This week I went to a little park near our house with my daughter, we never go there because there is no swing for little ones, only a tire and the slide is big but she’s getting bigger and I thought, why not. There is a little grassy hill and Coco was running down and I was running after her, it was perfect blue sky, the sun was warm and the cherry blossoms are in full bloom. She was laughing so hard as I ran behind her, she loves being chased, I caught her and threw her in the air, she was delighted, nothing beats kids laughter and squeals. I turned around while hugging her and looked up the little hill over her shoulder at the cherry blossoms trees and the park bench, I was suddenly overcome with so much joy and happiness my eyes welled up and I couldn’t control the tears. Last year at this time I was finally recovering from serious postpartum depression.

Before the depression hit me I was a generally happy person, I ate well, exercised, loved life and live to the fullest and above all, I had fallen in love with this little person who was now in our lives. It hit me 3 to 4 months after her birth, thankfully in all of the 12 major symptoms I didn’t have the two scariest, harming myself or my baby but I had all the other ones and it was very devastating, specially the intense intrusive thoughts at nights which would hit me so hard I would jump out of my skin in bed and cry. I had the attitude of a fighter, I wasn’t going to let this evil thing take control of my life but some days were very hard, most days for a long time. Also for someone who won’t even take a Tylenol for a headache, having to take medication was one hard pill to swallow. With no family living close, my husband stopped working and took care of us, he said that we would fight this evil thing together, I’m so lucky to have him. Since he was home with us and he exercise a lot and believes in the good benefit you get mentally from it, he often suggest I go for bike rides and walks. On one of those walk I went through the little park near our house. It was a gray overcast day, the cherry blossoms weren’t out yet, it was around February I think. I decided to sit on the bench on top of the little grassy hill and there was two mommies running after their kids, they were probably around18 to 20 months. They were all laughing and having so much fun and I lowered my face in my big jacket collar and just started to cry silently wondering if I will ever have fun like that with my daughter, will I ever be the same happy woman again, I was in such a bad state of mind that I didn’t believe that day would come, it seem like it wouldn’t happen, I was also a little bit jealous of these moms.

I have been postpartum depression free and medication free since last May but it’s been a slow recovery, my mood and my body were not where I wanted. Since starting this challenge and the Total Body Revolution program I am now where I want to be. Exercise and eating well gives you such positive results physically and mentally. I wanted to change my life and I am doing it, I stand so tall and proud and I write with teary eyes. Ally from TBR and her support, Jill and everyone behind the challenge, you all couldn’t come at a better time in my life, things happen for a reason and this is my time to shine and I can’t thank you all enough.

-Caroline Alaire