Tuesday, January 27, 2015

songs i never thought i'd like & things i never thought i'd do

Caleb and I have started listening to this song every morning after breakfast. It's not my usual jam, but Cabey nuzzles right into my shoulder and we dance around and it. is. perfect. 

I never knew how much I wanted to be a mom until I became one. It is the very best unexpected gift I've ever been given.

In college, yoga was my saving grace. Escaping the chatter in my mind, shedding my ego-based identity, even if only for a few minutes -- it changed me. It was the closest to a cure for my depression I'd ever come across. Giving that up when I became pregnant was so hard, but between my physical state, our tight budget, and time constraints, it just wasn't as accessible. So, after years of being OK, depression came roaring back in full-force shortly after Caleb was born.

I have never been more suicidal than I was last year. I daydreamed about death regularly, and I tested out what it would be like to asphyxiate myself.

In the back of my head, though, was that still small voice I'd become so accustomed to hearing during years of yoga: This is not who you are. It will be OK. The pain will pass.

Depressed, suicidal behavior is kind of like being drunk: In the back of your mind you know you're about to do something stupid, but you can't seem to stop yourself. You are at your own mercy. The postpartum chemicals raging in my brain took hold, and it required everything I had to cling to the whispered truths of that Still Small Voice.

When depression reared it's head again a few months ago, I took more immediate action, and I found exactly the counselor I needed to help me begin reclaiming my place in the light. 
I'm hesitant to say "it's over," but I've come so stinking far in the past few months. I know how to recognize when the dominoes are starting to topple (my number one sign is not showering). I've started meal planning and created a weekly chore chart for myself. When my energy levels are high, I take steps that will help "depressed Emy" down the road -- I'll make a freezer meal or two and tackle the more labor intensive cleaning projects. Washing out the bathtub is a big one: While a shower feels dang near impossible when I'm in the downward spiral, a hot bath is one of the few things that helps relax my hurting body and mind.

I've come to realize that true marriage and motherhood are Yoga in the School of Life. They are all about surrendering the "self" in the name of Love! In Catholicism we speak of sacrificial love -- well, what exactly are you "sacrificing" but your own selfishness and ego? My EVERYDAY EXISTENCE is a yoga practice. I can take all the tidbits I learned in that incredible hot room and apply them over and over and over again right where I am.

"Live to the point of tears."

This quote, by Albert Camus, is on a magnet I've had since high school. I used to think it was about absorbing the world around you, really being "in" it, and it spoke to my overly-sensitive self. Now I see it differently though. The breathtaking beauty of surrender to a life I never thought I wanted brings me to my knees and cracks me wide open. It is an aching, overwhelming, joyous point-of-tears I never knew existed before.

I am not the same person I was before I became a mother, and you know what? Thank God. 

This is so much better.

Images top to bottom: 1 | 2 | 3