Saturday, March 3, 2012

In opposition to silence.

Last night, Kyle and I were curled up on the couch watching recorded sitcoms from the last few weeks. Trying to laugh. He got up to go get something and I hit pause. I sat curled up on the couch listening to the hum of the baby monitors. Anwen's white noise. The boys' lullabies. The same lullabies they've been listening to since they were only a few weeks old, the ones I downloaded one overwhelmed day when I needed a sensory grounding to motherhood. Their lullabies have become an integral part of my sense of self as a mother. Reminding me of that boundless love and entrancing magic of childhood. As I sat listening to those sweet songs softly muffled by the monitor, I saw the first true glimpse of my mothering self that I've seen in weeks. It was amazing. It made me cry.

***

I hadn't blogged much since the fall. Or since Anwen's birth. Or since...when? But suddenly, I had the urge to write. A little over a week ago I hopped back on the laptop and let it spill out. A confused, chaotic, terrifying attempt at finding my way through a mind that was suddenly foreign, with no idea how I'd gotten there, and no idea how to get out. At the urging of loved ones, I took the posts down. Lacking any context to my daily life, they were just plain scary. But then again, daily life had gotten pretty scary itself.

***

It's hard to decide where to start in blogging about this now.  Do I go back to all the signs I missed over the last few years? Do I start with an explanation of postpartum depression and how truly serious and life threatening it can be? Do I start with my steady unraveling over the past few months? Do I start with my six day stint on a psych ward? Maybe with the journey ahead of me, the journey back to my true self?

***

None of that. I'm starting with an explanation that could be mistaken for a defense. Let me assure you, it is no defense, simply because I don't need one. I don't need to defend my sanity, my worth as a mother, or my decision to admit myself to a psychiatric ICU. It's not a defense because I feel nothing but proud of myself. For having the courage to be honest, to ask for help, and to set aside my pride to get the help I needed. I have a long way to go in healing. PPD isn't like the flu, over in a few miserable days. And especially when it's gone unchecked for as long as mine. Unchecked, unnoticed, accepted as part of motherhood. When your thoughts are distorted, it's hard to have insight to that fact. I'm starting with an explanation for anyone who is wondering why. Why I would choose to share this openly. Why I wouldn't edit out some of the more gasp-inducing details (psych ward!?!). My explanation is simple. PPD can be deadly. It's far more common than you think. And chances are, we all know somebody who will at some point suffer from it. Very likely in silence, or near silence. 

***

I'm sharing this because I'm here to write about it.  Because I felt safe enough to not be silent. 

4 comments:

Sades said...

Glad to hear you are back and on your way toward recovery. Writing is always such a great outlet for the mind, and a wonderful way to connect with others. You should feel proud of yourself, and in no way embarrassed about having to visit a psych ward. I wish our society would realize that mental illness is a sickness like any other.

amazingk8 said...

I'm listening! Good to have you back.

Rachael said...

You don't really know me. I don't really blog anymore, anyway. Just wanted to say.. hey. I feel ya.

Anonymous said...

Thanks for sharing.I feel you in your writing. I think you are brave, insightful and inspirational. I truly admire that you met this head on and that you reached out to get help. Nothing to be ashamed of. You did not cause PPD. Very Glad you are getting better. I am looking forward to reading your blog when you return. Love Shalandra