I’ve written about courage before.

It isn’t something I feel I have enough of. I let things stop me all the time. Some people say that I’m strong, or that I have courage, or that I am brave, but I don’t buy that.

Courage doesn’t come out of a desire for courage. It comes out of a desire to accomplish, create, or change something – a desire that is so strong, it pulls you through fear.

I’ve been battling postpartum depression for the better part of 2 years now.

It started after we had a late-term miscarriage with Ryder, my 3rd pregnancy. I fell into a deep depression, pointed with anxiety, hopelessness, loss of a sense of purpose, anger at myself, and more. I learned something very interesting from that experience.

There are support systems for postpartum depression after giving birth to a live baby.

There are support systems for grief after a stillbirth or infant loss.

There are no support systems for postpartum depression after a miscarriage.

In fact, it took a lot of digging to even admit that’s what it was.

I was depressed through my next pregnancy, and I’ve been in full-blown, darkest days postpartum depression ever since he was born.

I love him. I love him so deeply, so truly, with every inch of my being and every fibre of my soul, I love him completely. And yet somehow, this beast that is PPD convinces me every now and again that he would be better off without me. That they all would. That I need to move on, because I’ll never be enough.

People might think it is courageous of me to share that. It’s not.

I have a desire, deep down in my heart, to not only overcome this pain but to help others overcome it as well. That desire is stronger than my fear – it pulls me through the fear and out, into vulnerability.

After we lost Ryder at 15 weeks, I started running. I hadn’t run since gradeschool so I was a complete mess, but I loved it. I loved the challenge of it, I loved the trails, I loved being alone with my footsteps and getting better every time. I loved feeling myself accomplish something. And I started to love myself.

Pregnancy sidelined my running, and I started up again in January. Now I’m better than I’ve ever been, and I’ve set a goal.

I’m going to run.

For the rest of my days, as long as I can, I’m going to run for the women who have suffered with postpartum depression. Not for “awareness”, not for money, but to encourage them to get out there and run, too, so that they can overcome it. We can overcome it. Together.

I’ll bestow courage upon them – encourage them – by being the desire that pulls them through the fear.

The desire to do that, for them, pulls me through my fear.

I’m not courageous. I’m not brave. I’m not strong.

I’m just a woman going for a run, hoping the people who need to see me will see me and will pick up their shoes and run with me. Fast and slow, trail and road and treadmill, I hope they’ll run with me and learn what they’re capable of and overcome the muck of postpartum depression.

And I hope they’ll know…

Courage doesn’t come out of a desire for courage. It comes out of a desire to accomplish, create, or change something – a desire that is so strong, it pulls you through fear.