Even Mojo Mom gets the Blues
This week the post that spoke to me was My BFF has PPD.
I am feeling like I am going through PPD...9 1/2 years after the fact. I guess technically that would just be plain old D. (I hope not.) Momma Zen made me feel not so nuts for thinking of it as PPD:
Seems like everything in life is post-something else, and nearly all of it is depressing. Someone far more ordinary than me once observed this truth and called it, of all things, noble! BTDTGTS!
Recently I said as much to a friend and mother. "Every mother has PPD. I don't see any other way." In some cases, PPD is medically diagnosed and treated as such, in other cases, not. I say it is universal not to make less of it, but to make more of it. Motherhood is a profound spiritual transformation. It is a passage that shatters your physical self, emotional self and psychological self, and thereby your total self image. Your every idea of self. Poof! To say it is depressing is to say it mildly. We are, in PPD, dead mothers walking. NUFF.
So what's going on with me? I am feeling burned-out and so responsible for things that are largely out of my control. I don't want to transform again, yet life keeps dishing up new responsibility. Being part of the sandwich-generation feels crushing and suffocating. It's not polite to admit that, but it's how I feel. And when a crisis comes up, I often feel like I have to fix it all, on my own. I know that is not truly the case, and I am searching for the right support. My husband is great, and he's working with me on the practical issues, but being the only child of divorced parents is becoming its own kind of loneliness now that they are getting older.
For now I am reaching for the Serenity Prayer, which really makes sense when it comes to crazy-making situations:
God grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change; courage to change the things I can; and wisdom to know the difference.
I know that my resilience is at a momentary low, and I am trying to build it up again, because I know that is what I need. (I think the qualities we all need to develop right now are authenticity, resilience, and commitment, which I will write about later.) For now I just feel so tired, and vulnerable.
My daughter had a mishap with a pencil on Tuesday. She basically fell toward a pencil tip and it scratched her eyeLID, enough to make it bleed. I am so thankful that it missed her eyeBALL, yet rather than genuinely experiencing that gratitude, I still feel all shaken up and scared by it. I haven't felt so fragile about her well-being in a long time, not even the time she went in for elective surgery. That was controlled. This was pure, terrifying accident, and it happened when I was sitting in the same room with her.
My theme this week, when it comes to the tragic news on the radio, the economic meltdown, and the crisis within our extended family is that I don't want to look for the silver lining. I don't want to learn important life lessons or gain wisdom. I just want life to be easier. I wish I were a kid again, instead of a "responsible adult," and I want to scream that I DON'T REMEMBER SIGNING UP FOR THIS. I know it's a temporary tantrum, but possibly one that I need to have.
The thread I want to follow that I can't quite trace yet is the anger that is involved, especially the anger that when it comes right down to the wire, women are left in charge of so much caregiving, the work that no one accounts for. (Time to go back to read classic feminist literature, because it feels like the same old story over again.)
I need to yell, dance, swear, cry. But for now I am sitting in silence, with only the blog to scream for me.