(Potty mouth warning: contains the S word. Cover your kids’ ears.)
This post is dedicated to Robin, who makes my heart sing with practically every post on http://farewellstranger.com/
ans to Kimberly, my favorite potty-mouth PPD blogger. Find her at http://www.makemommygosomethingsomething.com
and to the rest of the #ppdchat mamas. I love you guys.
PPD turns motherhood into a Shit Sandwich.
If you are struggling with ppd and anxiety, even if you are lucky enough to have bonded with your baby and can feel new levels of love you never could imagine before motherhood struck, you still have a shit-sandwich sprinkled with poppy-seeds made of diamonds. So every time you bite one of those, you are flooded with joy, and it’s the best thing ever.
Trouble is, they are few and far between. Those highs are brief, and you fall down with a thump.
Then you are back in the corner of Pain street and Self Loathing Avenue, feeling ever so guilty for resenting the little love of your life.
If you are still in the non-bonding-with-your-baby hell, in the pits of “will-I-ever-love-this-needy-creature” the dungeons of -what -was-I-thinking-it’s-all-a-big-mistake-I-can-never-undo” deep in “I’m-the-worst-mother-ever” landmine territory, than all you get are poopy seeds –no diamonds for you*.
There, I said it. Talking nasty felt good.
I don’t get to do this as much as I used to.
Back to the shit sandwich.
(Is it less horrible if I say poop-sandwich? You tell me.)
The combination of sleep deprivation, the isolation, the piles of dishes in the sink which are dwarfed by the mountains of laundry, not to mention waring pregnancy jeans for your kids birthday, (an entire year went by! whoever said nine month on/nine months off was a big fat liar!) well, these make motherhood hard enough. And PPD and PPA make it impossible to find the wherewithal to handle this perfect storm with grace under fire. Heck, when I was in that space, I was too busy contemplating suicide to be graceful. So yes, Shit sandwich.
OK, I feel like I better end this post with an up-note.
A palate cleanser, or better yet, some heart-candy, of the really nourishing kind.
So here’s what I got for you.
When you get better, (and you WILL get better) there will be much more to eat than just one kind of sandwich. There will be all kinds of food (salads, ice-cream, chocolate!). Some will be utterly deleicious, some will be bland, some will be blah. And there will be the yuck moments too. But slowly, there is going to more good than bad. And the best part, is that you get to keep the diamonds. Those all-consuming love gushes that come out of nowhere and floor you. Those diamonds, are never really going away.
You will get stronger.
You will get better.
You will have setbacks. (Dammit!)
Some of those setbacks will feel like you are back at square one.
The worst ones will feel like you are at square minus million.
But you will bounce back.
So please, instead of being mad or ashamed at having set-backs, try reminding yourself that you have nothing to feel guilty of.
Setbacks mean that you are actually making progress. And yes, that is one nasty cosmic joke.
Trust. Why does it have to be so hard?
So while the trouble with those love-diamonds is that you can’t have them on demand (dammit!), inviting them over is the way to go.
And giving yourself permission to be exactly who you are+where you are (set-backs and all) makes love-diamonds possible.
Fighting my depression brought me back from the brink of suicide (and an overdose that landed me in the psyche ward) to a place of wanting to live again. But it wasn’t until I started giving myself permission to be in the hard place, that I began my way back to true joy, away from life in the shadow of a looming relapse.
sure I still have bad days. and the occasional bad week, but the open wound of a dark abyss threatening to swallow me whole? It is gone.
Yesterday at PPDchat, I wrote about switching from fighting mode to detective mode. Here is the gist of it: it’s about learning as much as I can about how I operate while in my depression instead of depleting myself with violence directed at myself. When I lay down the weapons, I can finally use the shield with both hands, you know? There will be more posts about this.
Allowing yourself to be where you are is so darn counter-intuitive it’s ridiculous. Your demons and your fears have you believe that fighting yourself (which feeds the demons) or pretending everything is OK when you are bleeding inside, are the best way to keep the shit-tide from hitting your shores. But the opposite is true. When all you get to eat is a shit sandwich, you get to have the right to feel bad, break down, hit rock bottom.When you hit rock bottom, you have something to push up against to propel you back up. I talk about this in the “not the only freak in town” video on the homepage.
Anyway, you get it. You get that I firmly believe that giving your pain permission to be what it is, is a crucial step for healing that lasts.
So I may have convinced you, but now that you want this, you might have no idea how to begin. I could try to explain. I will write more about this. But thankfully, Havi brooks of The Fluent Self, already wrote brilliantly about this. (If you hang out here, you already know that I consume Havi’s writing regularly. Her writing is of the most soul-soothing, heart-nourishing kind.)
There is a treasure trove of healing thoughts at The Fluent Self. Here are two posts with some how-to of what I’m talking about here.
These posts are so helpful to me, I actually link to them on the home page, because I think they are that helpful with PPD and Anxiety.
So go ahead, click away. Print and stick to your fridge.
And until I see you again,
The only good news about the no-bonding hell, is that this is single most painful thing you will ever experience. Seriously. If you are ever tortured by terrorists (God forbid!), it will be nothing compared to the pain of not feeling the love for your baby. Once you get over that (and you will!!!) you are going to be stronger than you ever thought possible. My next post will be about this very subject.
– See more at: http://www.ppdtojoy.com/blog/sandwich/#sthash.aAUbBE97.dpuf
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