Last week I shared on Facebook that I have struggled with PPD. I didn’t go into it much because I’m not really ready to share that bit of my life. This morning I realized that there was a part of it I would like to share right now.
I remember the days that I felt trapped, like I was in a bubble. I was so incredibly numb. The only thing that went through my head was that I had to push through for my children. And I did. I got up and cared for them and kissed them and read them stories and played with them. I was there for them. I just wasn’t there for myself.
Then one day, after not writing at all for 10 years, I just snapped. I grabbed a pen and a notebook and started scribbling poems like crazy. Poetry is my snap. It’s my go to. It’s my release. It’s my springboard.
It didn’t take long for me to realize that writing was something that was mine. And it was there, in the suffocating depths of PPD, that the Endeavor Series was born.
I am a firm believer that while there are many things you cannot control in life, how you play the cards you’ve been given is one of things you can control.
So my message to others is not to give up. Keep breathing, and look for the snap. I think sometimes we only talk about the negative side of snapping or flipping the switch, but the truth is that having a moment in life that you snap can be the absolute best thing in the world for you.
Sometimes it takes flipping the switch to move forward. I am huge on helping my kids learn and manage healthy coping skills. While it is writing for me, everybody has their own thing. The trick is to find it, and to remember that it needs to be something you can control.
I know that the first thing people say is to reach out to others, but the human truth is that sometimes that doesn’t work. It doesn’t mean that we are surrounded by awful people, it’s just that we are surrounded by humans, and sometimes people fall through the cracks.
I am one of those people, though I have to admit that I feel much less alone now than I did. That doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t reach out. Do it. It’s the best thing in the world when you find others who understand. It’s just that self care is something I feel like people still look down upon, even though it’s important. I’ve spent nearly all of my life taking care of everybody else first. It is only in the last few years that I forced myself to think of myself. (And by the way, when you do that, people will look down on you, and they will assume that you are selfish. I just want to warn you that it will not be all sunshine and rainbows. People are people. Be there for yourself anyway.)
So take care of yourself. Find your thing. Embrace it.
Everyone is an artist, whether they know it or not. It might be decorating for one. It might be running or cooking or crafts for another. To me, the arts are movement. They can be a ladder to get out of a hole. They can be wings to fly. They can be a rock in a stormy sea. They are whatever you need them to be.
Nobody can take away my creativity, or the stories in my head. Maybe nobody will read or like my stories, but that doesn’t stop me from making them. The same goes for you. Turn the straw of your life into silk. Weave a web of light in the dark. Make an anchor for your soul. Take the odd ingredients of your pantry and make a cake. Yeah, yeah. Make lemonade from lemons, or as I prefer, limeade from limes.
You can turn your pain into gain.
Thanks for your time.