I had a half day of vacation from last year that I needed to use or lose by the end of the week. In a previous life (okay, more like six years ago) I would have bitten my nails and worried about what people would think of me just taking four hours of vacation with no agenda or real thing to get done. In that past life, my imagined judgements of others would have convinced me to lose it.
While my last post got too long so I broke it up (Part 1 and Part 2), this post is a result of what happened after I shared my story of PPD. Like my PPD story, it is something I have a very difficult time articulating coherently out loud with those that I love most dearly.
“I didn’t realize your PPD was so bad.”
“Why didn’t you tell me this when it was happening?”
This statement and question, spoken tentatively, vulnerably, and filled with emotion from the mouths of my people… the ones I can’t live without… cuts me with fear. I don’t want them to feel bad or think they could have done more. I don’t want them to believe it is about the trust in our relationship.
This got to be too long of a post so I have broken it up into two parts. If you missed Part 1, it is here.
Medication put me in an uncomfortable fog, but quelled the voices. More importantly I started seeing a therapist weekly. Stephanie saved and changed my life. Our first session, I got to her windowless office waiting area and started crawling out of my skin. When she finally took me into her office, I told her that my ears were bleeding from the white noise and didn’t care about my privacy, but just wanted it to stop. God knows what we talked about for the next hour, but I walked out with blood shot eyes, a runny nose, and short of breath. In the following weeks, she started convincing me that I could do things I thought impossible: asking for help, building a support system, saying no, and practicing self-care.
No suspense, the last of the list is this:
#10 – A thriving mother loves herself
It seems so simple, but is terribly complicated. For some of us, we love parts of ourselves. Others it is difficult to say anything specifically we love about ourselves. Maybe it depends on the day.
It was early February 2012, my neighbor called mid-afternoon asking if I would mind if she dropped off a chicken pot pie. She was making one for her family’s dinner and had extra that didn’t freeze well. It was like manna from heaven and I graciously accepted. She knew Littles was brand new, but she had no idea the struggle I was in the midst of. For one night, I felt like a good mom, because my family had a hot, nutritious dinner.