Wednesday, May 25, 2016

On Flailing

Things will be feeling great, and then one day you wake up and they stop feeling that way. That's depression in a nutshell.

Ah, my black wolf. He's been hanging around me for a few weeks now, making me weepy and apathetic. And at first, I fought and thrashed and said "This is some unfair bullshit, go away." and then felt guilt and shame for feeling this way again with Orion being so young still, and for being snappy and crabby and apathetic with everyone.

But, over the past few days I've had some long, deep, in the shit rambling talks with my husband and a few very close friends. They're the best for these sorts of talks because, they listen. They don't interrupt, they don't offer pity or advice. They simply listen.

It's a skill I'm a bit bad at myself, if I'm being completely honest.

And in these ramblings, I uncovered some truths I had been avoiding while in the fog. All on my own, with no one pointing it out.

Have I mentioned how much I love good listeners?

I need to find the mother inside of me. Not the one I DON'T want to be, or even the one that I DO want to be. Just the one that I ALREADY am. And embrace her in all of her messy, human glory. It's time to unfollow the parenting advice sites and blogs, unfriend the sanctimommies, forgive the examples I'm running from and just BE in this role and in this life. I can still commiserate, because we all need to commiserate sometimes.

In fighting so hard to hold on and not "lose myself" after becoming a mother (my biggest fear), I actually stifled a new iteration of myself from coming through. I'm so terrified of change and the what if's of what comes after that I've shackled my ankle to an old, ill fitting version of myself where I don't have room to breath, much less grow.

And it feels like I'm fighting myself, constantly. The old snarky version of me who wasn't going to let motherhood change her AT ALL, the consummate rebel who scoffed at "women's work", the misunderstood loner artist and the new one who wants to soften and surrender to this season, who isn't embarrassed by the pride and joy she finds in homey things, and admits that perhaps this wasn't the best time to try to try to become a "serious artist", but rather keep on doing what I do for the sake of doing it. The one the old me thinks is super fucking lame.

Because she's afraid.

She's afraid of dying, and she's afraid of what comes after. She thrives on feelings of not enough. And so she clings on desperately and whispers vitriol that makes me question the simple joys I find, and makes me fear that if I change to much, everything will crumble around me and I'll be left where I started.

Alone and flailing.

She whispers to me that accepting a pill to help is cheating, that it's synthetic happiness, that it's less than real. That it will make me a phony despite my urging and celebration of others for doing what is best for them. Even takings the pills.

That part of me is what's phony. And hypocritical.

And amidst all this, I'm flailing with my faith. I never really understood what a crisis of faith really felt like, though I've been sympathetic with others. It turns out, it's not just limited to followers of organized religions. Even a raising herself on dirt and whispering to nature kinda gal can thrash about, crying for answers with the best of them.

And so I'm searching as I'm clinging. Which doesn't really work out so well.

My hips and lower back have been aching for weeks. I can't get comfortable when I lie down. Walking, standing and squatting are painful. I feel creaky, crooked, and like my legs are going to pop out of their sockets.

I feel like I did the week before I had Orion, when I was in pre-labor.

And while I'm thrashing about with my spirituality, there's one thing I'm still set on: my body is a mirror for what's going on in my heart and mind. It's time to birth someone new. Flailing and confused but comforted instantly by love.

It's time to be brave, get clear on how I want to feel rather than who I want to be, and do what I need to do to get there. Because this thrashing about in the cold gray sea thing is better left to the birds.

6 comments:

  1. This post came in the nick of time. I FEEL YOU. Like, I really super duper feel you. I'm riding that wave right now, the one where I know it's my depression/anxiety showing up (because it always shows up) and I'm trying to roll with it and know that it's not permanent. I liken it to being on a boogey board in the ocean. You're a kid, you see that huge wave coming, and if you just hang on to your board and ride the fucking wave, nine times out of ten you'll be pushed right back up on the sand where it's safe. Yet I'm always convinced THIS WILL BE THE ONE TIME that wave knocks me over and tries to drown me so I have to fight like hell. *sigh* Anyway, thanks for giving me a place to vent that. I hear you. Today's gratitude will be for the interwebs, where in spite of the shenanigans that take place regularly I still find posts like this that make it worth it. (((HUGS)))

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    1. I'm always here if you need me, sister-friend! We awesome babes have to stick together when life throws us in the waves. xox

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  2. Dearest Danni: Your soul sister Shelley is in her forties. I was exactly like you when she was a little one. My wonderful Joe would say, as a sobbed at night after I had put her to bed, Linda, you sweet woman, the only way you are ever going to know if you were a "good Mother" is when Ms. Shelley has kids of her own and you hear the love coming out of her mouth that you gave to her. It's a long time to wait for that particular egg to hatch.......but I dun good. She is loving and so are the grands. Ignoring the facts that they all are snarky, smart alecks just like me too, I'm blessed. Be kind to yourself, you are a great mom to Orion......now be a great Mom to the little girl inside you. It works.

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    1. Sometimes, those Joes of ours are as wise as any old owl. It's like you took a snapshot of some of my nights and described them. Shelley and those kiddos are some of the best eggs I've come across, I think the snark and smart assery only adds to their charm, just like it does you. ;)

      Thank you, Oma. xox

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  3. thrashing with spirituality ... yes, I want to have more conversations with you about this.

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