Author reads story about postpartum depression


Lexi Grieder

Shown, students watch author Melissa Reddish perform.

Devan Grubb-Hayes, Reporter

A Maryland author who said she has struggled with mental health read a story about her experience to a campus audience in February.

At the Writers Reading meeting hosted by the Creative Writing Department, Melissa Reddish, author of “The Lives We’ve Yet to Live,” read a short story called, “You Must Cherish This Always” about the post-partum depression she suffered after she gave birth to twins.

“I sank into, like, one of the worst postpartum depressions and anxieties,” she said of the inspiration for her story. “And my husband was also sinking into his own depression. … So it was this time of extreme happiness and new life on one hand, and terror and darkness on the other hand.”

Reddish said she wanted to speak at the campus event because she loves talking to people and didn’t have much of a chance to during the pandemic. which she described as “a nightmare because I was either completely home alone doing online classes … or I was talking to people mediated by screens, right?”

She told the audience of students and faculty members that she started writing as a child.

“Even at a young age, I just had … an interest in narrative and story and trying to tell it to other people,” said Reddish who recalled performing her stories for her family.

She noted she wants aspiring authors to write what is true to them, which will make audiences gravitate toward their writing.

“So I don’t think you need to worry so much about what everybody’s doing, what the trends are, but just sort of staying true to that hum inside of you that’s telling you that this is a story that needs to be told,” she said.

Taeyler Seiwell, a third-year creative writing student who attended the reading said she had never heard of Reddish before.

Her reaction to the author, she said, was “Wow.’ So I discovered her literally, like, this week and I’m so glad that I did now, but I wish I had earlier.”

Seiwell also said Reddish offered “a lot of useful tidbits and information” to struggling writers.