i've been feeling those feelings again. the ones that weigh me down so much i can barely lift my head. the ones that tell me to stay glued to the couch instead of play with my littles. the ones that cause anger and frustration to rise to the surface before joy and compassion. the ones that suppress all of those emotions and leave me empty.
i suffered through postpartum depression after charlotte was born. it was delayed until she was about five or six months old so it took a while to figure out what it was. it wasn't until i had come out the other side and started managing my depression that i really could look back and see what had been causing the fog. i've seen snippets of those dark times throughout the last 2.5 years since. i've gotten to a place where i notice their presence but watch them go, not to be consumed by them again.
now that theodore is growing out of the 'newborn' stage, past the fourth trimester, i've been feeling some of those same dark feelings. there have been days lately when i can't seem to get myself to do anything. i don't smile, i don't laugh, i'm just there. not taking anything in, not letting anything out, just going through the motions. i noticed it last week when it happened. i was quick to anger, quick to frustration, yelling a lot and then nothing. i could have been scared. i could have been horrified but i was relieved when my brain and my heart made the connection that this was PPD rearing it's ugly head again.
i will not go back to the place. i will not let these thoughts consume me again. i will not spend my days crying on the back porch, aching for brad to come home from work so i can lay in bed alone. i will not.
i will go back to what helped me escape that darkness two years ago. i will find the joy in running again. the terrain may be radically different than the beach path i used to frequent, but the high is still there. through the heavy trees and suburban streets i'll run. something i didn't get the chance to do last time was make real lasting meaningful friendships. this time will be different. putting myself out there in the community and opening myself up to friendship and community is such an important thing for my sanity and wellbeing. and it's happening. slowly but surely.
and when all else fails, i'll try to remember those little moments in between the screaming and the crying. those moments where i glimpse a little piece of my former self. the one who laughed and found joy in the mundane. and relish those moments. because depression is not all about dark clouds and endless sadness. so often, you're riding an emotional roller coaster. one moment it's the highest high and the next you're falling to the depths of darkness again. those highs may not be perfect, and you know there's darkness coming, but enjoying the moments, however fleeting, is the way to get off the ride.