A few months ago, if you had told me I’d participate in a protest march for science I’d have laughed at you.
Science? Yeah, no. Not really my thing.
(Except behavioral science. I dig that. But data and graphs and atoms and cells and math? Nah.)
But the election happened. The EPA was gagged. Park rangers created rouge Twitter accounts to educate The People on facts about the Earth and universe.
To me, our freedom of speech was being threatened and I got pissed. When talk of a March for Science reached me, I immediately knew I’d be going.
As Earth Day grew near, I started thinking of things to write on a poster. I wanted to be snarky. I wanted to be matter-of-fact. But I soon realized there were lots of reasons why I was marching:
- I marched to for freedom of speech and freedom of facts.
- I marched for the Earth. Climate change is real; just ask the daffodils in my yard that bloomed early-February.
- I marched because the river by my home is in danger of being fracked.
- I marched for clean air and clean water.
- I marched because vaccines have kept my kids healthy.
- I marched because science has created medicines to keep my depression and anxiety in check when I’ve needed it.
- I marched because science created developments in food allergies which keep my son safer.
- I marched for the trees, for the trees have no tongues.
- I marched because I like beer.
- I marched for moms – because science is helping understand and treat perinatal mood and anxiety disorders (PMADs) better.
- I marched for my kids – because I don’t want to depend on rogue twitter accounts for facts to educate them. And I’d like them to be able to breathe fresh air and not worry about getting cancer from dirty water.
So many reasons.
I’m not a scientist, but I’ve always loved psychology. I finally settled on telling people that science saves families:
Studies have shown that when moms are happy and healthy, the whole family benefits. Children have less behavioral problems. We wouldn’t know this if it wasn’t for science. We wouldn’t know how to treat PMADs without science. We wouldn’t be able to treat them period.
And because I had to be a little bit snarky…
I put (part of) (one of) my favorite Black Sails quotes on the back, to remind people that those of us speaking out and attending marches and demanding better from our elected officials are the majority in this country.
I’ll be persisting in the name of maternal mental health for the 5th annual Climb Out of the Darkness. Climbs are being organized around the globe – I’m organizing my third one this year! Postpartum Progress closed it’s doors in February, but the Climb has been taken over by Postpartum Support International – a world-wide nonprofit that has been helping families struggling with perinatal mental illnesses since 1987. Climb Out of the Darkness features mothers, families, and those that support them from across the globe joining together to climb mountains and hike trails to represent their symbolic rise out of the darkness of maternal mental illness and into the light of hope and recovery. We’d love your support. Find a Climb near you to donate to or join today!