The thin space between joy and pain, hope and fear, belonging and loneliness, health and unwell.
This is not an easy line to try and keep the right side of.
I ask myself is this ‘depression’ but then I don’t feel low most of the time. Just when the tiredness gets too much, when my arms can’t keep rocking her, and my whole being aches, when I worry as she stumbles around that she doesn’t realise I love her because I don’t feel anything in that moment but I know it will come flooding back soon, if I just hold this line.
It’s maternal mental health awareness week and I meant to write this blog 2 days ago, but disturbed sleep and trying to keep sane by seeing people in the day has led me to delay the post, ironically (is it ironic? I can’t remember what that means except I know that Alanis Morisette misused it in her song)
I am watching ‘The Letdown’ on Netflix, it’s good (well Mike says its too cliched which is why I think its good), and because its take on the impact of motherhood are so hilariously real I find myself laughing and then suddenly sobbing. (Please note: I do not mean crying with laughter, I mean sad sobbing- in all meanings of the word sad)
And its not just the mothering thing, its just trying to keep your head together in life.
And I don’t know why it suddenly feels so hard to do?
I went to see Bridget Christie (comedian) the other day with a lovely friend, and she started each act/scene/section thing with ‘I am a white, heterosexual, middle class female who has (insert a piece of nice furniture/kitchen equipment) and yet I am still struggling’.
It was funny…but it was also true. I have so much privilege and yet I seem to wandering very close to the edge at times…
I know that peace of mind does not come from an item, or a gadget, or status or popularity. I know that I am ridiculously fortunate to have great friends and seriously an incredible husband.
I have written the majority of this post in the middle of the night, when after 4 unsuccessful hours our daughter is still awake, it has been tough.
And I also know that tomorrow things will seem ok, she will be full of energy and running around laughing and playing-and I will laugh too. That’s what i find difficult about the ‘lows’ they are not predictable and can be gone for long periods of time, and suddenly a few poor nights and I am back in the thick of the fog.
Despite the extremities of the line, there is a thread of security and trust that weaves its way through our lives…the hope of better times glimmers amongst the struggles.
I would not say I was depressed but I would acknowledge that I am struggling at times. I wish I could have the security to write this with hindsight, like most the blogs I seem to read do. Admitting the difficulties of days past, but I am not this is my present.
There is a lot to be thankful for here, but there is also is the tension of just keeping it together.
Here are my survival, not very helpful, tips:
- diet coke float…its just wonderful, which is a shame really because based on Diet Coke’s latest ads I would happily sidestep them.
- The Letdown on Netflix but also any good box sets-also watching ‘Unforgotten’ with Mike.
- ‘Etta, Otto, Russell and James’ by Emma Hooper-I love love a book based in the Canadian Prairies in the early 20th century
- Sarah Bessey and Jamie Wrights blogs-both brilliant in their own way-also if you subscribe to Jamie’s blog you can get colouring in sheets of rude words!
- the stick song by Hey Duggee
- mini fake magnums by Aldi
- woodland walks!!! The bluebells are out
- our new church, feel very blessed by that community
- the sun-it took its sweet time, but its out, for today at least!!!
One thought on “The line we try and hold”
I watched the first two episodes of The Let Down last night and loved it- even with all its cliches! If we couldn’t laugh at all the crappy bits of motherhood/parenthood then the job would be even harder than it already is at times. Don’t be too hard on yourself, Jen – mothering young children is demanding, so you need to do the things that keep you sane. x