#WhyICode - Christina Gorton uses coding to cope with PPD

July 28, 2017

Being a mother to my children is the greatest adventure I have ever participated in. Like any great adventure, motherhood is full of love and heartache. Fun and trials. Happiness and sadness. I expected these emotions. What I didn’t prepare for was life with postpartum mood disorder. The crushing sadness, anxiety, and even rage can be shocking.


People cope with depression in many forms. I found I cope best by distracting myself. At first that meant binge watching Netflix or reading Jane Austen novels a few too many times. But after a while, I tried to distract myself with something productive. I crocheted. I sewed. And more recently, I started learning to code. When I felt like I had no control over all the things parenthood threw at me, I would code. Coding gave me something to focus on that I felt I could control. I would take complicated problems and break them down into manageable sizes. Every solution I came up with was a small win. Each small win gave me more confidence and a new way to approach problems.


I am gifted with so many wonderful moments as a mother. But when you are in the thick of depression sometimes you need other distractions to get through each day. Learning to code has been good for both my family and myself. It has taught me new ways to cope with frustrations. Both parenting and coding can be a roller coaster ride of emotions. I am learning to turn the stress of both into a positive experience. All good stories have challenges. I am now choosing to learn from mine.

 

- Christina Gorton, @coffeecraftcode

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