that was it. I had to leave. It did not matter that I had been doing this job for approximately a month already. I am not going to say where this was, just that I had taken a position where people that were educated (one was a doctor) were in the employment position and I was the employee.
When people ask me why I don't just go right out and find a job I just look at them. I have a resume. An excellent resume. I have skills, many skills. I am intelligent and sociable, I do an excellent job. I can even pass a standard background check and be bonded. (I used to sell insurance) But if one person googles my name, I am done for.

These are the kinds of things that 10, 15 and 20+ year out of recovery or at any time in a person's life can become too much.

Pink Moped, Postpartum Psychosis, Natachia Barlow Ramsey, Maternal Mental Health, Myrtle Beach South Carolina, When I dieI was out driving around on my Pink Moped during this Thousand Year Storm in South Carolina. I was listening to my mp3 player and I wasn't trying to get hurt but it occurred to me I wasn't practicing being my safest.
I started thinking about how I made the decision to "Walk the Line" and "Life for Death Sentence". I started thinking that while I may not commit Suicide more purposefully the way Naomi did; maybe I am hoping fate will just take over.
It's not suicide if I am out riding my Pink Moped listening to tunes during the worst Flood the Carolinas have ever seen right?
What about if I walk alone at night on the beach? Driving without a Helmet on highways? Meeting people off from Craigslist? Moving in with people I meet off from Craigslist?
I won't list some things for the sake of the fet community of people I am involved with.

Then it occurred to me that perhaps I just wanted to be scared.
Another friend (Walker Karraa) who is taking an offline break was speaking of a conversation she'd had with Naomi who had said "Walker, I was in prison. Nothing scares me." I remember thinking when she shared that, that I too had those thoughts and feelings. I still get scared for others. Just not for myself.

I want to sit on the beach every day and smell the salt in the air. I want to forget all the sadness around me. I want to be able to take a ride on my moped to the store and back while listening to music and enjoy the warm breeze.

But, then I read another story about another mom and another family who says; "we didn't know, we had never heard of Postpartum Psychosis". All I can think is how can you have not in this day and age. But then I remember they are cutting funding in even some of the most forward thinking states as far as Mental Health Programs go. North Carolina just cut $110 million from it's regional mental health and another $152 million is set to be cut this Spring unless something is done.

University of North Carolina in Chapel Hill created the first Women's Mood Disorder Clinic. Now that same state that set a standard is about to cut close to $300 million in Mental Health from its budget in less than a year's total time.

And that, is why. That is exactly why women and their families are not hearing more about Maternal Mental Health. Because Mental Health is usually one of the first to be slated for cuts.

I also, get emails, or friend requests on any of my numerous social media platforms. Someone wants to strike up a conversation with me about their experience, their child, wife. Sometimes I can't get to them all right away. But I do the best I can. I realize that by sharing My Story; I have made a difference. That for every person that stumbles upon my blog and reads it. Every person that reads My Story and reaches out or passes it along, I am getting through to people in tenfold.

Why, why am I talking about this now. It actually started after our friend passed away and there was a big discussion about whether or not Naomi's Story should be shared. When and how it should be shared and by who. None of us within the community felt quite comfortable. It almost felt disrespectable. But, on the other hand I truly believe she would want for Her and her Anna's story to continue on. Her story hasn't died. It feels like an injustice to stop talking. Like the disease won.
Postpartum Psychosis can't win! If we stop talking about ALL the people involved and how it has affected each of them it wins.

So, I will say it again. Postpartum Psychosis cannot win. Keep talking. Keep telling stories. Keep sharing.

I don't want my story to stop being shared. When I am gone, be it by accident, disease, tragedy or triumph; I want it to be known. Say it out loud. I give my permission now to share my story. Share all my stories and if you have more stories of me, share them too. 

Upon my death, do not let me die.

~Be Loud, Be Purposeful, Be Strong, Be Courageous, Be Creative, Be Something~

Originally Drafted 09-14-15

Tuesday, September 6, 2016

And So It Goes

Believing in People

I've brought all of you along with me, in part for my own sake and in part so I can help others benefit from my journey. Not everyone has to make the same mistakes or suffer the same consequences. People shouldn't all have to have heartache or heartbreak if it can be prevented.
Unfortunately, life just wants to kick your ass over and over again at times and while you're lying there in the dirt, you wonder if you will ever, ever learn certain lessons...

I like believing in people, or at least trying to. I don't have anyone in particular that I am especially close to. I have family and some friends and those have been the same people for a very long time that I hold dear. I have all of you, the people I keep apprised of this "process" and the
postpartum psychosis, natachia barlow ramsey, maternal mental health, depression, suicide, sunlight
A Date Worth Flossing For
struggles along with the victories.

I have another process for allowing people into my life at various levels. It's not set in stone exactly and it deviates depending on the person/situation. 
Dating has allowed me to get to know people at these various levels on everything from a meet and greet to allowing them to enter into my life in more intimate ways. The majority of these people do not make it past the very casual first stages of the first date or two and we never really text again, about 60% them. I assume it's like that for many people.
Another 25% we talk for a bit, and maybe even become friendly; that may just be where it ends up. I've made a few friends since being down here, some know about my history and some don't. I don't feel it's necessary to divulge my history to people at all times. Depending on the circumstances and what we're discussing, there may be times it just comes up. I direct them to this site.
It's frequently because they've lost a loved one to suicide. Besides writing about Postpartum Psychosis, I advocate and write a lot about suicide awareness and prevention. I strongly believe that had my mother not hung herself in our bathroom, perhaps gotten the help she needed when she was younger, the events that arose in my life wouldn't have taken place.
I digress...

So, there's that 15% left. Let's see; that's trickier to break down. Of those, there's probably another 10-12% that I start to inevitably phase out. Which is this: We hit it off and seem to have chemistry. There may be any number of those variables that we have in common. Depending on schedules and locations, we spend time together and are communicating frequently. Sometimes, I will start to throw out small pieces of information ahead of time to try and gauge their reaction. This will again vary depending on the information they are giving me. Obviously if they come from a family with a history of mental health issues and they mention it themselves, I'm not going to toss out the same kind of information as if they tell me no one in their family/friends have any kind of mental health issues that they are aware of. 

Technology has sped this process up sadly. It used to be I could take a few months while I got to know someone. Now, this system usually happens over the course of a few weeks. It sort of sucks. There's no courtship anymore. No summertime romance, where you just get to know someone and stay up late talking and hanging out. Making pancakes at midnight. Making love until dawn. Technology has robbed people of the mystery that comes along with the romance of discovering someone. Allowing them to know you in your time.

But, very fortunate for me, I have this public voice and I am able to keep the very best parts of myself to myself. Because even the parts of me I do share during these few weeks are not the whole me. They're a tiny snippet. Sure, I am sharing a few things that are not displayed on these pages and depending upon the person I am getting to know, it's likely we have some things in common that we are discovering together that are only privy to us.
I had someone ask me recently, or make a rather bold assumption that I told the world everything about myself. Or shared everything about myself. I didn't in that moment go into details because I knew they were referring specifically to this website. My response was to speak specifically to that.
But, and here's the but; I have many, many things in my life that only I know about. I have other websites. Other social media accounts. I do a lot of things that I currently am the only one who knows about. I'm an entire person of connect the dots and I am the only person who knows where all those dots go. I would love to be able to share with one other person where all those dots connect to. But for now, that's for me alone. Let's leave it at that. 

At some point in time I want to be able to share it all. But it hasn't happened and I'm not going to make it happened. It will happen when it's going to, when it supposed to, with a genuine person. Someone who speaks the truth and knows what really matters in life.

So, the last 3-5%, I usually tell them my story in some way.
We all know about when I drank a bottle of wine last fall (which I actually forgot about until I reread the other day) and woke up with lasagna in my bed (not cool). I never drink and I will never do that again. Or, most often, I direct them to this site. I've handed someone a newspaper article before. I've even had someone find it before I got it to them. That was almost a nice surprise.
Most people are okay after a while. It's the initial shock I think and a lot of questions. I completely understand that. I don't mind the questions, I prefer it. I'd rather someone take an interest, seeing it's such a huge part of my life. 
When I initially tell someone my emotions run really high for about two days. I know the pattern now. What I don't know is everyone else's pattern because else is an individual. A lot of times people try to play it cool, they go to the website and read a lot. Then they get standoffish. How much people want to talk after that depends. 

But, the last 3-5% of people are the ones who get to me. Those are the people I care about. I've learned about them, listened to them, heard them. Probably more than they realize. I've heard their voices, sensed their mood. I've gotten to know them and decided I liked them enough to take a chance. Those are the people that mean something to me. Honestly I don't like that many people, I'm guarded. I've built a fairly large wall. For me, it's also a one person at a time process. When I am "casually" dating off tinder or POF, I'll go out on three meet and greets a week. But once I hit it off with someone, I have to concentrate. I think that's just me. I'm made that way.

I'm not made casual. I care about people in my life, even those who enter it briefly by choice. Especially those I want to stick around. But you can't make people want to stay, you just hope they do.

And so it goes...
Believing in People

Natachia Barlow Ramsey; Postpartum Psychosis Survivor and Loser

~Be Loud, Be Purposeful, Be Strong, Be Courageous, Be Creative, Be Something~

Saturday, July 2, 2016

I'm Not Gonna Make it

A Return to Home and Paradise Hell

It's Thursday, June 2nd around 5pm. I've already gotten a bunch of errands done and we are preparing for the return trip home to Maine. My anxiety is high, very high. I'm excited and anxious awaiting the trip. There's the practical side of the 19 hour long drive with an infant that I'm not looking forward to, and then there's not seeing family in just over a year. That's more of what has my mind racing...

I'm hoping to get to see everyone but only being there a few days, that may not be the case. This trip has purpose and I need to get a few things done. While I am there I want to see visit with grandkids, and my brother and sister. Their kids and families. I had a niece and cousin born since I've been away I want to meet and I've been thinking a lot about that.
Natachia barlow ramsey, maternal mental health, baby, pink scooter, depression, postpartum psychosis, myrtle beach, beach days, memorial day, postpartum support

I've thought a lot about my brother and sister. Wanting to spend time with them, quality time. Genuine time. I want to explain how life is different here for me. People wave to me on my pink moped, just because. I enjoy life here in a way I cannot in Maine. That doesn't mean I don't ever want to go back or visit. It just means for now my existence cannot remain there full time. That I wasn't even certain how much of a difference it would make being away until I actually got away. It's phenomenal. I can breathe.
When I'm stopped for a traffic violation here, I'm given the benefit of the doubt and ultimately the fine is dismissed. VS being made to sit on the side of the road in Maine winter, while I wait for two people to drive up so one person can drive my vehicle back from 45 minutes away. Because I am never given the benefit of the doubt in Maine. 

I have a lot of hopes for visiting Maine. I want to repair some relationships that weren't in the best shape when I left. People that mean a lot to me. I want to see some little ones that mean the world to me. That I miss terribly.
There's a little boy coming to visit that is just so happy and smiling all the time that I want to meet my Dad. I feel like I let my dad down a really long time ago and I've struggled with that for seventeen years. He has the opportunity to know the wonderful little boy that's so full of life and makes the best little faces, he gives the best kisses. He's amazing and he calls me Mémé. He scrunches his nose and I adore him. He will bring so much joy just by being himself to so many around him. Just by being. 

All of the above was written June 2nd, 2016

Things did not go the way I wanted. I got to visit with my granddaughter but not my sister or brother. The time was hurried and sad. I had a very difficult time leaving and as I sit typing this, I am doing so with one hand. The other is in a cast and has a metal plate and several screws in it with much of the skin missing from my left elbow down.

The return trip was long. I found a room in a home to rent and quickly got a job at a temp labor agency. The 2,500 miles journey in six days to Maine and back had exhausted me along with the emotional toll of leaving Shey and the baby behind. I cried most of the 19 hours back.
I also started the process to sell plasma twice a week to make more money.

natachia barlow ramsey, suicucde, broken arm, accident, pink moped, cast, depression, maternal mental healthAt the end of my first week back, my second day on the job, June 19th, I was driving my beloved pink moped home when my front tire blew out. I was going about 30-35mph when I hit the pavement. I remember hitting once and thought I had stopped, but the moped kept going and took me with it further down the road. (I had run out of gas earlier on my way
home from work and pushed it several blocks and wondered if that had been a sign.) I remember lying there in the street and I knew my arm was broken. Within a few minutes I could hear an ambulance. The police arrived first to assure me they were on their way.

I remember crying, a lot. I cried some because I was in pain. But I remember crying mostly because I was alone. I knew I was there alone and I was going to have to go through all of it alone. I didn't know anyone in Myrtle Beach, not really. Being alone is hard and sometimes people don't understand just how alone, being alone can be. Especially in situations like this, where you know you are about to face a lot of pain and you just want someone to hold  you and tell you it's going to be alright. 

I had a couple casual friends I had made and one guy I had been seeing that picked me up. I don't think I could ever really explain to him how much that actually meant to me.

A week later, I had a metal plate placed in my left wrist. Extra long the Doctor told me. I don't know what I did, but it didn't just break the radius wrist bone straight across, it broke it across and slightly down.
I have road rash on both sides of my body. My right knee cap was almost to the bone. There's a big hole there. It scraped straight through my right shoe to the big toe nail and it's about to fall off.

I feel defeated. I've been having a lot of suicidal thoughts lately. I'm so lonely. The guy that was so wonderful and sweet, just stopped communicating once again (it's the second time). I have no transportation anymore. I can't work because I can barely even type.
I'm in a lot of pain. I'm not sleeping well. My insurance isn't covering most of my prescriptions or doctor visits.
natachia barlow ramsey, suicide, broken arm, accident, pink moped, cast, depression, maternal mental health
No Skin, Road Rash

I keep trying and trying and thinking things will get better. But then something like my tire blows out and I don't know what to do. 

I get tired. I want to not hurt physically, mentally, emotionally. Sometimes a hug at the end of these long days would make everything better and you can't even find that. 
So I struggle with many thoughts of inadequacy, failure, hopelessness right now. I have tried reaching out to a couple people but they don't seem to understand. 
Sometimes you just can't do it alone. Sometimes you do need someone else, even to lean on for a little while. I wish I had that someone. Because right now I feel like I'm not gonna make it.
I'm exhausted and I don't feel like I have anything left to give.

Natachia Barlow Ramsey; Postpartum Psychosis Survivor and Loser

~Be Loud, Be Purposeful, Be Strong, Be Courageous, Be Creative, Be Something~

Wednesday, June 1, 2016

My Psychosis Song

maternal mental health, postpartum psychosis, maternal mental health symbol, natachia barlow ramsey, postpartum depression, suicide

My  Psychosis  Song

Psychosis seized my mind, grabbed my very soul, shook my
very essence and violently took hold.
Overcome with thoughts that twisted in my head,
left me torn apart, and wishing I were dead.
Searching for the answers while my thinking was deranged,
left us all with scars and everlasting change.
Thrust into a place where everything surreal. I was completely
turned around, yet it all seemed so-oh real.

Pregnant now I wasn't, but the joy just wasn't there;
 replaced by emptiness and permanent despair.
Akin to automation, every, single, day. You lose touch 
with your sanity, you slowly slip away.
Reality is yours, it’s right in front of you. What’s black
is black to you, there is nothing they can do.
Truth is how you see it, through your own distorted eyes;
you know the only way, is to finally say goodbye.
Urgency abounds, now that the answers clear, love still
fills your heart, there is nothing left to fear.
Motherhood is sacred, it’s only you that understands. The rest
can go to hell, the rest can all be damned.
Psychosis seized my mind, grabbed my very soul, shook my
very essence and violently took hold.
Still I thought I knew, what black was really black. Slowly
began the process, of finding my way back.
Yearning for the void, to be filled within my soul. Yet knowing
that I’d live and never ‘gain be whole.
Crying every night, for years and years on end, asking for
forgiveness, just looking for a friend.
Harshest on yourself, yet there’s always some close by, to judge
you for your shame, while you close your eyes and cry.
Overcome with thoughts, that had twisted in my head. Had
left me torn apart and wishing I were dead.
Slowly opened eyes again as everything got lighter. The thoughts
were all less foggy, the colors all were brighter.
I started seeing things, the way I used to see. What once looked
like the color black, was now bright white to me.

Searching for the answers, while my thinking was deranged,
left us all with scars and everlasting change.

Maternal Mental Health Symbol, Postpartum Psychosis, Natachia Barlow Ramsey, Suicide, Depression, Maternal Mental Health, Psychosis

~Be Loud, Be Purposeful, Be Strong, Be Courageous, Be Creative, Be Something~

Originally Published October 29th, 2014 3:49pm EST

Tuesday, May 24, 2016

Days Like This

Every Regret I Have Will Go Set Free...

This is Kim Taylor's Days Like This - It's been one of those days where I just gotta let go after giving it what I had and be okay with what is. I always listen to a lot of music on days like this. So  I will share one anyway:

"And all I wanna do is live my life honestly."
"I just wanna wake up and see your face next to me."

"Every regret I have will go set free."
"It will be good for me."
"It will be good for me."

Progress is slow and I take incredible baby steps. But at least I am taking baby steps now instead of no steps. For me, that's progress and I can and will share that with all of you.

Natachia Barlow Ramsey; Postpartum Psychosis Survivor and Loser

~Be Loud, Be Purposeful, Be Strong, Be Courageous, Be Creative, Be Something~