I have been trying to figure out how to articulate the progress of healing in my battle with Postpartum Depression. It seems that right when I feel like I have a handle on things, or like life is hitting a pretty decent stride, I am hit stone cold in the face with some devastating reminder that all is not well. That I am not well. We just hit the “9 Months In, 9 Months Out” milestone this week. I don’t have any cutesy photo collages to share… because I am just not OK with maternity photos so I have no “in” to compare her “out” to. I am terrible with month-by-month updates with cute little chalkboard age signs and descriptions of what baby girl is into these days. I am a very sentimental person, but I am also busy. And lazy. And self-conscience. So… there’s that. So needless to say, I am not very good with the consistent tracking of life’s happenings which makes looking back to see improvements in my own life somewhat difficult. Three steps forward, one step back gets pretty hard to make sense of after months and months. But when a major undeniable point of healing takes place, it is a little, well… undeniable!
Just a few months ago my husband went on a small trip and I was a mess. I was panicked for a full 36 hours before he actually left. I was weepy and shaky and unsure of how on earth the kids and I were going to survive. I didn’t trust myself to be alone with them for a few hours, let alone a few days! I couldn’t sleep. It was really really bad. But we survived. My amazing community of people who love and look out for my family and me kept me company and filled my schedule with playdates and dinners. It was amazing and I am still so thankful for the blatant show of unconditional support.
It’s happening again, though. My husband left for the weekend, but THIS time? I am not falling apart!! I am breathing. I am sleeping. I am resting and that is cause for great joy. I am definitely working hard at not losing my mind! I am purposefully aware of my thoughts/emotions and relentlessly filtering them through my belief system. I am keeping my frustrations at a low roar as opposed to a full out scary mom outburst of rage and foaming at the mouth (I don’t think there was actual foaming, but I’m sure through my children’s eyes I was an unrecognizable monstrous version of their mom). I am doing better, and that is something I couldn’t even imagine just weeks ago. I had no idea what it was supposed to look like to be “better”. It is nothing but grace that I am able to recognize this small window of clarity and improvement and I am so grateful for this baby step. I look forward to the next baby step of healing… baby steps to the bus… (“What About Bob?” anyone?)