I recently read an article that touched me so deeply, I was inspired to write a post about what it brought up for me. My sister texted the link to me the other day, along with the note : this article – i was bawling. it is so good.
Sometimes I like to tell myself that I am just really sensitive, or that I know how to access my emotions or that I have learned the tools to allow myself to really feel. While all of these things may be true, the reality is that sometimes I am just really sad.
When Arizona was born, I experienced a few weeks of the “baby blues.” It was a period of unexplainable sadness about this new transition in my life, coupled with severe lack of sleep and a very colicky baby. When Arizona was 3 months old, however, my blues took a sharp downward spiral into the deep, dark abyss of postpartum depression. It was terrifying to me because I had never experienced feelings of sadness to such an overwhelming magnitude. I was especially fearful because I didn’t know what help I needed or how to get it.
It’s interesting when I look back at that period in my life now; it’s almost as if I had to experience the depths of that pain in order TO ask for help. If it had been bad but not debilitating, I might have just trudged through it, telling myself – “Hey, it’s life, I gotta get through this somehow.”
I am grateful that I was able to find the right treatment to survive that horrific time. It also helped me recognize and manage future episodes of depression before they pulled me down and out.
In the special needs world, I don’t know any parent who hasn’t suffered from periods of sadness and depression. Sometimes it hits right after receiving a diagnosis for your child. Sometimes it plays out years later when you’re experiencing other transitions in life and realize it’s all too much for you to bear.
We all have our own ways of helping ourselves through these moments of funk. My go to rituals for healing include : writing in my journal, calling a girlfriend, having really authentic sessions with my coach and spiritual counselor, exercising, having a nice glass of wine, sometimes taking medication.
Whatever it is, know that you are not alone. Yes, life “happens” all the time, but that doesn’t mean we have to persevere through it without whatever help we may need.