As if the grief itself wasn’t enough, I have now been diagnosed with postpartum depression. I was feeling the intensity of the grief gradually lessening and slowly peeling away, and now this whole new level of emotional complexity has slapped me in the face. It’s not the kind of depression that makes me want to stay in bed, close the curtains, and become a vampire. It’s the kind that makes me swing ever so high and low. I alternate between bliss and gloom. The highs are out of control, where life appears to be full of amazing options and possibilities, and I can’t wait to jump on all of them. The world vibrates with color and yumminess. The lows, on the other hand, are not as fun. The fire of the drive gets extinguished and I become a lump of misery full of stagnation, surrounded by the theme of death and abandonment. And to think that this is just the hormones playing their devious games!
I used to hold a theory that we are all moving in an upward spiral. I say “used to” because these days I find myself running in circles, and even frequently spiraling downwards. It’s as if I am turning back into a child; one that’s in a constant state of a tantrum. Then for a minute, I snap out of it, become an adult once more, shake my head at my immature behaviors, and remind myself that this is a process. Until again, the tantrums come on and I degrade one more level, back to where I started some years back.
I have always been a sensitive person but sensitivity has now gained a whole new meaning in my life. I cry when someone gives me a bad look, or when I accidentally kill an ant in my attempt to bring it outside to safety. I scream in my car when someone cuts me off or when the traffic is not moving. I cry for being an angry person. I yell at my partner for not being there for me, when I don’t even know how to be there for myself. Again, I cry. I push him away. I pull him in. I throw lamps, kick walls, break things. And then I sob, uncontrollably. In the midst of my tantrums, I turn into a wild animal. There is no reasoning with my mind in that state because my mind has been emptied of reasons. The only reasons that are left are the ones worth crying over.
Where are these crazy emotions coming from? I was told that anger is one of those forces that once expressed, gains power instead of dissipating. I also read somewhere that the more I reject a part of myself, the stronger it becomes. But I am having a really hard time accepting this “new” me because it’s ruining my life. And like I would never do to a child, I scold the one in me, afraid to accept it and love it. Sometimes I think that I’ve created a child in my emotional being so that there is someone to take care of, in the face of losing Leif. I’m constantly trying to find some sort of tangible explanation for my madness. The hormones don’t always resonate with the mind that seeks a more solid explanation. Where the hell is the off button?
I have chosen the naturopathic path to recovery, hoping to bring back some balance into my life through good old herbs and acupuncture. I’m tired of running into the wall, and just really want harmony present in my life. This has been a bumpy ride on a rocky road, to say the least. But I’m still learning through it all. Perhaps the learning is the upward spiral, after all. The mind/heart space is a deep and complex space and experiencing new depths of it, as hard as the experience might be, is always in some way enlightening, even when the lights appear to be out. Onward, I move, to see what exists around the bend…