Today You gripped me like quicksand, allowing me to come up for air briefly only for it to be gone again.
Today You made the mom- guilt so unbearable I could barely look my child in the eye.
Today the dishes piled high, the laundry climbed up the wall, the floors needed vacuuming….and yet the
Today You made my thoughts spin out of control and I found myself questioning every possible moment.
Today you hurt me, made me cry, made me want to scream.
Today my child ate lunch at 2, and only because he reminded me.
Today my husband looked at me with empathy and confusion.
Today You made the sunshine low, the clouds seem dark, and the winds stale.
Damn You depression!
The days when postpartum depression wrecks you and you find yourself barely breathing are the most terrifying days. These are the days when “shaking off” the feelings is hard because putting the feelings into words is even harder. If you can’t describe what is taking place, then how do you fight it? How do you manage it? How do you not feel like you are the only one in the world struggling silently? Finding the answers seems impossible when healthcare providers treat the issue as a one -size-fits-all, other mothers don’t want to discuss it (and even when they do, are they ever truly honest?), and resources can be difficult to find or hard to navigate. So then, how do you help yourself out of the quicksand? How do you find the rope to pull when it seems buried so deep…. like you?
“Some days are like this. And the only way to get through them is to remember that they are only one day and that every day ends” David Levithan
That quote sums up the first rope to grasp. This day will end. This hell in your mind, body, and soul will lighten and tomorrow will begin anew. That is not to say you won’t wake up again consumed by depression, with the heavy load of being a mother, wife, friend, sister, and daughter. It is, however, offering the slightest faith and hope that the exact day will not repeat itself. Just think about that for a moment. This day that you have had where hope seems impossible, and depression is all-consuming cannot be the exact same way tomorrow, for a day never repeats identically. Talk about a rope to grab ahold of and never let go.
“Finish each day and be done withit. You have done what you could. Learn from it… tomorrow is a new day” Ralph Waldo Emerson
Finish each day and be done with it. How many of us can honestly say we do that? As we are falling asleep, do we take a moment to say, “you know what? Today was a tough day, but I am going to leave that shit in the past and move on to tomorrow.”? Let me answer that for you. No, we don’t (well, most of us don’t)! What would happen if we did let go of the day? What would happen if we allowed ourselves forgiveness and grace? If we just took the day for what it was-hard-and decided before going to bed that the next day would be better? Even if “better” is just washing the dishes, folding a load of laundry, or taking
the time to read a book? -anything different from the day we just experienced.
Understand that the day will end, and we have the power to let it go and change
something for the better for tomorrow.
“With the new day comes new strength and new thoughts” Eleanor Roosevelt
So, you have accepted that the day will end. You are letting go of the day….and now…. to tackle the new day. As the quote so elegantly informs us, it is now a new day with new strengths and new thoughts. Start the day with positive thoughts and actions. Tackle the to-do list with the expectations of crossing off one or two things. Fill your day with your version of sunshine, for example: color a few pages in an adult coloring book, read two chapters out of the book you keep meaning to pick up, take a walk, visit a friend, or take a long hot bath.
However, you fill your life with sunshine and happiness, embrace that full-heartedly.
In the end, this quote is a good one to ponder as we tackle each day-the good, the bad, and the ugly. “When you arise in the morning, think of what precious privilege it is to be alive to
breathe, to think, to enjoy, to love” Marcus Aurelius.