Sitting with Postpartum Depression

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It’s hard to admit that I am struggling with postpartum depression, because it seems like a failure in many regards, even though logically I know it’s not.

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It feels terrible that I am saddest when I am alone with my kids, but it’s the truth most of the time.

Often I don’t feel like myself, I just feel heavy.

Thankfully, I’m not in that space the entirety of the day. When I am making, expressing, connecting, moving, teaching, writing – things are exponentially better. But the pain comes in when I feel like I have no time to tend to my heart and everyone’s needs must be met before my own.

It took a while to come to terms that I was depressed. I just figured things were hard, and that’s how they are with two small children. I remained in the doing and overcoming. I would get really low, and eventually climb back up to myself. Once I felt OK, I was certain the hard stuff was behind me… until I went through that same exhausting cycle a week or two later.

Then I got shingles, and I slowly realized the amount of stress I was under for my body to surrender and say : something has to change.

Our pediatrician suggested I talk to a therapist, I reluctantly listened. Once I found out I was depressed I immediately tried to overcome it. I wanted to put it behind me and feel whole again, complete, put back together.

Now, I’ve softened enough to just sit with it, even though I feel like pieces of me are scattered upon the kitchen floor and I can’t for the life of me find the time or the energy to place them back together. It’s hard.

I continuously have to recall : It’s not my fault.

And I’m trusting it is a door into something deeper, a crying out for deep compassion + forgiveness.

I am constantly lighting candles as I ask for help + guidance from beyond. I’m writing in the name of healing. I’m fiercely creating to calm my heart. I’ve asked for more support, and have graciously received it. When I’m focused on the light I can feel + notice my prayers being answered. \

The trick for me, right now, is returning to the light.

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Cherish

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Not everything has to happen : today, or this week, or this month, or even this year.

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I can capture the questions + ideas and sit with them. Letting them wash over me, while I dare to be OK with the uncertainty.

Patiently trust. Making time just be – no agenda present – how hard that can be.

Because there will be a day, I’m sure where I will wish so desperately for today. I will cherish the ridiculous imperfection that reminds me : there is no other place I’d rather be, none at all.

 

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Take The Pressure Off

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Drop the labels of what is good and bad.

Cover yourself with infinite acceptance, for who you are and where you are.

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Let it be imperfect. It should be imperfect. Perfection is paralyzing, elusive, and one can become a slave to it. And then we miss the beauty in right now because it is clouded with judgment. Of what is not right, of wanting to be somewhere other than here. Someone other than you.

Bow to your heart.

Drop the impossible expectations you may hold high above you, so you can lift up and float above.

Be so radical that you take the pressure off. And love yourself for where you are right now.

I’ll be here, working alongside you.

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Half a Year

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Anna is 6 months. I have lost so much of myself, and then found parts I haven’t seen before. Her presence has shifted so much of how I operate.

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Before she arrived, I had no idea how significantly my life would change. I probably was in denial, but how could I comprehend such a shift? I thought things would go on pretty much as usual. 

In the beginning they did. While she slept I daydreamed and wrote. I read and napped. I brainstormed about where I wanted to go with my projects, my teachings, my writings. Then as she woke up more and more, started to roll, then sit, then eat… that quiet time vanished and I really struggled.

Shortly after her birth, I felt like I continued to birth idea after idea, after idea. I filled multiple journals, with seemingly brilliant ideas and I wanted to implement them right away. I suffered because I had no time or energy to go tend to them, and I really wanted to. I stopped making things. I stopped listening to my heart because I couldn’t find any space or time to do so. I cried a lot. I felt very stuck.

Eventually I had to trust that these ideas would be there for when I am ready. I also had to make a clear space for just me and my heart to be.

I still get caught in all I am wanting to do, and feel unable to do it : garden, clean the house, take a peaceful shower, respond timely to messages, sleep through the night… But here I am nurturing this brand new life, and that is a divine gift.

Daily I am sorting out what is worth my time and practicing patience. These two kids of mine really help me sort out my priorities – and emphasize the continuous work in progress that I am, that this family, this house, this life is, that dreams are. And how lucky I am to create, nurture, and witness such incredible life before my eyes. 

 

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It’s Time

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…to begin again. I’ve been quiet for a while. I’ve been struggling. I’ve been questioning if my work matters. I’m realizing it does.

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I went on the trip of a lifetime with my family. Rome for 4 days, Tuscany for 6. Magic, roses, lavender, piazzas, gelato, espresso, and food cooked with so much love that I could literally taste it.

There have been peaks so high, and valleys so low. And I guess that is how it goes.

The month of May was soft. I hosted The Sanctuary, an online space for moms to pause + connect. It was a very special thing to create. I also surrendered a lot. I let go of a lot of ideas, projects, tasks, + lists.

Then we went to Italy, which rejuvenated every cell of my being. Upon return I felt ready to engage again, full on, and I didn’t pace myself. I wanted everything to happen immediately, there was no patience. I suffered.

Now, it’s nearing the end of June and I’m ready to offer something of my heart again – in whatever form it will take. I made wishes for the summer, and am practicing softness in every moment I can remember. 

Most of all I want to loosen my grip + notice the light.

Happy summer to you all, let your heart make some wishes for this time.

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All I Can Do

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I feel like I need a moment to recover – to process. My attention is scattered, and I want to do 20 things at the same time, when in reality… I have a dirty diaper to change.

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I find myself longing the days (pre-second baby) where I had the early mornings to myself and have some sort of quiet time. Now I’m up early – nursing, juggling, dressing, and it’s all wonderful, but I miss that luxurious ritual I had.

I need new ways to connect to myself that makes sense to my life right now, as a mom of two, with many ideas of my own I’d like to tend to.

All I can do is try something out and see if it works. All I can do is accept the fact that things aren’t going to look like they did yesterday, or 3 months ago, nor would I want them to. All I can do is get quiet enough so I can set an intention that is true for what I am wanting, and connect to it as often as I can.

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If you are a mom : The Sanctuary : an online space to pause + connect begins Sunday, May 1st. It is a month designed to bring ritual + ease into your days, so you can feel grounded + elevated while caring for yourself and your family.

You can sign up here, it would be a treat to have you.

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