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Embracing Hope and Healing: Athena Estelle's Journey through Postpartum Depression & Anxiety

April 04, 2024 Danielle Nicole La Rose Episode 35
Embracing Hope and Healing: Athena Estelle's Journey through Postpartum Depression & Anxiety
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Pretty POWERFUL
Embracing Hope and Healing: Athena Estelle's Journey through Postpartum Depression & Anxiety
Apr 04, 2024 Episode 35
Danielle Nicole La Rose

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When Athena Estelle joins us, she opens a window into her soul, sharing the raw truth of her battle with postpartum depression and the beacon of hope she's become. Her launch of the "Delivered" podcast isn't just a personal triumph; it's a lifeline for moms, especially new moms. Together, we dissect the unique pressures on new moms surrounding self-worth and body image, reinforcing the necessity of mental health support. This episode serves as a call to arms—a reminder that vulnerability wields strength and that forging connections in our darkest hours can illuminate the path to healing.

Athena shares strategies that worked for her during her darkest times, from gratitude journaling to positive affirmations. This conversation is full of encouragement, urging listeners to embrace their own journey, celebrate themselves, and honor what brings them joy.

It's a Pretty POWERful conversation! Join us & connect with Athena:
 
Delivered Podcast: https://podcasts.apple.com/us/podcast/delivered-finding-victory-after-postpartum-depression/id1712220479
Athena's Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/athena_estelle 
Athena's Website:  Www.Athenaestelle.com


✨🤸🏻‍♀️ Join the 75 DAY HEALTHY PROGRAM:  CLICK HERE!! ✨💃🏻


Let's Be Social Media Besties: https://www.facebook.com/DanielleNicoleLaRose/
[ OR ] https://www.instagram.com/danielle_nicole_larose/
Let's Connect - Website: https://www.prettypowerfulgirl.com/

Show Notes Transcript Chapter Markers

Send us a Text Message.

When Athena Estelle joins us, she opens a window into her soul, sharing the raw truth of her battle with postpartum depression and the beacon of hope she's become. Her launch of the "Delivered" podcast isn't just a personal triumph; it's a lifeline for moms, especially new moms. Together, we dissect the unique pressures on new moms surrounding self-worth and body image, reinforcing the necessity of mental health support. This episode serves as a call to arms—a reminder that vulnerability wields strength and that forging connections in our darkest hours can illuminate the path to healing.

Athena shares strategies that worked for her during her darkest times, from gratitude journaling to positive affirmations. This conversation is full of encouragement, urging listeners to embrace their own journey, celebrate themselves, and honor what brings them joy.

It's a Pretty POWERful conversation! Join us & connect with Athena:
 
Delivered Podcast: https://podcasts.apple.com/us/podcast/delivered-finding-victory-after-postpartum-depression/id1712220479
Athena's Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/athena_estelle 
Athena's Website:  Www.Athenaestelle.com


✨🤸🏻‍♀️ Join the 75 DAY HEALTHY PROGRAM:  CLICK HERE!! ✨💃🏻


Let's Be Social Media Besties: https://www.facebook.com/DanielleNicoleLaRose/
[ OR ] https://www.instagram.com/danielle_nicole_larose/
Let's Connect - Website: https://www.prettypowerfulgirl.com/

Speaker 1:

I would just look at myself in the mirror and be like I don't even know who you are. It was almost like an out-of-body experience and it was really hard for me to get people to listen to me, to understand that.

Speaker 2:

All right, friends, we're back, and today I'm so excited to get to meet, for you, to get to meet my new friend, because I now officially have decided, athena, that you are my friend. We are actually friends in real life, but not really we just met and I'm so excited because she is going to share some really awesome stuff with us today. So, before I just let her just jump in and tell us all the things, let me give you a quick rundown. This is Athena Estelle, which, first of all, I just told her. How did she get so lucky to have like the best name ever? I mean, it's so romantic and like celebrity style. I wasn't blessed like mom and dad, like listen to this. Like Athena Estelle, hello, anywho.

Speaker 2:

Okay, she fought a very serious and long battle with postpartum depression and postpartum anxiety. She is now on the other side of her journey and progressing through her healing. She started the delivered podcast to share awareness, debunk the PPD stigma and promote healing through the stages of postpartum depression and postpartum anxiety, and today we're going to see where the conversation takes us. But she's all about self worth and body image and power, positive thinking, and so she is just the perfect person to be on this podcast. So, athena, welcome to the pretty powerful podcast. Thank you, I'm so excited to be here, yay, okay, so give us a rundown Like who is Athena? What, who, where? How did you end up here? You, I obviously like your story led you to your podcast, but then that give us a little background on you and how we got here.

Speaker 1:

Sure, so I just think a lot of people would describe me as someone who is, you know, super outgoing. I could probably talk to a wall. I have no problem. You know opening up and making a new friend, which I think is hard as adults. You know like what. As you're growing up, you know you meet a person on the street. They play the same sport as you, they go to your school, you know whatever it is. You start talking to them, you're like instant friends. I feel like in adulthood it's so different because everyone is like so established in their friend group, like these are these friends, these are these friends. And it's kind of like okay, do you want to be friends?

Speaker 2:

I know I feel like it's almost like dating. Like I have to be. Like, do you want to be friends with me? Like let's be friends on social media. Keep in touch, yeah, so I love that, yeah.

Speaker 1:

So you know, just outgoing like love to just love life and make connections. And I value my friendships and my family a lot. So I am Greek by background, so I am super close to my family, both sides of my family. My dad is not Greek, he is an English but he is like English, irish, scottish and then a little Native American Indian, so he's a whole conglomeration and I'm very close to his side as well. But just having that, you know, very tight knit family vibe, it's definitely a big part of who I am. So that's just a little tidbit for you.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, I love it, okay, and so tell us then what? Okay, let's just assume that people listening are kind of like me. I have never had children before, so I cannot say that I've experienced this, and this is why I was so excited. When I read your like to be part of the podcast, I was like, oh my gosh, yes, because I just had a woman. You know, I'm all about you know body image and I coach women through that and wellness and all the things.

Speaker 2:

But I had a woman recently who said I am going through postpartum depression and I'm really struggling with my body image after having my first child and it's really really challenging for me. And you know, obviously I can help with body image, but I've never personally experienced that. So tell us, like how did you a little bit of that story, of what you went through, and also then what made you decide to use that story right to start your podcast and really start sharing, where a lot of women, right, we don't talk about that. So, anyways, okay, I'll ask lots of questions later. So the first one was tell us a little bit about that story and like what kind of what you experienced, if for those of us who have never experienced it before, Sure.

Speaker 1:

Okay, so I will keep it as brief as I can because it is a very lengthy story, but the main potatoes is I was pregnant at the height of COVID, which had its own anxiety because I do work in healthcare. I'm a full-time physical therapist. So I was working at a skilled nursing facility at the time and you know I never treated a COVID patient being pregnant. That's just protocol. But you know, 10 feet from me in the room next door could be a COVID patient. And then there were specific parts of our building that were becoming almost like a COVID unit. So if you had to walk through it to get patients you're talking 10 COVID patients in a row that I'd have to walk by to get to mine. And knowing that it's airborne, meaning you catch it through the air and through like particles in the atmosphere yeah, that was just so stressful to me because you don't have to touch anybody, you don't have to be near them, it is literally in the air. So that was the first level of anxiety that I started to feel. And then, getting closer and closer to birth, I was not progressing at all. So I went in at my 40-week appointment. They said we are so confused why you're still pregnant. And I was like, what do you mean? And they said you know you're active. I was still I will not call it running because it was not justified running. It was like a Yogg, like a walk-jog situation and I was very proud of that. I was still able to do that. So for me, I was very confused why I was still pregnant as well. So I had no movement, nothing was going on.

Speaker 1:

I went in a week later for my 41 week Again no movement, nothing. But they said you know, unfortunately we're going to have to induce you. So I went straight to the hospital. They let me in. It sounds so silly, but you know we're so used to the hospital being like hustling and bustling and people in the lobby, people in you know rooms, family members everywhere. Well, covid times, it was a ghost town. So I get to the hospital and there's no one waiting, no one's allowed, there's no one even in the lobby. The whole food court is closed, nothing's open. It is two security guards and myself, and my mom was visiting from Ohio, so she was helping me carry my bags into the hospital. Well, the security guard stops are right at the door and he's like ma'am, I'm sorry, but you know you can't come in. And I look at him, I'm like what do you mean? He's like you know we're not allowing any escorts, we're not letting any families. And I said, but what about my stuff? We all kind of started laughing and I'm like I really don't care about my stuff. But my husband got his way from work and I will not be okay if I have to go on alone. So he apologized, he got me a wheelchair and a nice nurse came down. So my mom had to go home and that was its own emotional experience.

Speaker 1:

And then, you know, long story short, I had my daughter. She was very healthy, she was fine, but she was just very undersized. So they estimated that she was going to be seven pounds six ounces and she was born five pounds 13 ounces, wow. So almost a two pound difference, which is that's a lot. So I I encourage, you know, girls that are not pregnant and women that are currently pregnant do not get attached to that number, because it is a full-blown estimation and Certain technology is better than others, absolutely, but that's a big variable number.

Speaker 1:

So, with that being said, it was really hard to get weight on her. It was really hard for her to keep weight on. She was in like the number one, like literally 99% of people, heavier than her, for a month and then, I think, around her six week appointment she was in the third percentile. So extreme, extreme, small. So Getting weight on her was my biggest battle and that came with breastfeeding challenges and part of that was pride Because I was not ready to let that go. But I think for me I really wanted to try the hardest that I could and I felt like that was the best for her. So Couple months later we go in.

Speaker 1:

She's. Finally I think she was in the ninth or tenth percentile. And Then at that appointment the pediatrician mentioned that he noticed a flat spot on her head and I was like, are you joking? I literally just got some weight on this kid. I'm finally sleeping, she's sleeping. What are you talking about?

Speaker 1:

So we took her to physical therapy to stretch out one of the muscles in the side of the neck. It's called tortoise and it's when the muscle that connects your skull to your neck. It gets so tight it causes the child's head to tilt to that side and it can rotate their head so it can bring their ear Behind their shoulder or if it's rotated to the other side, it can rotate it toward the front of their body. So it's very obvious when a child has corticolus, most of the times they grow out of it, but you want to start stretching as soon as you can. It didn't work as well as it should have, so she needed a helmet and it's not the aesthetics of the helmet for me, because, you know, in physical therapy I have patients with braces, I have amputations, with prosthetic limbs, you know those type of things.

Speaker 1:

But it was more so Another aspect of failure of something that I didn't notice, something. Maybe I didn't stretch her enough, maybe I let her lay in a certain position too long. So it was just all these little things of failure that kept popping up for me and I think it Just destroyed my mental health. And I think part of that is just Awareness that I didn't have at that time to know you know you're a new mom, you're a first-time mom like, give yourself some grace, you know those type of things. And so I went on for 37 days with my husband. We saw several psychiatrist, psychologist, therapists, and it became a full-blown Hunt to find the right doctor that could help, that would listen to me about the anxiety Because for me it started as pure anxiety, severe, crippling anxiety.

Speaker 1:

I was not sleeping, I had insomnia set in and not toward the very end did it kind of turn into the depression. And for me, that's really where the body image is. The body image really took a tanking. Like I said before, I'd always been athletic and in tune with my body and eating healthy and working out, and then for me I would just look at myself in the mirror and be like I don't even know who you are. Like. It was almost like an out-of-body experience and it was really hard for me to get people to listen to me to understand that. So I was eventually admitted to the hospital because we just could not get the right medication cocktail that would work for me as far as the anxiety and the insomnia. So I was in the hospital for 12 days and then I went through a very intense day program for seven weeks, then finally reintegrated back to work about two weeks later. So I was off work for 11 weeks total and went back to work was somewhat successful. It took me about a year to get my groove back and things were going really well. So that was all the beginning of 2021 through the fall of 22.

Speaker 1:

This past January rolls around January of 23. I had been meeting with the same psychiatrist for about a year and a half and I told her. I said I don't think these meds are working anymore. You know, I feel great. I don't think I need to take them anymore. I think I'm ready to come off of them. She said well, I respect that, but it's been a very long journey. I need to go very slow. So we began the weaning process in January and, as of June 13th 2023, I came off all my meds, I completed all my therapy and I feel like I'm in such a better place I mean, I might be in a better place now than I was before I had the baby. So it's just been a huge, huge blessing.

Speaker 2:

Okay, there were so many nuggets there that I'm like, okay, I need to remember what you said. Okay, first of all, I love I mean not love, because I mean I wish that you would have never had to go through any of this right, but I appreciate you mentioning, you know, failure, right, like you mentioned that a couple times like I just felt like I was failing right with feeding her, getting weight on, and then right now, I didn't pay attention, I didn't see could I have later differently, could I have right and all of it. That, coming to, I'm failing as a mom, right, and I can only. I mean that makes sense to me as someone who's never been a mom. I'm like I could totally see that. You know, I think as women in general, we're always wanting to be perfect. We're always expecting, right, that we should have noticed something, that we, you know, we pay attention to details. You know, like if our friends dating someone, we're gonna find out he's cheating.

Speaker 2:

Like you know, like you were just those type you know, that's who we are and and we're so aware of other people and taking care of other people, and so I can only imagine that like and then you become a mom and now you're like totally in control of another human's life to expect that you're gonna be perfect and that, and when you're not, and it's out of your control like literally it was not in your control that you know she was birthed underweight, you know, and then all everything that happened, like none of that was in your control, and yet you still felt like a failure, and so I just think it sucks that that was your reality. And then it's a reality for so many people, especially women. But I think that's such like a connecting piece that you know so many people, whether you've experienced postpartum or not, that whole idea of I shouldn't be failing at this and yet I am, and then how that affects you know life. So I really appreciated you like calling that out and also celebrating the fact that you know, because I could see it in a switch in your face when you're you know, you're telling your story, and then you say and just, you know, just a few months ago, right, I'm off my meds, I'm feeling better. It's like all this stuff, and so celebrating that number one is amazing, but also going back and celebrating the fact that you made the decision to to ask for help.

Speaker 2:

You know so many people are sitting around not asking for help because they are afraid what people will think or, you know, they think that they should be able to figure it out themselves or whatnot. So I think even a bigger I shouldn't say bigger but equally important is celebrating the fact that you made the decision to ask for help and to do something about it, and you know and take that journey and that process. So I just had to call that out, okay, so now that we got like the background of how we like got here, obviously you asked for support, you got medication, you went to the hospital, you went through a program. You did all those things.

Speaker 2:

For someone who might be listening, who's like I am not ready yet to go through that, I don't feel like I need to go to the doctor, I don't feel like I need to do that, but I do feel like I have symptoms and I do feel like I'm struggling with anxiety or postpartum depression or whatnot, and they're not ready to take that next step. What are some things that you did that just anybody can do that really helped you with that self-worth part of it, the whole positive, like what is power of positive thinking to you? And like how did you practice? What are some things that you did tangibly that other people could try?

Speaker 1:

starting now, yeah, I think for me I got to the point where I would tell my husband. Back then I said, when I feel like I can't live my life, that's the problem For me. It was the switch where I was like I cannot do this anymore. I feel like I have no control over anything and I was like barely functioning For me. That's when I was like, oh no, this is really bad, I need a lot of help.

Speaker 1:

But I think before then, what I would absolutely recommend is find someone, whether it's your partner or your spouse or your best friend or your mom or somebody that you can tell everything. I mean everything the ugly, the bad, the suicidal thoughts, whatever the worst is that's going on in your brain. You need to have at least one person that you can go to and really tell them about it. Because I think for me, I was quiet for a very long time because, like you said, the stigma is so huge and strong and even if you don't want to admit that it's there, it's just part of society, unfortunately. So I think you have to be able to honor where you are and we're all human, we're all going to make mistakes, but we all deserve peace at the end of the day. So, whatever that looks like, whether that's for me, that was confiding in my husband at first and then telling my dad and my mom.

Speaker 1:

But it was also journaling I am a firm believer in. I have a gratitude journal. That is just gratitude. I do a daily, like three things a day. So something my therapist taught me but I recommend it for everyone is you write down three things every day and every Saturday you go back and look and see how your week was. So you write down one thing that made you happy, one thing that made you angry and one thing that you're grateful for. And some days I mean my most basic of basic, the thing that made me happy would be like sunshine, like the sun was shining today, and then the thing I was grateful for would be like my dog or like a sandwich or like something. But yeah, at the end of the day, I think when you are so wrapped up in for me, like I said, it was just like the failure, the negativity it's really hard to reach for a positive. But I think, like I said, we are all on journeys to have peace and balance in our lives. So I think you have to give attention to the good and the positive things that are around you every single day. Even if you don't want to admit it, there is positive things. I mean, for me my partner was extremely supportive, so that was something in the moment I was just so far gone I couldn't even really appreciate that for what it was. But looking back I'm like, bro, I'm lucky that you didn't leave. So, yeah, yeah, it's wild. So I would say find someone to confide in, absolutely.

Speaker 1:

Second journal whether you're just writing some days, I would call it my vomit journal, my other journal. So I'd have a gratitude journal and then like a daily, and sometimes that vomit journal was just like I am so mad because da-da-da-da-da-da-da. So those two things I would say were huge. The third I would say for me personally is I do believe in the Lord Jesus Christ. I'm a very involved person in our church. It's a huge part of my life, my relationship with Jesus.

Speaker 1:

So I would write down different Bible verses that I've either known my whole life or that I currently read, or a new verse, and I put it on an index card. But then I also have a couple of friends. They would put either positive mantras or they would put just positive phrases like you got this, keep going. Like the sun will rise tomorrow, and I would carry around those index cards in my purse at the time. So if I had to go to a meeting or a therapy or wait for the doctor, if I was feeling super anxious, I could just whip those cards out real quick and look at and see the sun will rise tomorrow. Like take a breath, breathe, you know. So just little things like that. I don't know how helpful that is, but it's helpful for me.

Speaker 2:

Sister, no, that is so helpful. Like you said, you know, there's small things. They might seem small but they're actually really big because, number one, they helped you. So proof is there and you know it. Just, you know it goes back to that whole power of positive thinking and, like you said, you know, we get so wrapped up. You know, I think about it.

Speaker 2:

You know, in regard to like your spouse or your whoever, your significant other, even a best friend or roommate, whoever, someone that you spend so much time around, think about all the times, right, when you're you start cleaning and you're like, oh, I wish they would have picked up that dish, or that, you should have done that, or they could have done that. And then you're like, you know, you get wrapped up in that mindset of, oh my gosh, why do I have to do everything? They don't do anything right, and it's the, everything, the anything, the, you know, like the most dramatic things, like our brains. Just go there. And then, when you stop and you're like, okay, calm down, they actually just did the laundry yesterday. They actually did that, you know they're, they actually cleaned that, so I didn't have to, they did that. They brought me some snacks, they you know and then you're like, oh okay, so it wasn't everything or nothing, or you know all the time or no, never. You know and you're, and so our brains just naturally go to those most dramatic places and they can take us down that road. And so, essentially what you're saying, again, those are three very small things, but three very small things that take your attention back to the positive, that allow you to get out those feelings and get out those thoughts and allow space for the positive that has been taken away. So don't discredit that, sister. Those are brilliant ideas that live in. What I love about those two is that, again, regardless of anybody's position, I think a lot of times too, we wait until we get to that dramatic spot right when we really don't feel good. We're really down a hole, like when, if we did the things that you just said, in small amounts, every single day, they would help help prevent some of that. You know the exciting stuff that could come later, and so I just appreciate those three, like those were, those were big things, sister.

Speaker 2:

So, with that being said, you know you mentioned that you looked in the mirror because, again, body image and self love and all the things are like totally my jam. So you mentioned that after you know so much time, you looked in the mirror and you're like I don't know who. You are right, cause your body is different. Your experiences are different. If they're different things, it's you talking to people as well. How do you think, or did it like what? Did you have a switch moment where you went from that to being like oh it's me, I love myself again, my body is great, no matter what, or I mean, obviously we're all still on a journey of trying to love and appreciate our bodies every single day, so there's not a right answer here. But is there something like did you have a switch? Or are there things that you've done that helped you look in the mirror and be okay or love your body after having a child?

Speaker 1:

So at first, I would say right before I started struggling so she was about four months old, she was finally gaining. I did know that she might need a helmet. The pediatrician mentioned it to us. It was around that time where the anxiety kind of started crawling up like a roller coaster like kind of like tracking up. And you know, I would just finished breastfeeding her, which that's its own mind game of joy, which it is amazing, I will say.

Speaker 1:

Breastfeeding is an amazing journey. It has its place. It's definitely not for everybody, but I would say for me and my pride. I said I'm going to do this as long as I can, and when I can't anymore I will wave the white flag. And that's what I did and I'm proud of that and that's fine.

Speaker 1:

But you know, when you stop breastfeeding it's not really friendly to the girls. So that was its own mental game, because I would just look at them and be like, oh, my poor body, you know. And then you're kind of soft and, like you know, I lost a lot of muscle because I was in the hospital and I, you know I hadn't worked out forever. So it was definitely very hard to look in the mirror. I avoided the mirror for a very long time it probably I moved the one mirror out of our master for a year and I said I don't even want to see it. I mean, obviously, in the bathroom, you know you have to like look in the mirror and wash your hands and put your makeup on, but I was like ugh. But I would say about a year later, around the time of her first birthday. So that would have been summer of 21. I was out of the hospital, I finished my day program, I was back to work and we were at her one year birthday party and I don't know if it was a switch, but I would say it was the beginning of finding that piece that I had prior. Because someone said to me at the party like you know, you look really good, you look really healthy, you know you're not thin like how you were before, because when I had that postpartum, I mean I wasn't just not eating, eating was not a priority, it was not on the table, nothing tasted good, it just meant nothing to me. So hearing someone say that was kind of like the first, like oh, okay. And then my husband's sister got married, antiqueira. She got married that July and I remember at her wedding. The whole time I was like I look atrocious, like that to these people, like I need to go, and no one really knew how much I was still struggling because I was there. So I was present, right, like I was in the moment. I was at the event, I did the things, but in my brain complete spasmatic, freak out for three days, you know it was. It was hard. But looking back, that Christmas we got the pictures and I was like, oh, I guess I kind of do look pretty like, okay, mama's all right.

Speaker 1:

And then, you know, I kind of started tapering off the therapy spring of 22. Things had gotten a lot better. I had started feeling more like myself and I had started to be able to establish a more solid workout routine. So that was great. But I think something that my therapist taught me in the very beginning her name is Lauren, she is, I love that, I love her so much but something that she told me in the very beginning was the phrases should and could are deadly and I think when we start to attach ourselves to them like I should be working out more, I could have worked out more, I shouldn't have breastfed, I could have done formula.

Speaker 1:

You know all these different scenarios, which none of them have happened. They're all hypothetical phrases, right? So I think when you start letting your mind go to those rabbit holes and you're already saying like, oh, I should have done this, I should have done that, I could have done this, you know, that is just she used to call it, oh, I'm going to get it wrong. It was something to the effect of like the brain's way of tricking you into thinking that you've done something wrong when you were just living and making choices based on what you knew at the time. So that really stuck out to me and I would always say, oh, I'm going to remember that. So that really helped me.

Speaker 1:

As far as the body image, and then I think you know, to this day I'm still not where I wish I was pre-baby. But I think, after going through something like postpartum depression and the anxiety and the insomnia, I'm just so happy to be a functioning, joyful adult that's present that it doesn't really carry as much weight for me as it did before. If that makes any sense. It makes complete sense. Yeah, it makes a lot of sense, it makes a lot of sense.

Speaker 2:

It's interesting, yeah, you know, because so often we take those things for granted, right. Number one that we have we are able-bodied. That's one that we even have the option to get up in the morning, that we, you know, we take for granted, Like you said, even something as small as the sunshine right, or the flowers, or just the fact that we can open our eyes, that we have people that love us, that we love other people. You know, we just take all those things for granted. And the very breath that we take right Every single day, the fact that our hearts are beating, we take that for granted and we're so especially when it comes to body image for women. We're just told our whole entire lives that that's our number one goal is to try to look pretty, and we haven't been taught how to just be grateful for having a body, for having a body that moves and allows us to be happy and smile and laugh and, like you said, be joyful, right, and so it's all about that. For me, it's always about that body. Gratitude of just bringing ourselves back to my body loves me, my arms allow me to pet my dog right, or hold the babies, or, you know my legs allow me to have a dance party and walk around and take a walk with my dogs, and so, you know, I do think, when I love that mindset that you shared, you know, just after all of this it's I'm just grateful that my body is here and I can be joyful, right, and so I love that. And also I have to go back. I didn't want to interrupt you because it was. You were sharing such good stuff. But one thing you said I want to call out again because I just think it's so powerful is. You mentioned that I think it was in regards to breastfeeding and you said you know, I said that I would do it as long as you know it worked for me, and when it didn't, I would make that decision. And you said I am proud of that decision that I made. Right, it was right for me, and I think through this and through anything that any of us go through in life, we really have to just stay focused on that right. What is the choice that's right for me right now and what can I do to just make myself proud, right? And again, that kind of relates to that like should, could, type of thing, like it's not about what I should do or could do. It's about what makes the most sense for me, and not everyone is going to get that, not everyone is going to approve, not everyone's going to like it, but it's my life and I got to do what's best for me and it's going to help me with my mental health, with my physical health, what makes sense for me and my family. And be take, make that choice and then say I'm proud of that choice because it was right for me. So snaps to that. I love that. You said that and I just because, again, I mean it's just so powerful, right, like, and we say those things and don't think anything of it. But how many women don't make choices that would be right for them because they're afraid of what other people think, or what their mom would have done, or what their sister should, would do, or what they should do or could do or whatever, and so I just love that. You know, you said that was the right decision for me and I'm proud of that. So I think we all get to make more decisions like that.

Speaker 2:

Thanks, girl, yeah, okay. So, girl, this was so good I thank you for. You know this isn't an easy topic right To talk about. Like you said, there's so much stigma around it, and so I just really appreciate you sharing it. So can we, are you? I forgot to warn you of this. At the end of every episode, I like to do fun rapid fire questions like totally random. Are you down for that? Yeah, okay, all right, okay, so let's see, and I always just kind of go random. My first question always, though, is if you could only choose one food for the rest of your life, like your final meal, like the meal that is, like your go to, what would you choose?

Speaker 1:

Oh man, I'm Greek. That's not fair. I like a lot of food. Okay, let's see. Okay, it's going to be super lame. There was this Italian restaurant that was here in Florida and it was one of my favorites, and they made a braised short rib with orchety noodles which is like this little disc, like Italian noodle in like this creamy sauce. Oh my God, if it still exists then I would go order it right now.

Speaker 2:

I love it.

Speaker 1:

It was so detailed, that's so good.

Speaker 2:

Okay, what is a workout that makes you feel powerful? Oh, weightlifting, for sure.

Speaker 1:

Yeah, not like CrossFit style, more so just like your old school, like reps and sets for weight, increasing weight as you go more tight. I like it.

Speaker 2:

One song that makes you feel powerful.

Speaker 1:

Oh, Survivor, Destiny's Child oh okay, I like it.

Speaker 2:

It's all my playlist, so I listen to it regularly, so I'm here for that. Okay, let's see who is one powerful woman that has inspired you in your life.

Speaker 1:

Oh, reese Weatherspoon. I know, I know it is an interesting choice, but I think she has produced some really solid books. I think that she has become part of a really cool publishing team with her Hello Sunshine brand and she's done a couple good shows and movies. So, yeah, and she seems just like a great mom and someone I'd like to get a couple coffee with.

Speaker 2:

I love this answer because I'm going to be honest, I love me some Reese Weatherspoon. I've seen movie, like I'm a fan, but I'm not aware of the books and the team. I'm intrigued now. Now I need to go do more research.

Speaker 1:

Go look up the book after this. It all fires everywhere.

Speaker 2:

Okay, I will.

Speaker 1:

And it's based in Ohio, which, since we're both from Ohio, you will like that.

Speaker 2:

Interesting. Okay, I'm going to go find it now, I mean after this. I will say bye to you first, then I'll go find it. No, I love that. Okay, so good. Okay, if there is one powerful piece of advice that you could leave for your daughter, what would it be?

Speaker 1:

Don't sell yourself short.

Speaker 2:

You're worth more than you know, that's good, I feel like I can just do like a mic drop now and just like be done.

Speaker 1:

I feel like that was like a good cutting Goodbye.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, no, that was okay. I love that. Okay, what is a daily or consistent habit that helps you step more into like your self love, self worth, confidence that you do regularly?

Speaker 1:

A good face mask, and then this one solid exfoliant that I'm obsessed with. Yeah, ooh, okay, it's like super gritty.

Speaker 2:

Ooh, okay, I love this answer. You have really good answers. This is real good. This is good. Okay, let me just let's wrap it up here. Do you have did I miss anything where you're like, oh my gosh, I really wanted to share this with people? Any last words that you'd like to leave for people before we say goodbye?

Speaker 1:

I'll just leave it with one thing. I think that obviously it's very hard to talk about any mental health. You know it's very, it's emotional and it's heavy and it's raw and it's real. But I think if you are struggling with anxiety or depression or suicidal thoughts, you know whatever it might be, I think if it is affecting your life and it is affecting your relationships and your day to day, then you owe it to your best version of yourself to go get help. And that might just mean calling your OB. If you're postpartum, that might mean calling your general practice doctor, that might mean finding a doctor. But your best version of yourself deserves that and I think when you're so lost it's so easy to forget that. But you are worth it.

Speaker 2:

So good If people, when people listen to this episode, they're going to be like, oh my gosh, danielle, can you share your new best friend with me too? And I'm going to say, I mean I guess so where would you like people to find you? Learn more information about you hang out with you. Where would you like them? Is there social media or do you just want to send them right to the podcast? Tell us.

Speaker 1:

Yeah, so I do update my Instagram most frequently. It is Athena, underscore Estelle, and then the name of the podcast is delivered finding victory after postpartum depression.

Speaker 2:

So good, and we will drop those in the show notes too, so people can just click and they don't have to worry about spelling. So we'll make it easy for everyone to come hang out with you. So, athena, thank you so much for being here. This was, I mean, like you said, a challenge, like a difficult topic to talk about, but I really appreciate it and you know the tips, the tricks and the strategies and just sharing your story. I know it's going to relate with so many people, and so you're just amazing. So, thank you, you now have to be my best friend. You didn't know that, but now you know. So thank you so much for being here. I appreciate you.

Speaker 1:

Thank you so much for having me. I'm so glad I got to be here.

Overcoming Postpartum Depression With Athena
Motherhood Challenges and Mental Health
Self-Care and Self-Love Journey
Overcoming Postpartum Anxiety and Body Image
Powerful Moments and Inspirations
Seeking Help for Mental Health