I seem to have lost myself somewhere during my pregnancy. These days I don’t recognize myself. I say and do things I wouldn’t normally do. I cannot describe the anger I feel deep in my bones almost every hour of the day. Anger is such an ugly, draining emotion. It takes so much to keep it in and pushed down in an effort not to hurt those around me. I know this burning feeling isn’t normal, at least not for me. Yes, I get mad from time to time but nothing like this. It almost feels like someone else has taken up residence in my body and I have been pushed to the side. I feel lost and overwhelmed by the need to clench my fists and shout until I am hoarse. My heart feels purple and bruised from the weight and severity of emotions that accumulate during the day. Two weeks ago, I allowed the thought to take hold that perhaps this anger wasn’t normal, that perhaps this was something more than the transition period after having a baby. The thought allowed relief and guilt at the same time. On one hand, relief that maybe this wasn’t something I could control, but guilt that I couldn’t control it. A vicious cycle of thought that left me more worn than the anger by the end of the day. This idea, that maybe something was wrong, allowed me to test the waters slowly, stick my toe in and get used to the idea. A few nights ago, when asked by a friend I answered honestly and said I was really angry all the time. She surprised me by describing exactly how I felt. She went on to explain that what I was experiencing was postpartum depression, but instead of the sadness, I was feeling the anger side of it. I cannot express how relieved I was to know that something had indeed taken over my body. That this angry woman wasn’t me after all. The anger and guilt as still ever present companions but they are easier to see now that I have shined a light on them
A couple weeks ago my friend (and yours) Brad said something that stuck with me, he said “we are a reflection.” I have turned it over and over in my head. This simple phrase touches something deep within me. It reminds me of something my mother used to tell me when I was young. She would tell me you are who you hang out with. Which I didn’t really understand until it was too late and my life had jumped the tracks. I have decided until I am myself again I will look to those close to me to remind me of who I am. My friends are beautiful, creative, loving people and if I use them as a reflection then I am also those attributes. In the dark hours, when I am the most lost, I will pull their faces up one by one and remember why I love each one of them. On a good day, I am a weak version of their best attribute. And every time I see my reflection, I will do my best to remember that. Their hearts will shine a light on my darkness and show me the way home. Where there is light, there can be no darkness, and with light there is hope.