This week, actress and new mom Hayden Panettiere entered a treatment program for postpartum depression. We commend her decision to seek supportive care and send these words:

Oh Hayden,

I want you to know that you are held.

I want you to know that you are a woman and a mother first, before the fame, before the media. And that the role of self and woman and mother will always come before all else. We see you, Hayden. We see you through our own tired eyes. We see you without judgement. We see you without the guilt that weighs upon your own shoulders. We see your pain—and we also see your future. And it is beautiful and bright. Just know that, even as it brings you to your knees.

This struggle within you is both your own, and that of the ages. It is hormonal, it is chemical, it is transitional, it is real, it is happening and it is not your fault. I’ve been there myself—so scared of admitting the spinning overwhelm. Pushing so incredibly hard to make it through one moment, even an easy one. And feeling my heart pound and my hands shake and thinking “Why?” Thinking “I can’t do this,” is heart-wrenching and all-encompassing, especially as it drags you further away from your new, perfect life with your little one.

The walls are crumbling around you, my love, just as they did around me. That is the truth. You are bare. You are sensitive and torn and your heart has never been this fragile. But you are still here. You can inhale and exhale and follow a single breath. For now, that is enough. Leave the walls in shambles, lay open your shattered self. Be broken, this once. If anything, our imperfection ties us to one another. It makes me touch a place of deep sympathy and forgiveness. It makes me a better person. And so, it is here in this rawness of being, that you will become the embodiment of strength and bravery that you always were.

There is help. There is hope.

-Hannah Garrison

Hannah Garrison is a keeper of safe spaces. Motivator of brave brilliance. Finder of authentic change. Founder of Calm-A-Mama, Wear Your Music, OMstacks and and ICF accredited coach.

Photo credit: jingdianmeinv / Foter / CC BY-SA