When your plate is too full, it eventually tips. Welcome to the world of a Supermom.
When an overachieving, successful businesswoman tries to be perfect in every role of her life, it leads her onto a dark road of postpartum anxiety and panic disorder with psychotic features. A poignant memoir written with humor and heartache, this autobiography details the other side of postpartum depression: anxiety, panic, and psychosis. Ackerman gently walks readers through her terrifying journey of how a seemingly charming life unfolds into a nightmare of physical and mental breakdown, ending with inspirational, heart-wrenching inner strength that gives hope to a world of women.
Stacey Ackerman, otherwise known as Supermom, is an overachieving, type-A personality who survived a serious and debilitating mental health disorder after the birth of her third child. She shares her story in the hopes of helping other women survive a similar trauma. Her ordeal proves that a mental breakdown can happen to anyone, erasing the stigma of mental illness.
The Darkest Days
What should have been the happiest days of my life turned out to be the darkest days. I had always longed for a daughter, and now that I had one I wasn’t sure if I’d ever get to raise her.
I hadn’t seen my newborn in more than a week, but it felt like a lifetime. As I sat in the windowsill of my hospital room in the behavioral health unit, I looked outside at the world around me. I saw familiar streets, ordinary people going to visit loved ones, cars driving by, even the downtown Minneapolis skyline in the background. These were all familiar sights that I’d seen a million times before, but life from inside these four walls looked different.
Most of the time I couldn’t remember the simplest things—like how to brush my teeth, take a shower, or comb my hair. The outside world seemed foreign now. I had to think about it really hard to even remember that I had a baby. My engorged and infected breasts were the only hint of reality—the reality that I had to abruptly quit nursing. I was in a different place at this time in my life—one that I wasn’t sure I’d ever escape.
My psychiatrist labeled me Supermom. He said, “The higher up you are, the farther you have to fall.” He characterized me as the woman who juggles so many things that I can no longer keep all of the balls in the air. “Sooner or later something’s going to tip,” he said. I had a hard time believing him at the time, but now I think he was wise beyond his words.
Stacey Ackerman, a.k.a, Supermom, survived postpartum anxiety, panic disorder and psychosis and lives to share her survival story with new moms and clinicians across the globe. She currently works as a college marketing instructor, freelance writer and advocate for postpartum awareness. She lives in Lakeville, Minnesota, with her husband, Eirik and their three children, Evan, Eithan, and Emily.