By Kelley Legler
I’ll begin where it turned around. My husband. He is my light. He saw me deep in the deathly hallows where I thought I would stay.
I remember the days as if they were recent. The feelings of worthlessness and self-pity. The feelings that I could never return to my absolute best life that I deserved to live.
I had a child. I lost my job. My parents got divorced. My brother was in jail. My head was in every direction and people were telling me to be happy. Act happy. I just simply couldn’t make myself do that and this horrible part of me took over.
Depression is awful. It sneaks up on you. It is a “dementor” that sucks all of the good out of you. It preys on those that are conflicted and takes. It slaps pressure in your body that makes you anxious, emotional and unpredictable. It puts thoughts in your head that you are always embarrassed to talk about.
Those thoughts nearly took my life. I didn’t think I had anything left in me that day. I texted my husband and made sure the kids were safe. I almost went in the garage. Almost. Almost. Almost.
‘Almost’ is the most impactful word in my vocabulary.
Immediately, my husband took me to get help. Together we saw a therapist and spoke with my doctor. I educated myself about this disease and sought the help of therapy and medication.
I am a 6-year survivor of Postpartum Depression and Postpartum Anxiety and this is my story of coming alive.
Depression is way too common of a disorder, but there is a stigma that if we are depressed or have anxiety, we are weak.
I am not a weak person. I have value and so much to give that it hurt me to know during that difficult time I had to focus on myself. I decided to use my business as an outlet. Sewing literally saved my sanity.
My mom taught me how to sew. My mother-in-law and I created a strong bond, working together to build a business, providing both of us a time to connect and share our creative passions. We traveled, attended craft fairs, built websites, built a strong #babyjackfan following, rejoiced when we opened new store accounts and improved our design processes–all out of my basement. We grew a brand that is recognized all over the U.S. and in various countries and all of my past weaknesses fueled my motivation to succeed.
I now create for a living. I bring comfort with our baby blankets and use my skills to design unique prints. I channel all of the raw emotion to better our business and persevere. In 2014, I developed a Kindness Project called #spreadthelovey that puts our comfort products in the hands of kids in need all over the United States. Our brand works with parents who just want to DO GOOD and give back. In the past year, Spread the Lovey distributed over 3,000 blankets to families in hospitals, military, fire and police stations.
This initiative has created a network connection of kind people. We validate one another’s feelings and show support when needed. We cry for one another in desperate times and send prayers. We rally. We fight and we celebrate many life milestones.
Happiness can be found in the darkest of times. If only one remembers to turn on the Light.
Kelley Legler is a wife, mother of two and owner/creator of Baby Jack and Company; a nationally recognized brand with developmental toys and blankets. A true entrepreneur, kindness advocate and wizardry enthusiast she spends her time with family, friends and trying to make an impact whenever she can with her project #spreadthelovey