Thrivers in Action: Gretchen Moore
I am so excited to feature Gretchen Moore as my latest Thriver in Action! I met Gretchen during a Clubhouse event where I heard her talk openly about her experience with postpartum depression (PPD) and anxiety. Her spirit and story spoke to me, so I stalked her on Instagram after and told her I wanted to feature her! Learn more about her, the prevalence of PPD among women of color, and some mental health tips. Also, please check out her Shea Mom Blog, especially if you think you suffer from PPD.
Tell me about yourself and what your mission is. My husband and I created the Shea Mom Blog to raise awareness about postpartum depression, anxiety, and mood disorders. 1 and 3 women of color develop PPD and anxiety and are less likely to be treated. The Shea Mom is dedicated to amplifying the voices of Black Motherhood and uplifting the Black community. Our goal is to advocate for Black moms and families through the postpartum stage and beyond. Our mission is to amplify black voices, share positivity, and garner support from our allies, and share in the journey of motherhood. Tell me about your personal experience with mental health. Can be lately during the pandemic or overall throughout your life. With my firstborn, I had a hormonal imbalance from the time I left the hospital. Looking back, I know for a fact that the day we arrived home, I was different. My lack of sleep and already undiagnosed anxiety before pregnancy was slowly cycling into depression. I was working towards my Ph.D. and working full-time. On top of my workload, my grandmother passed away days before my baby shower. My plate was beyond full, and instead of resting, I kept going until I crashed. I no longer believe in the mantra, "strong Black woman." Let's dismantle that. The phrase creates a myth that we can handle everything, and we don't need support. This myth lives in our minds and pushes Black women to keep going without recognizing that it's okay to rest.
Any projects or initiatives you have started to support your mental health and/or the mental health of others?
Creating the Shea Mom Blog has provided me with healing and accountability. I use to hate writing, but now that I can write creatively, I have enjoyed it. I am truly walking in my purpose. Writing and going to therapy have supported my mental health. I am also an advocate for exercise; I love yoga and various workouts. It helps clear my mind.
Can you share any other health and wellness tips that you incorporate into your daily life?
Yoga, listening to upbeat music, talking to a good friend, watching funny movies, listening to motivational speakers, sharing happy moments with friends and family.
What have you learned about yourself/community/life in general since the pandemic?
The pandemic has provided me with an opportunity to slow down and reflect. I needed the pandemic. I didn’t realize how fast I had been moving. I needed time to slow down and enjoy my family. I also realized that you need a village. I live in a small community, and because I worked so much and commuted to work, I didn’t have time to get to know them. The pandemic provided me with time to get to know my neighbors and utilize my community for support.
Many of my readers are survivors of sexual abuse and are striving to power through the challenges that survivorship brings with it. Any words of encouragement for them?
Take it one day at a time. The road to survival is not easy. Healing takes time, and it’s not linear. You can feel good one day and the next day find yourself asking why and how. During these moments, get out of negative cycles and take time to reset. Resting can involve taking a walk, calling a trusted friend, or seeking professional support. Lean on support. There is power in asking for support.
About Gretchen Moore
Gretchen Moore is originally from Kentucky, but currently resides in Birmingham, AL, with her husband and two sons. The mission of her blog, Shea Mom Blog, is to amplify Black Motherhood and Black voices. She shares her journey of mental health, marriage, and parenting. Learn more at www.thesheamom.com and on Instagram as @thesheamom