You know how I know that postpartum anxiety is very REAL for me? Because when I’m not drowning in it, I look at my previous self from the shore and I think…
“Holy shit. That is WAY deeper than you realize! OMG. Do you not see that shark behind you? You have no idea there are weights on your ankles right now, do you? Oh, Jill, you have to get those weights off and you have to get to shore. It’s so much easier here to not drown.”
I can sail through days now, not only mostly happy, not only keeping my kids alive and myself relatively sane, but also accomplishing things like dishes AND laundry ON THE SAME DAY. And even taking all three of them somewhere by myself.
At the deepest points, I would feel lazy and paralyzed. There was NO way I could manage to get dressed AND feed the kids at least 2 meals and snacks AND pick up messes AND deal with tantrums and meltdowns.
I mean, there I was, trying not to DROWN with weights on my ankles, and guilting myself over dirty sippy cups in the sink… and on the couch… and probably in my car.
But when people are close to drowning nobody expects them to do anything but get help, stay afloat, get. to. shore.
I’m only on the edge where the ocean meets the sand now. Most days I’m really afraid a rip tide will hit me out of nowhere and drag me back.
Today, though, I’m not in the water. I’m enjoying the sun, I’m accomplishing tasks, I’m relaxing on the beach and not gasping for air in the deep sea. And I hope that each day I move a little further away from the waves. Here I have time to breathe, space to stretch, and energy to spare.
Don’t ever feel guilty or lazy or like a bad person when you are drowning and gasping for air, with weights on your ankles, and you can’t do that while keeping your house clean and making your kids organic, homemade meals.
Get help. Stay afloat. Get. to. shore.