My life was forever changed on March 1st, 2016. My best friend Sabrina lost her battle to postpartum depression. We have known each since high school and I had no idea she was struggling. I knew things were getting bad but I didn’t know they were this bad. When we lost her, I lost a part of myself and not a day goes by where I don’t think about her. She is the reason why I am doing this! All of this is in honor of her and to every Mom, that struggles in the dark!
A few weeks after saying my final goodbyes at the funeral I had my beautiful baby girl! The moment I saw her, I knew she was going to be a perfect little sister! I called her my little peanut! Even though she looks more like her father!
Although I brought this beautiful life into the world, my heart was still broken. I didn’t have time to grieve. It was a matter of weeks where I lost my best friend and became a mommy of two! There was no time to sit and heal! Life, of course, was busier but I felt like I was dragging. The best way I could describe it was walking with a sword right through my heart!
This constant sadness turned into postpartum depression. Not only was I hurting this great tragic loss, but I was drowning in motherhood! I was working full time and had a baby that hated sleep. Once the weekends rolled in, I never had the energy to want to spend time with my family. All I wanted was Sabrina to hug me and tell me that it was going to be ok. That’s when the suicidal thoughts started. I just wanted the pain to stop. I just wanted to be with her and I thought that I was not a good enough mother to my family! After multiple attempts, I was finally sent to the ER for an evaluation. After getting over the fear of not seeing my husband until I was released, I got my awakening! I realized that there was a reason why I am still here! That was when I started the podcast!
The podcast changed my way of healing! I no longer felt alone and I was able to chat with all sorts of Mothers from all over the country! I thought, while everyone had a different story, everyone wants the same thing and that was to be happy! These mothers brought healing to my heart! I will forever believe that Sabrina sent them to me! She saved me even when she was no longer with us! Which is how I came up with the name, “Always with Me”. She will always be with me and I will always be with these mothers shining the light in their darkness! That’s exactly what my best friend did for me! The podcast ended up being so successful! I was getting emails from mothers telling me how much I’ve helped them! That was when I realized I had to do something more!
Thus, “The Always with Me Foundation” was created! I’ll admit, the thought of running my own non-profit was scary. I never thought I could be someone that could inspire others. I was just a wife and mother in my eyes! Once again, Sabrina proved me wrong! Just like that, I found the perfect board of directors and have gotten an amazing response!
The foundation is dedicated to making sure every mother has the opportunity to have a postpartum doula to help transition her into motherhood. Doulas are a very valuable resource but unfortunately, not all of us are able to pay for said services. That is where we come in. We will give the mother the financial assistance so that she is able to get the help she needs and not have to worry about finances.
We will also provide expecting mothers the education they need on postpartum depression. What others don’t understand is that PPD or any other maternal mental illness is way more common than we think! 1 in 7 mothers will experience postpartum depression and it does not matter if you’ve had a mental illness background or not. It can happen to anyone! This is why we need to teach mothers where to go when they need help. Motherhood can be so lonely. That is why we are passionate about building a sisterhood in motherhood. No one has to go through this journey alone.
This is just a few of the projects we are planning for the foundation! Please join us in our movement! With your help, we can change the way society looks at Mothers! We can finally normalize PPD and get rid of the stigma! We don’t need to lose any more mothers and babies to this awful illness!
Diana Collins- Founder