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One Mom's Serious Battle with Depression

You never know what moms are hiding—below the surface of calm fortitude and grace—as they tackle the seeming mundane activities of ordinary life with kids. Drop-offs, grocery shopping, work, dinner, story time, bath time, bed time. Repeat.

For one mom, Very Busy Mama blogger and Latinamom.me writer MaríaJosé Ovalle, one trip was literally a bridge too far.

I was on that same trip. We were both on a chartered bus with a group of mom and dad bloggers, about to cross the Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco, when I saw MaríaJosé break down.

And all of us on that bus, gathered together for a conference—a group of moms and a few dads laughing, joking, supporting each other—thought MaríaJosé was simply car sick. We felt for her, of course, but we had no idea.

It was something more.

Coming back to Los Angeles, where I live, I found out that MaríaJosé had posted a video on her blog about the severe depression and panic attacks she's been experiencing since she had her second child a year and half ago, which culminated in this devastating bus ride in San Francisco. It was heartbreaking to watch, especially since I had been there, sitting behind her, as she struggled under the guise of something else.

Watching MaríaJosé reveal all that she's been going through in such a public forum is extraordinary and devastating at the same time. I want to help her, and I feel terrible that I didn't help her in the way she needed at the time. But she's right. Sometimes we just don't know—we don't see what's beneath the surface, what's looming under that terrible tip of the proverbial iceberg.

She's started a conversation, though, that so many moms are reluctant to have—for fear of not seeming strong enough, stable enough, happy enough.

But it's a conversation we all need to have. We need to express ourselves. We need to ask for and be willing to receive help. And we also need to support each other, because no one in the world knows better what we're going through than our fellow moms.

We deserve it.

So how can we support each other? How do we show fellow moms that we get it and say it's OK to get help? Because, although that tip of the iceberg sometimes barely breaks the surface, it's better than it not surfacing at all.

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