I never considered that I would be susceptible to symptoms of postpartum depression. I had great faith in my rosy disposition and the fact that I always found those "happiness stability" worksheets (for lack of a better term) they give you at your prenatal appointments to be completely unrelated to my emotional experience. I thought the women who suffered from this were isolated, unsupported, or without other resources to maintain their stability. After all, I have a loving and supportive partner, am thrilled to be a mother, have community, along with a strong self awareness practice and Wisdom. How could I be at risk?
What I didn't take into consideration are the vicious effects of sleep deprivation. It's like a life sucking poison. Not getting adequate sleep has a sly way of tainting my perspective and discoloring my reality. I'm filled with self loathing and pity and my world feels about the size of a walnut, walls closing in.
At this point I feel like nothing is enough to fill the void within. My support system feels hallow, like they could never understand, my self awareness is haunted with shadows, and I'm too tired to give a shit about Wisdom. Everything is skewed, and I am unbelievably sensitive, everything feels like a personal affront. Four and a half months in and here I am, holding back the tears and struggling with insomnia. I feel more like a sliver of myself than a whole being, I am crippled in this tired stupor.
Sleep deprivation is acting like a parasite in me, causing me to crave all the things that will continue to keep me off balance. I'm lonely but won't reach out to anyone because I think no one will truly understand. I'm exhausted but my mind races when I close my eyes. Nothing feels like it's right, nothing seems good enough, I worry that I'm doing it all wrong, and I am jealous of those who are sleeping. I don't feel seen or heard. I'm isolated in the delirious and dark chatter of my mind.
To top it off, the relentless nature of mothering is suffocating me. I find myself being hyper-vigilant, struggling to relax, because he may wake at any moment or need me for this or that. In a sense, I'm always waiting for a need to arise, on edge, struggling to just rest in the present moment, whether it be high or low. I am chained by anticipation. And when the needing ceases I have a list of chores to do.
So, I'm writing to purge, to see and hear myself, and to give myself a gentle hug and then a nudge in the right direction. "This too shall pass" humming all the while in the back of my mind.