Hopefully, Gently, Soon

I spent the last day of 2015 like many other nights during the year: I got home from dinner at my parents’ house, got the baby down to sleep and then retreated to my bedroom. Then I read books, listened to music and watched some Netflix. (“Making A Murderer,” a strange way to end one year and begin the next.) And then I crashed out just after midnight, waking when my sweetheart came home from work so I could welcome him and the new year.

I’m glad 2015 is over. It was a beautiful year, the first year of being a mother and getting to know the lovely little human being that is my baby boy. He changes day to day, and parenting a little child is like learning to decipher one manual, only to have a new one thrown at you a few weeks later. All the tricks and tips you’ve learned stop working, and you need to improvise new ones. It was often fun, sometimes hard and usually challenging. But it helps when your baby is the most adorable human being ever. Of course, I am biased that way 😉

The year was also difficult: post-partum depression cast shadows underneath many of my days, pulling me under in an undertow of negative emotions and often blocking any positive ones. I thought I’d gotten better, but then the fall and winter happened and the longer hours of darkness seemed to pull me back in. So I stopped blogging as much here because depression was what I really NEEDED to write about — but I didn’t WANT to write about it. And so I got stuck, and stopped. I’m not so sure how I’m going to proceed here as a result — it’s not necessarily something I want to explore in public, not until I’ve cleared the wilderness at least.

But the one thing I want to say about PPD is that depression is not sadness, or stress, or exhaustion — though those emotions do flit in and out. What is dangerous about it is how it robs you of joy — you know in your head how much good fortune you have, how lucky you are, and how beautiful life around you is. But there is a dark fog in your brain sieving out all the sunlight in your world and making you feel slow and separate and isolated from everything. You forget there are highlights and color and saturated hues in the world, because everything is such a relentless, bleak landscape around you.

My only wishes for 2016 are for a few creative adventures (finish revising my novel!) and to feel better — to feel more like myself, really. I would like to feel a bit more light and color in my life again — I would like to taste the spring. Hopefully, and gently, and soon.

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