I know I’ve been scarce lately. Blog posts come infrequently…and I’m sorry for that.
But I don’t know any other way to be but real and I can’t just write to you about any old thing. My heart has to feel the words. My soul has to sing them to me. But lately my heart and my soul are preoccupied and consumed. And it’s not just my usual nemeses. Poor Me is nowhere to be found, Discouragement has given way for others more powerful than she.
I’m just exhausted. Heart, mind, body, soul and spirit.
Slogging through post partum depression, menopause, post traumatic stress disorder, physical recovery, thoughts of my own mortality, the tyranny of the day to day, all while trying to live in the moment, all while I try to be present for the moments and count the graces and the joys and the gifts…These are my days right now. This is my struggle.
And I don’t have any answers.
I haven’t made much progress lately. Physically I’m still so tired and so achey and my surgical area still burns and stings and stabs. My days stretch out long and my body can’t keep up. Hormones run wild or run out or who know what they’re doing and I feel like a crazy person sometimes. I lay awake and relive the moments before and after my surgery, I replay the removal of the tube or getting my central line out or getting that drain put in when I was sick after Nora was born. I replay seeing her for the first time and there is joy in all that remembering but there is pain and fear and anxiety too. I think a lot about mortality and how many good years do we really get? And life is short, so short and there is good after life but this is the only life I know. I want it to be longer and I’ve lost that sense of permanence to life on earth. It’s not permanent. It’s just a vapor. I think I understand that differently now.
I am frustrated that I am depressed, that I’ve been brought low. It’s a hard thing to reconcile with how grateful I am to be in the world, to be with my kids, to have Nora here. I’m not at that deep place of depression where nothing holds any joy…it’s just what my friend Rachel used to call a “low lying” depression…always there, threatening to steal the momentum of the moment.
I find that people don’t always understand depression. I am often told that “at least you’re here!” and “but you’re doing so well” or “that’s all behind you now!” and all of that is true. But here is another truth- I can be grateful to be alive and still struggle to process it all. I can be doing well but still long for the stamina I used to have. And yes, it is all behind me but it shaped me and it changed me and now I have to figure out who I am again.
Being depressed doesn’t mean you’re not grateful. That you never have joy. That you’ve forgotten how loved you are. This post trauma stuff is no joke and walking through it is hard. It’s a struggle.
Every day I pull myself up by the boot straps and I give myself a pep talk and I reach for Father God…but none of that is an instant fix. I think maybe time is the fix. Time and just getting up, getting dressed, making breakfast, doing the dishes, changing diapers, letting the dog out, one foot in front of the other living. Living.
I’m depressed. I’m processing trauma. I’m exhausted. I hurt.
I’m also grateful, loved, blessed and surrounded by joy.
One doesn’t exclude the other. And it’s all part of the journey.