Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Navigating the Crazy

I just read a post from a favorite blogger about her postpartum depression after the birth of her daughter and how she's preparing for the birth of her son in a few weeks. I worry about this. She writes about how she's so angry about her depression, how it robbed her of the joy and happiness that she thought she deserved to have after her child was born. I've written a little bit about my experience with depression after S and I got engaged that extended into our first two years of marriage. I am angry too. I'm angry that I cried more out of frustration than joy during that time period. I'm angry that our first year of marriage was overshadowed by this specter of sadness and anxiety. I'm angry that is took S down with me. I'm angry that I didn't feel like I could be honest about how I was feeling.

And I am grateful that we've made it this far and made it together.

There's a term for depression after giving birth. Whether Tom Cruise thinks it's real or not, it turns out more women deal with this than we ever thought and I am glad that so many people are coming forward to talk about it. There's not a term for depression after other seemingly joyous occasions, except just depression, but I think we can still talk about it.

Before I read this blogger's post, here's what I thought: Oh man, she's super cute and she writes hilariously and she makes super cute stuff and sells it on etsy and she gets like lots of comments and she has this great kid and this super cute husband and her life is obviously infinitely better than man and I suck and use the phrase "super cute" more often than any 28-year-old ever should. Tells you more about me than it does about her, right?

So, here's my plea: Please be real. If you social media-ize and it's not to make money or promote a business, please be your real self, flaws and all. Please turn off the "here's why I'm awesome" show and let us see you fail, not so we feel sorry for you but because we all do and sometimes it feels like I'm the only one. I love it when my DYI bloggers post about a project and halfway through tell us, "then I hated it and I cried and we made 15 trips to Home Depot and I cried some more and then it worked." Oh, so you're not perfect. Thank goodness!

Sometime S and I are sad about something and we don't talk about it for a while until one of us says, "um, I'm a little bit sad about this" and the other one will say "um, I'm a little bit sad about that too" and then we might share a few tears and talk and by the end it all seems manageable because we realize that it's not just one of us, we're not alone, and the enormity of whatever it was that was bothering us is greatly reduced.

I think life with friends should be the same way, don't you? "I feel a little bit crazy." "I feel a little bit crazy too." "Oh, well then, let's navigate the crazy together."

Maybe I should rename our blog. Let's call it Navigating the Crazy Together.

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