Wednesday, March 28, 2012

No secrets.

I've been putting on a brave face. My "I'm proud of my journey to wellness face." My "I'm not ashamed" face. My "kicking postpartum depression's ass" face.

All of those faces are genuine.

But really, what choice do I have? Sit around feeling sad about all that's transpired? Feel embarrassed about my rather public (at least in my personal life) unraveling? I can't hide in my house forever, so I haven't hid in my house at all. I've gone to the grocery store. The playground with the kids. Boot camp. I've seen friends and neighbors, people who know a lot, people who know a little, people who know none of it. I've worn my brave face.

In a few weeks, I have some events to attend where I'll be seeing people I haven't seen for a while. People who might have talked to someone who talked to someone my blog. Or talked to someone.

And though I've said and stand by the fact that I'm not ashamed, I am aware. Of what might be said when I get up to refresh my drink. Of nervous smiles greeting me hello. Of whispers. Of the awkwardness of the question, "It's been so long! How have you been?"

I am aware of judgement. Of ignorance. Of the fact that sometimes people get only half a story. Of the fact that stories often get very twisted.

The truth?

I'm scared. Because there's at least a tiny part of me that wants to cry all of the time. That wants to scream out an explanation and education to everyone who might have heard. That deep down, cringes as my imagination runs wild about what people might think. What they might say.

There are two sides to this coin. On one, I know the facts. I understand the statistics. I believe mental health is a spectrum and I'm suspicious of anyone who claims to permanently operate on the extreme end of healthy. But the other side is where ignorance lies. Where it's easy to pass judgement on a good day, even easier when it's a topic we don't understand or discuss openly.

I am getting well. I can't believe where I am now in comparison to where I was a month ago. Truly, I can't believe it. I've worked my ass off. I'm proud. Hopeful. Confident.

I'm also angry, sad, and self-conscious.

We don't get to pick our journey. Just how we handle ourselves as we travel.

This particular journey?  Effing blows. How I'm handling it? I'm doing my best.

And onward.


Sades said...

I know it is very cliche to say, but it does get better with time. The people who really care won't be judgmental, and they are the ones who matter anyways.

Carol gundy iacopino said...

I don't need to tell you that self awareness is 95 percent of getting better... You are self always have been. Sometimes it makes the journey much harder when you are but in the end it is what separates you from the darkness. My blessings for you travel.

Julie said...

youre more than an inspiration to me. And to most people, whether they are willing to admit it or not

Anonymous said...

April the bottom line is this: There is no amount of depression that you cannot conquer with the support of those who love you combined with an unwavering belief that you can return to happiness. I know you can do it.


Zombie Queen said...

The fact that you didn't just fall to pieces and hide but instead you are engaging in an exhausting uphill battle to regain your life and happiness is inspirational! Awareness can be such a troubling and painful thing to deal with. Be proud and hold your head high. You're being proactive. That is more than most can say.

I'm going through my own tribulations. My panic disorder and depression gave way to agoraphobia. It's crippling. I try not to be ashamed but at times I am. It was absolutely killer for a while. It was hard to do the simplest things with my kids. But, I'm fighting tooth and nail to overcome my demons.

Wish you the best :)

Pamela said...

Just keep doing what you can do.
Anybody who has struggled with this should have the grace to be gentle; everyone else has their own struggles, too.
Hang in there.

Grade A said...

I was reading your March 19 post one night and was shocked. I had no idea it was like this and I commend you for putting this information out there. The next day? My colleague had to go home. Her friend had taken her life. She had two small girls and a recent miscarriage. I can't help but think it was PP related. I can't help but think, "what if." Thank you for letting others know. Hang in there.