about six weeks ago, i posted something to social media about being in the midst of full blown depression.
the first few weeks after melby was born were weird and disorienting and lonely for me. at six weeks, we flew to california for my brother's wedding. i felt sure that, amongst the members of my loving family, with readily available emotional support, meals made for me, sunshine, and extra hands to hold melby, i would feel less lost.
two days into it, i realized i felt as awful as ever and the knowledge that my most comfortable place in the world couldn't rescue me from what i was experiencing throttled me into the scariest pit of despair. i woke up crying. i went to sleep crying. i cried on walks, in stores, at meals. i cried until i just felt dead and didn't cry anymore. there was no solution to the tears, no respite, no magical mountainous beachside place full of loving people that could fill the chasm.
so i said it. i said, i feel like i'm dying.
people reached out. people said, me too. people said, i've been there. people said, it gets better. people said, i'm here. people hugged me and brought me food and held my baby and held space for me.
sometimes i feel really dumb writing all these words.
but at the end of the day, vulnerability feels best to me. i feel better when i connect to other people. and i felt so lonely. i needed connection. it didn't fix anything, but it felt like there were people close to me in my tears. it gave context to the loneliness.
i made a commitment to eat better, exercise regularly, get outside, drink water, take my herbs, and ask for help. i did mildly well at all of these things. whether or not i was particularly successful, i felt like i was trying, which made me feel less out of control. some combination of that, plus time, and i am happy to report that i'm okay.
i felt like i should say that: i'm okay.
i don't think it works that way for everyone. i think some people definitely need medication or more structured support. i acknowledge that wholeheartedly.
but i made it back to me. this is baseline beth. i think, honestly, i'll always be slightly tortured. i think too much. i live in my head. i analyze everything. it's a sea of words in there. part of why writing is so important for me is it helps line them up a little, shuffle some of them out, leave them somewhere other than swirling around inside me, weighing me down.
i can live this way. i'm not some breezy spontaneous spirit. i don't think i ever will be. i always wanted to be that girl. that free spirit. that fly-by-the-seat-of-your-pants, relaxed, joyful, beachy girl. i am the opposite of that girl. i am reflective and intense and overly cerebral. everything has 40 meanings to me. everything is significant and thought out.
sometimes my whole life feels heavy. but i get through it. i am learning to find levity.
for a while, i couldn't. i was drowning.
now i have remembered how to float.
and i just wanted to say that. i wanted you to know.
today i had a little cry. not because i was sad this time, but because i felt so super grateful to be so loved. i have never, ever lacked support. i am grateful for the people, who surround me, who lift me up when i'm drowning, who carry me when i've become too heavy to support myself.
people say it takes a village to raise a baby.
it also takes a village to raise a mama. i am grateful for my village. you helped save me. you helped carry me through. from the bottom of my no-longer-rotting heart, thank you.