Or. Depression Lies: The postpartum edition.
WARNING: This is incoherent. I COULD go back and change things, but I’m not going to. This is for me anyway. You just get to choose to read my rambles, or not. #sorrynotsorry
I thought it wouldn’t happen this time. I thought I could avoid this. Things were going so well, this time. I was seeing the sunlight, I was basking in joy, I was celebrating that things were different this time.
Things really were different.
They still are. This won’t last forever and I know what it is, so I know that I need to start trying to ignore the whispers and see reality.
But still. It fucking sucks. It fucking sucks more when Depression comes after Baby. It mars the beautiful, innocent, wonderful delight of a magnificent new person and their small, squidgy cuddles.
Here are the lies this time:
- I can’t do this.
- I shouldn’t do this.
- I don’t want to do this.
Here is the biggest, most painful lie:
- I’m only special when I’m in labour. My only power is in birth.
Okay, this lie deserves more writing, because it’s really bothering me. See, for me, birth is transformative. My first birth, and the circumstances around it, opened me up to find a strength within myself I couldn’t possibly have known existed. It helped me to find passion, to dig deeper in myself and my relationships, and it helped me to understand that I am important. My second (very recent) birth was amazing. It was the healing birth I never knew I needed and it has furthered my transition
I know that, and I know that it’s all just cobblestones on the same Kim path. All the same, I feel like I peaked. I feel like I left myself in labour and delivery. I was able to arrive there as Kim, the lioness, full of power and strength and fortitude. I rocked that baby out. I surrendered to my body and together, my body and I owned that story. I was really and truly me in those moments. And I was special. I radiated awesome.
My fear, before birthing this time around, wasn’t that I was going to be a mother of two – though that did, and still does, intimidate me. My fear was that I was going to lose myself. That I was going to become a wife and a mother and let that consume me. My fear is that I’m going to allow my Self to slip away (again). Or, that I’m going to push her away, not only because I feel I should (martyr), but because I want to (because it’s easier to bitch and whine than to work and pwn).
So, after this birth ended, when we were tucked at home, I became a mom again. This is a beautiful thing, I am truly blessed with an amazing, supportive husband and two beautiful, brilliant, healthy boys. I know this and I am thankful. I’m still at odds, though.
I want that feeling back. I want that ownership of my Self back, the feeling that I am me and that I am enough and that I am a fucking phenom. Writing this is helping, because I have been so dry in terms of writing for so long. Having new, better ideas for the fleshing of a story is helping, because I think that it will be therapeutic to write. Walking with the Littlest and the Hellhound is also helping, because sunshine and sweat and fresh air and productivity.
(Fucking labyrinth of birth, anyway. …she writes with a grin, because it’s true and important. I’m going to digress for a second, settle in. Maybe it’s mourning? Maybe I know that The Kim that came before, like the maiden Kim before her, is dead. She’s gone and she’s not coming back. Maybe it’s that I’m new and I don’t know what that looks like yet. Maybe I’m only realizing as I write this that I have a hand in defining her, that I get to write my own story.)
And hey, as a bonus, here is the worry that sits as a sub-heading under the last lie:
- What if I’m only interested in doulaing because I’m trying to hold on to pregnancy and birth? That my interest isn’t real and I’m not truly driven to serve women. I just want to hold on to what I think is my only real place in life. I don’t want that to be my reason. I want the passion to help women find their strength and voice to be my motivation.
A caveat to those out there who worry and love me and want to talk: don’t. I can’t talk about it right now. I can write, but I can’t talk. I won’t. I know too many buzz words and I know how to make myself sound absolutely okay. I will do that. I want you not to worry more than I want to be truly okay. Don’t make me lie. (I am okay. I’m not at my peak, but I know what’s going on and I’m doing what I can do to deal with it. I know these are lies and I’m trying to write truths over top of them. …I also know that there is a huge amount of hormonal re-organization at play here.)
And, as I edit and add to this, I’m actually more okay. Writing really helps me, so does remembering what I learned in a recent (for doula certification) prenatal class. That labyrinth of birth, and the story of Inanna and her descent into the Underworld.
More fun (if you’re curious and haven’t read the other installments):