There’s heaps you can do. But nothing that I’m willing to ask for.
It’s been a hot minute since I’ve shared.
It’s been a hot minute since I’ve had words for my feelings or space for my words. My son is a half-god vessel of healing for this world, and my recreation of myself has, so far been brutal. Like, mosh brutal. Like, metal.
I’ve been thrown from one hot mess into another, my mental health taking a dive I didn’t know it could take after my general major depressions return during pregnancy, and postpartum depression joining forces with my disordered eating… All my guides would give me was “shh. Wait”.
I waited. And I knew the loss would be great. And the heart would need to be heavy before a golden path was laid out. The whole universe has hold of me right now. I barely fell before I was caught. I get to watch my favourite emotion play out its beautiful, unapologetic dance with some of my favourite people in the entire universe.
And in a time when I will be fiercely protective of my love, I will shamelessly use this platform to journal my grief. I look so forward to experiencing the raw brutality of everything it throws at me. Everything it makes me feel that I’ve stored up to put my son first. Everything I couldn’t process because I was too burnt out. Then I was too unwell. Then I was too pregnant. Then I was too unwell. Then I was too ppd new Mum. Buckle up. I might even rawdog this one.
*sung to the tune of I miss my lung, by Frenzal Rhomb*
So I know I’m being super dramatic right now, but I’m ok with it. I understand that in every hissy fit, every tantrum, my inner child is running amok. But with that comes healing for her, reconnection with her, opening of dialogue to, once again, redefine my relationship with her. I’ll be inviting her to teach me how to play again, shamelessly revel in the excitement of a moment.
I’m so bored. Uninspired. In utter disbelief that I could possibly do LESS per day than I have been. Battling with doing less when I feel ok to do more… then crashing when I do the things. I’m wiped out emotionally, staring at a vast array of little emotional messes that I know I need to clean up before I become a mum. Anxious that I won’t get through them all, suspicious that He won’t arrive until I have.
I’d love to say that it’s been lovely to see you. That your cold embrace was a welcome relief for this 8 month long hot flush. That your familiar self-loathing keeps me company in my emotional isolation. I’d love to say it’s been lovely to see you. I can’t fight you now, I can’t fight anything now. I just sit helplessly as you weave your shackles around me once again.
Opportunistic. That’s what I’d call you. Running in to capitalise on the new punishment for nourishment. It’s not your punishment, but you can adapt… improvise… overcome. It’s admirable, really. Flexible, mutable, malleable, fluid. I’m worried that you’ll stay; that I still won’t have the strength to re-tame you when this is over. That you’ll keep me from coming back to myself. That I’ll become you again. I know I’m powerful enough to defeat you. It’s just that I don’t believe it.
I feel guilty, and ashamed of the part of me that keeps discreetly thanking you. Thanking you for arriving now because if it had been the other extreme, you’d have shown up later and maybe/probably stronger. I don’t know if that’s true. That’s not my reality. I can’t know that. And you know I can’t. That’s why you’re so good at what you do. Searching, always, for chinks in my armour, imperfections in my strategies, weaknesses in my torus field. Filling them with your familiar colours so they catch my eye and draw me into you.
I don’t consider myself one who is “fighting demons every day”. Not anymore. We battled so furiously, then. That, that was fighting demons every day. You, and your friends; your clever little Roundtable of mental illnesses. But really, if I’m completely honest with myself and you, you’re always there. Skirting the edges for a way in. The difference right now, is that I simply don’t have the energy to continue sending you away. You get too close… too quickly. And then you’re tangled around my feet, sitting on my chest, and taking what you want from me.
I don’t have answers. I don’t have ransom demands to reclaim myself from you. I don’t have a battle plan, or a war cry. I don’t have much of anything. But I do wish I could say it’s been lovely to see you. Comfort in a difficult time. A friend who knows me so well. I wish I could vow to fight you tooth and nail when the fog clears. I wish I could vow to heal all those cracks in my defences against you with poise and power… properly… once and for all. But I know you’ll always be with me. And I know that in so many ways I’m to lucky to have met you, you taught me so much about myself, and the power I hold.
You might be quiet tomorrow. Processing this. So I don’t know when I’ll see you again, but I’m sure it will be soon. I wish I could say it’s been lovely to see you.
New routine! Don’t sleep until 1am spew sesh, throwing things up that should really have been digested HOURS ago, then give up on bed and go to the recliner for a bbcearth marathon featuring bad naps and different cats. Then I sleep all day. In bed, laying down lol. I’d be mad about it but I’m too tired.
34 weeks. I had to give up on the countDOWN because who knows how much longer from now on. He could safely come at any time now. Not that we’re aiming for that, but that’s the reality. I’ll have to make the decision to stop working soon. This afternoons shift will be difficult to make happen. But I reckon I’ll make it happen. By that time of the day I’ll have slept a bit and have the energy to be mad about things and not making it won’t be an option.
The triggers that are coming up for me as I sit, scrolling, watching useless television, for the 193rd hour straight this week, are just brutal. I feel in the way, a burden, lazy, inconvenient and needy. I feel all the things I’ve been taught are bad, undesirable, terrible. I can’t physically do the things but I hate myself for not doing them regardless. I’m a bad person because I can’t push through this one. I’m worthless because I can’t get anything done. Can’t pull my weight in keeping the house clean, preparing meals, looking after animals. A burden on the people I love.
The fog lifted, I smiled and laughed and jumped and ran. For a month. … I gave my all to my love, my students, my clients and myself (perhaps there is something to be said for the order that I wrote those in… but it was unintentional). I was ready to nest, I began cleaning, I pushed through some wounds with my mum during her visit, and I started getting excited about labour, birth, motherhood. I spoke at length with my amazing midwife about the spiritual side of birth and motherhood for me. Something I’ve found really difficult to connect with anyone about- which, in turn brings up the isolation again. So much isolation. I’m already from a different planet to the vast majority of my human circles… the way I’m approaching this whole experience has only highlighted that fact, and pushed me into myself- to my own detriment. Up and up. Pushing forward. I’ve got this etc.
But I don’t. The curtains are drawing closed again on my light, and my internal room is once again, dimly lit. And the dramatic internal monologue is full of doubt and critique. Doubt that I can do this. Doubt that I even want to do this. Doubt that I’m worthy of this. Doubt that I’m justified and validated in my feelings throughout the whole entire ordeal. Paul constantly reassuring me that I’m doing amazingly, not complaining (“no, please. Complain more!”)… I’m so incapable/unable to see myself as other people see me. And it’s something I’ve always craved. An objective view of myself. For as long as I can remember I’ve wanted to lift out of my own body and watch me operate from outside. Now more than ever. I feel cumbersome and inconvenient for everyone I encounter. I feel physically devoid of value. I slept from Wednesday through to Sunday last week. I woke to teach classes, then went back to bed…
I found a kitten last week. On the road. Miraculously missed by the car I was following. And he’s been the most welcome distraction from the constant boxing match that’s been going on between my foetus and my cervix, the vomiting that’s returned with a vengeance, and the exhaustion- naps are better with a kitten. But last night guilt waltzed in and told me how terrible I was for attaching to the kitten and ignoring my unborn. I’m back to wanting to cry all the time. I’ve heard all about my friends being angry at their partners and pissed off about everything but I’ve just been crying, and telling boomers off in coles for absurdly stockpiling goddamn toilet paper. Just sad. Just alone. Just worthless. The question of my worth was really reimagined during my mums visit… She came in with her values and made me question all of mine. Thank god that was during my good month… I’ve had the energy to process most of it. But now, as I start to shrink back into myself, the voices of my inner critic and self doubt get louder and louder… and it’s time to battle again. Battle myself. Battle my demons. Tamed in cages, but brats, and escape artists. Always challenging me.
12.5 weeks to go. I can meet my dude and start to heal my body. 12.5 weeks. I’m on the home straight. I’ve been under twice as long as I have to go.
I realised this week that I can start counting down, rather than up.
This is quite the revelation, since I have always been better at counting down than counting up. I should probably actually research the psychological reason I work better like this, because I’d definitely enjoy understanding why, but for whatever selection of reasons, knowing how far I have TO GO, rather than stating how long I’ve been GOING has just always made for a more positive outlook and successful outcome. Expectations are more clearly outlined for me when I look at how long I have to complete a task. Call it being highly practical if you will, but I feel like counting down helps me to allocate time and tasks more effectively and efficiently. Breaking an insurmountable task into manageable chunks is easier when you have a deadline. Creating space for yourself is easier when you understand your limitations and parameters. I’m so glad I’m away, in the ranges, resetting my brain and resting my soul. I have something to look forward to now. It’s not something so distant and intangible for me anymore. Thank god for my “what to expect” app including ‘weeks to go’ on my homepage. Maybe I should have been using that app more than the babycentre one. Haha apps. Ridiculous. What a time. I’m so damn ready to have this kiddo. He’s gonna be such a rad dude.
Ok. I’m done discussing it now, she says, as she opens a new blog entry to discuss it. I’m overwhelmed by people’s opinions on my experience, my body, and my ride. Comments about how motherhood might soften me make me feel misunderstood and misrepresented. I’m the softest fucker out there when it comes to me fur and feather children. I’m soft with my friends, and I’m (getting better at being) soft with myself. Don’t tell me that “it’ll all be worth it” as if i get a prize at the end of this. Don’t tell me “once you hold that baby you’ll be ready to do it all again” umm no. I won’t. Because I don’t repeat patterns of behaviour that are of clear and direct detriment to my mental health… anymore…
Boomers telling me to chill out. To relax. As if I’m not meditating more than I have in my entire life. Suggesting I’m a snowflake for struggling and EXPRESSING my struggle, honestly and candidly. I’m trying to be open, raw, honest, as I am with everything in my life, but apparently now is not the time. So I’ll retreat a little. Mention it less. Share less. And just experience it. A depressive episode every 10-14 days is becoming the norm, 3-4 day migraines are just wiping me out completely, and I’m beginning to get very selective with how I spend my spoons.
I’ll reiterate… For myself more than anything because I’m not encouraging a lot of people to actively read this; I’m pumped as shit to meet this dude. I’m super excited to parent. Good times and bad. No, I will not “wait until they get to toddler age and start answering back” or until “the teenage years” I’ll simply try to remain whole and woke, and connected as I prepare this old soul in a new body to take on this fragile and volatile world. I realise that lighthearted remarks like these are probably an attempt to make me feel better about pregnancy. I get it. Cheers guys. But it’s not helping, so I’m going to remove myself from it. What I need is acceptance and understanding of the eb and flow. Awareness of who I really am and, therefore how deeply this has impacted on my mental and physical health and motivation. I know I’m not the worst off. I know because I’m walking alongside an incredible woman who is having major complications so early in her pregnancy that she’s spending nights in hospital almost weekly, with health complications galore. BUT that doesn’t mean that my experience is any less valid, any less important. I think I’m especially struggling because of the timing of this. I had really started to create this beautiful and ideal life for myself, and I had to stop. I mean, I get it. I’ve already learned about my motivation and that I probably need to appreciate my strongest physical form more when I have it, cool, but I can’t help but tantrum a little, every now and then, that when things started looking cool and a road mapped out for me, I got a detour sign.
So I don’t want to isolate. Because that won’t help. I was helpfully informed yesterday that when I have post natal depression, I won’t want to be around anyone. Thank you. Thank you for your valid and most useful opinion. However, post natal depression will just be another type of depression for me, I believe, and I know what I’ll NEED (not want. I never said I’d WANT visitors) to keep me from falling in the hole. And, unfortunately for me and depression, it’s people. I isolate so rapidly and definitively that I’ll NEED people ignoring my foul mood and sitting with me regardless. I’ll need to be force fed probably, and definitely have many many cups of tea made for me. God I hope I don’t become a nightmare for Paul. He assures me I’m fine. I always believe him when he says anything because he’s never lied to me once. But I’m… no, my self-doubt is dubious about his level of tolerance for my rubbish for too long.
I have 4 months to go. I feel a little like I can see the light at the end of the tunnel. I’m getting there. So maybe if I can just keep my mouth shut a bit, for a bit, I’ll make it through and not feel completely bombarded by opinions. My ever-insightful best friend laughed yesterday when I told her I’m done being open about the whole process. She said “I’m surprised you’ve lasted this long to be honest”, it reminded me that I knew this was coming. I knew I’d be inundated with opinions. And that I’d struggle with it. Because I struggle with the asleep population to begin with. Not to mention when they begin to comment on my experience of something they have completely different paradigms on.
I don’t want to share this with anyone, so I’ll share it with everyone.
I had my first miscarriage dream last night… when I say last night, I mean this morning, because I definitely wasn’t asleep before 2.30am… and there’s our first clue as to how I will logically process this.
I dreamt that I was a guest, on a game show? Anyway it had that feel. I was nauseous as all hell (but what’s new) and some boomer-aged host was explaining that if I couldn’t eat something by the time the countdown finished, I “would no longer be pregnant”.
So I obviously picked up various foods that had been offered to me and proceeded to vomit all over the table, all over my hands, all over the food. What I vomited, I have no idea, because I hadn’t eaten all day apparently… so the timer is counting down, and I’m running out of things to attempt that don’t already have vomit on them, and even those that did- there was a whole selection of foods I haven’t been able to stomach from the very beginning.
The timer made it to zero and the studio screens displayed a triumphant “NO LONGER PREGNANT!” It was confusingly celebratory, while simultaneously indicating that I’d missed out on the million dollars and was going home with nothing…
So I have emotions about that today, but let’s see… I’ve had a total of maybe 4 hours sleep, after an enormous day where I probably did too much, but definitely wanted to use my first good day in 10 days…
I’m really looking forward to meeting with the midwife formally and hopefully, feeling less alone and isolated.
My body is battling with my mind…
I tell myself that I’ll take control and get things done and stretch, and train lightly, and eat good food (not just tater tots and cereal)… but then I wake up- groggy, slept but not rested, nauseous-again-still-always… and forcing toast down my throat then requires an hour or 2 rest to digest without regurgitation. By which point I need to eat again, because the nausea is worse on an empty stomach.
I’m trapped on the couch. I’m tired beyond comprehension- I’ve only been awake for 2 hours!
None of my clothes fit. I feel gross in just about everything, but I’m not pregnant enough to need maternitywear- and I have no desire to purchase any anyway. On that- having my priorities shift for the sake of a new life and becoming a mother- I can handle. But I don’t buy myself new clothes anyway. Never mind for a couple of short months never to be used again (probably). I can’t justify that expense. That consumption of resources. That effort in trying on goddamn clothes.
These 40°+ days have added up to migraines- of course- and still, no way to treat them. Motion sickness bands are my best friend. I have permanent indents in my wrist over the pressure point.
“Is it getting better at least?” Look, yes. It is better than the first 2 months. But listen, they weren’t much to compare to. That was the sickest I’ve been in my life. My feet are itchy, I want sushi, the baby is barely bigger than an avocado and the sensation of crushed stomach and fullness after not having eaten for 2 hours… is… well… stupid. Gaviscon can only do so much.
Finding the positive in situations usually reserved for negativity has become my super power, after years of only seeing the darkness. To have this challenge that so brutally has been disheartening, exhausting and confusing. I don’t feel like myself.