Today is the fifth anniversary of Sammy's death. Here is the blog I wrote about his passing five years ago: www.sparkpeople.
It's relevant in kind of an odd way. Mourning Sammy was a horrible time for me. I remember going to bed nights and just wanting to DIE, but since I was not interested in killing myself, I'd beg God to do it for me. "Please, God, please, just don't make me wake up tomorrow. I used to smoke, I'm overweight, I don't floss often enough, weird things happen. A heart attack is plausible. You can do this. Please." I'd wake up in the morning disappointed. WHY was I waking up? I asked SO nicely. I remember waking up in Rio de Janeiro in a hotel on Copacabana crying and going to bed in Montevideo begging. But, as evidenced by the fact that I am writing this blog, I did not die, and time marched on.
Now, I have a new baby, but this time, you know, a human one. He's super-sweet and really perfect. He's healthy, and he's happy. We're really lucky and blessed.
But I admit it. I am struggling. It's all quite silly, really, and honestly probably just hormones. I love my baby. He's awesome. And I didn't have some sort of amazing life before I had him, but I did have regular gym and meditation habits. Still, I guess it's okay that I am also grieving my old life, dull though it was.
I don't want to say the dreaded PPD words yet. I haven't been diagnosed with anything, and some cursory Googling indicates that I should have symptoms for two weeks before they come into play. Nevertheless, I have had to force myself to reach out to my doctor and for support. I spent several days in a row an absolute mess, and it was scarily reminiscent of those months after Sammy died. Lots of crying, feeling hopeless, and just deep, deep despair, and Mom guilt, which is just icing on the cake. One night, I was in the shower, and it dawned on me that I have RUINED MY LIFE, and it's unfixable. That sent me over an edge, and a familiar prayer was on my lips, except this time, I've been quit for years, I'm no longer overweight, and I floss almost everyday. Those days were absolutely brutal, and I was in a hole I didn't think I could ever climb out of.
On Day 5 of this, my husband came home from work. "I'm going to the gym; are you?" I lifted my head from my pillow where I'd been crying since I'd gotten home an hour earlier and said, "I guess." I mean, it was either that or stay home and feel like an awful mom, crying in my room while my mother-in-law takes care of the baby. I got ready and got into the passenger seat of my husband's car. I hadn't been there in ages. I love my car so much that I always insist on driving. We sat in silence, which was uncomfortable. Normally we don't do that unless we've been fighting, but we hadn't. What could either one of us say?
Like those short runs and trampoline sessions in my previous blog, the elliptical stopped the tears. I went on and on, feeling the despair on my face and everywhere, but especially on my face. Until I didn't.
When we were finished, I felt...pretty good. I felt at least ten times better than I had before we left. I wasn't crying anymore, and the idea of a ruined life or a death prayer seemed really far away. It was exactly what I needed, and I shouldn't have put my health and wellness off as long as I had, or it's likely these feelings might not have arisen at all, or at least have been mild enough to ignore.
Plus, while I was there, I found just what I needed serendipitously. I read Mindful magazine at the gym, and there was an article about dealing with mental health issues, complete with a meditation exercise to try ( www.mindful.org/
), and an article about Alison Canavan, who wrote a book for new moms called "Minding Mum: It's Time to Take Care of You." I came home from the gym and bought it.
Those words might come into play later. I don't know, but I can take steps to avoid them. I'm committing to going to the gym at least every other day, because the difference was truly night and day. I'm not committing yet, but I do want to get my meditation practice back on track, as well, starting with the exercise I read when I needed it most.
And I suppose I will end this blog with a quote from Garth Brooks: "Some of God's greatest gifts are unanswered prayers."