Month: December 2018

2019 goals

My 5 Goals (Not Resolutions!) For 2019

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I am ready to kick 2018 out the door. Sayonara, year.

The best thing you gave me was my beautiful daughter. The worst was piles of medical bills from a high risk and awful pregnancy, a traumatizing c-section recovery, and last but very not least.. postpartum anxiety and OCD.

But oh, January 1, how I loathe you.

Not because it’s a new year, I like clean slates, but because everyone everywhere is searching through their cheap champagne hungover brains for a list of resolutions.

The definition of “resolution” is a firm decision to do something.

Firm. Yeah, right.

Exhibit A:  I signed up for a weight loss program a few days ago. The holidays are over, we are a mere five months away from bathing suit season, and I am only six months from my daughters first birthday. I’d be lying if I didn’t tell you, “NEW YEAR NEW ME” was flashing in neon lights in my head when I began this dieting endeavor. Two days later I was in my kitchen eating left over Christmas cookies. Far from a firm decision.

We spend January proclaiming our resolutions, and February full of chocolate and regret for abandoning them.

As someone with postpartum anxiety and OCD the last thing I need is something else to stress and obsess over. The mere thought of creating a list of resolutions to focus on gives me hives.

Instead, I am going to set goals this year.

Rather than resolutions, goals take on more of a destination, and most destinations have bumps in the road. Sometimes the car breaks down, or the bus gets a flat, but everyone gets there in time. It may take longer than anticipated, but you reach your destination in the end.

Here are five goals that I have come up with for myself throughout 2019.

1. Be kind to yourself.

We are all fighting a tough battle. Having postpartum anxiety and OCD caused a whirlwind in my life the last few months of 2018, but I’m entering 2019 on a high. If that high plateaus, or my healing plummets for a moment in time, I will be gentle with myself. I now know healing is a process. Belittling myself for the bad days or bad moments won’t get me anywhere.

2. Set boundaries.
I talk a big game about keeping the negative out, but I never really do it. I set boundaries and allow them to be broken immediately. My goal for this year is to stick to my guns when it comes to boundaries. I know it is so important to ensure the people surrounding me reflect love and light while I journey through the PMAD world. I will work hard on protecting my peace in 2019.

3. Self care.

Instead of saying, “I need to lose X amount of pounds” I am going to incorporate more self care into my life. It can be as simple as applying a fun facial mask a few nights a week, making time for a mani/pedi, attending a yoga class once a week, or even making sure I get back to my nightly chamomile tea while watching my favorite show. If along the way I am able to begin a diet and shed some pounds, great, but that isn’t my goal. The goal here is to nurture myself as well as I do others.

4. Read, real books, not your phone.
Social media is the bane of my PMAD world. Unfortunately, not many will show the negative aspects of being a Mom and wife across their social media accounts. My goal is to put down my phone more when I am about to mindlessly scroll on social media, and pick up a book. I have 2 books on my nightstand with a small book light. I’ll replace scrolling through Facebook for way too long with a chapter of a book. Gone are the days where I would fall asleep with a book wide open on my belly, and now I instead fall asleep with my phone smacking me in my face.

5. Help others.
I have always been proactive in areas I feel passionate about, and being thrown for a loop into the world of PMAD has opened new territory for me that I never knew existed. The stigma, shame, and secrecy surrounding PMAD has created an environment and culture that has prevented Moms from getting the help they need at the most vulnerable time in a family’s life. If in 2019 speaking out about my PMAD experience can help even one single Mom, then it is worth it.

When the clock strikes 12:00 AM on January 1st, take a deep breath, and remember it is just another day. There are no mandatory resolutions to be made, only goals to journey through 2019 with.


Allison Sharkey

My Anxious Christmas

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It’s Sunday. I’m sitting on the couch nursing the baby when our 5 year old sits next to me. She pauses, drops her head and frowns. I roll my eyes without her seeing. I can only imagine what she’s about to say.

Today has been a good day so far. Granted, it’s 9:12am but waking up feeling genuinely good these days is a celebration in itself.

We’ve already made pancakes, not box mix but from scratch (only because we ran out of the boxed one), and watched the movie “Elf” while eating them.

“I’m sad because we didn’t put up more decorations for Christmas..” she says, still frowning and about to cry.

Big thanks to Will Ferrell and postpartum anxiety for this moment.

I look at her and answer the only way I know how to lately, through half sincerities, “baby we’re going to put more decorations up just not today.” Total lie. I have no plans on putting up more.

“I want to right now,” she says.

“We can’t right now. I’m feeding your sister,” I answer.

The baby has recently foregone napping anywhere except my arms, usually 10 min after nursing, leaving me paralyzed.

As my daughter was yelling at me about decorating, my bladder was also screaming. I had to pee for the past 20 minutes yet was also unbelievably thirsty since I forgot to grab a water before sitting.

For the 500th time this week I think to myself, “I really need to get her to nap in her crib already…”

There’s a container of Christmas decorations sitting next to the tree yet to adorn the house. The tree that’s been up since 2 days after Thanksgiving.

It’s December 2nd and I know very well having the amount of Christmas decorations up right now makes us ahead of the game. After all, I grew up with our tree and home being decorated one week before Christmas. So prior to this year I make sure to go full on Clark Griswold and decorate on Black Friday.

I blast Christmas music, we make hot chocolate, and we dance around the living room while decorating our lives away.

My five year old is obviously aware of her Christmas crazy Mom taking a back seat this year.

She gets louder now.

“Can’t we turn on Christmas music, Mom!” She begs. 
“Make hot chocolate for me PLEASEEE!” She pleads. 

“Alexa, play Frosty the Snowman!” She yells.

Frosty starts blaring from the speaker. The baby wakes up screaming. I knock over three ounces of milk collected in the device suctioned to the non nursing boob catching every drop of milk. My daughter sees the milk spilling and rage building. She immediately apologizes.

The rage that comes along with postpartum anxiety arrives. 

I scream my head off.

I want so badly to yell back at her:

“I’ve done enough decorating already!”

“I could care less about Christmas this year!”

Sending cards. Decorating. The movies. The cheerful songs. The lights and sparkles. Words like joy, merry and bright showing everywhere none of which depict the way I feel.

The holidays can be a lot for any Mom, but in the midst of postpartum anxiety I am so overwhelmed that Christmas has me underwhelmed.

I feel guilty. Guilt I’m not my holly jolly self for my five year old, and I’m not over the moon for my baby’s first Christmas. This is supposed to be the most wonderful time of the year but right now the pressure of the holidays is making it feel like the worst.

I don’t want family members passing the baby around like a hot potato.
I’m worried about whether or not everyone got a flu shot.

Questions about her not taking a bottle yet.
Comments about her tiny size.
And I really don’t want to bake cookies.
Or send the cards I’ve had on my kitchen table for the past 3 weeks.
I don’t feel like decorating more.
Or singing Christmas carols.
Or watching Christmas movies.

I am telling myself it’s just fine to take it easy, to tone everything down this one Christmas and focus on myself. Every year won’t be like this. It’s fine because our 5 month old surely won’t remember it, and 5 year old will still run down the steps with her eyes wide on Christmas morning.

And it’s especially okay because the way I feel right now is just a season.

A cold, dark, and at times stormy season that’ll pass in time. Right now the only thing I can equate with Christmas is the intense chill in the air. I know it’ll get warmer soon enough. The sun will melt the darkness away, and everything will Bloom again.

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Allison is a wife, mom to two beautiful girls,
and freelance writer living at the Jersey shore. She loves writing, cooking, Pinot Noir, Bruce Springsteen, and combing the shoreline for seaglass. After having her second daughter in the summer of 2018 she’s slowly navigating the world of postpartum anxiety.
You can follow her on
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Brandon Tremayne

The Story of Brandon’s Suicide

What do you do when you have done everything and it still isn’t enough?  

We talk about suicide a lot here at Bloom.

We talk about recognizing the signs, where to get help,  we share quotes and infographics and stories. We hope we help… and I think sometimes we do, but what happens when it isn’t enough?

This week it wasn’t enough.

Meet Brandon.

Some time on Wednesday, December 5th Brandon Tremayne got into his Black Nissan SUV and started a journey he had been planning for a while.

It was cold in New Jersey that day. Maybe if it had been snowing Brandon would have postponed his trip and everything would be different.

But it wasn’t snowing.

So on Wednesday, December 5th Brandon left his home, got in his car and started his journey… and so everything is not different.

It was a long drive, but Brandon didn’t notice.  He stopped to get gas twice, but he didn’t talk to anyone. His cell phone rang a few times, but he didn’t answer it.

It was late when Brandon arrived at his destination. He knew people fished there – he used to love to fish with his dad when he was little – but he hadn’t cared about fishing for years.  He knew people rafted and camped and celebrated life there, but he didn’t care about those things anymore. He also knew people died there, and that is why he was there.

If you have ever been to the New River Gorge in West Virginia you know about the bridge. It soars high above the gorge and from below gives the impression of touching the clouds.

It was cold and dark when Brandon pulled his car over, he was halfway across the bridge. He knew he had very little time before someone showed up, because this is where people came to die. Brandon climbed out of the SUV, leaving the doors and windows open and his cell phone and wallet on the driver’s seat, and in the early morning hours of December 6th Brandon jumped off the New River Bridge.

We don’t know when Brandon began planning his journey. Perhaps it was 2 days earlier when he said goodbye to his virtual video gaming friends and told them he was quitting forever. Perhaps it was 2 months earlier when he quit his job and told no-one. Or maybe it was when he started canceling his therapist appointments, refusing to take medication, or stopped attending family get togethers or answering his phone. But, it is more likely his journey began years earlier when a happy, loving 14 year old boy experienced depression for the first time.

Brandon battled depression and OCD until his journey ended on December 6th when he was just 22 years old. Brandon did not suffer silently or alone. His family knew he was in pain. They did everything they could to ease his pain, but it wasn’t enough. Because sometimes, no matter what you do, it isn’t enough.

Brandon Tremayne was part of the Bloom Family. He was the son of Carter Tremayne. He was the step-son of Lisa Tremayne.

Brandon is gone. He was not lazy or crazy or stupid or selfish. He was a smart, handsome man who had a family who loved him.

Every day we work hard to help moms who are suffering from mental disorders. We talk about getting help, erasing the stigma, creating resources, and stress that it will get better – and yet, we lost one of our family.

There isn’t a good ending to this story. I have struggled with a way to wrap it up neatly to make everything better. I can’t find a way so I will leave you with this:

Brandon’s pain didn’t disappear when he died, it was transferred – to his family. 1 in 4 suffer from mental disorders, but we are all affected… and this is why we will continue to fight here at Bloom. Get help, accept help, ask for help, give help because sometimes what you do IS enough.

If you are suffering or know or suspect someone is suffering please visit The Suicide Hotline or call 1800-273-8255.

Contact Us

The Bloom Foundation
716 Newman Springs Road, #117
Lincroft, NJ 07738


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