At first, I couldn’t figure out what felt different this weekend. And then I realized that I no longer felt like I was in “Crisis Mode.” I am not saying that there was a crisis, by the way, but I felt like I was in a problem-solving place. I was acting to avert crisis. I was making phone calls between sobbing attacks. But now the telling is over. Everyone has been told. I’ve taken my higher dose of meds every day at the right times. I’m doing ok. And waiting to do better than just ok.
I hate it. I’m not saying that I’d rather be terrified and feeling “in crisis.” But this just sucks in a whole new way. I am so. tired. Things that would normally feel sad feel really sad and I cry for what feels like forever. And it is all expected. This is my “normal” for now.
I can’t even begin to express my gratitude for all of the help offered (and accepted). I wish that it showed on my face. I can only hope that the friends and family who are helping me so much know how grateful I really do feel.
But feelings like gratitude are all buried underneath something; I can’t quite get at them, even when I know that they’re here and what they are.
Shame is happy to pop right up, though. When the sound of my baby’s cry makes me want to turn and run, I feel burning shame and guilt. I imagine that I’m supposed to want to run to him. I imagine what a “Good Mother” would do. And then I remind myself that she doesn’t exist. I am his mother, and whatever I have to give is going to be enough. His dad is going to help. I do not run away.
And so I keep putting one foot in front of the other.
I’ve discovered that my state does not have an official support group–there is no place I can go to see and hear other women talk about this in person. I have been brave and asked around. New York City and Massachusetts do so well at supporting moms who are struggling postpartum. I live almost next door to Yale University, for heaven’s sake. I am struggling just to get out of bed; I can’t start one. I hope that when I can see the other side of this, someone will show me how to start something for other women. Until then, I rely on Facebook and Twitter to connect me to women who understand what this feels like.
Those connections are my lifeline. Time will heal us.