Blast From The Past: I Carried A Watermelon

Originally Published 09.20.10

Me and this blog have been having a bit of a stand-off lately. (And by lately, I mean for going on about eleven months now.) It has a lot to do with the postpartum depression I haven’t really talked about, and the crippling, silencing shame I felt while lost in that abyss, but the way it’s manifested is totally weird and making me feel a little schizo.

When I became pregnant and lost my job all in the same month, this place WAS my distraction. I posted daily. Sometimes it was about my strange penchant for early Michael Bay movies. (What? I said EARLY. Armageddon is really good. ) Sometimes it was a game-changing culinary innovation. Sometimes, it was THIS. But as my belly swelled, more and more often, it was a place to rage against, and sort out, and celebrate, what was happening to my body, and in turn, to my life. By the time Delilah was born, I realized that what I’d been writing for all those months was, for all intents and purposes, a Pregnancy Blog. {I mean…THEBUMP.COM said so. It must be true.} Every day, more people would come. To read about my cankles. And as a writer in an industry where finding an audience, let alone connecting with one, is few and far between, I loved it.

But then the baby in my belly became the baby in my arms, and those cankles returned to non-freakish proportions, and my postpartum hormones came crashing down around me, and all I had left were fleeting thoughts, and 3am drafts, and never enough words. I had expected to find solace chronicling the early days of Delilah’s life just as I had chronicling the time when she was listening to my heart beat anxiously from the inside. But instead, I came up wordless. Staring at my blank screen made me feel crazy, and angry, and useless. And the more the depression and denial took hold, the less words I was able to find.

My experience of postpartum depression had very little to do with Delilah. (That threw us off the trail at first, although in retrospect, I was always looking to pass her off when she wasn’t nursing…which seemed like it was always.) Mentally, it was pretty much all about me. How I’d failed. How I’d continue to fail. How I’d ruin all our lives with my inevitable failing. Over and over I tried to shake the thoughts that overpowered all other thoughts:

1) You suck. At life. Royally.

2) THIS IS NOT HOW I WANTED IT TO BE.

That second one was a doozie. {That first one was no cake walk either.}

I felt robbed. Constantly robbed. I’d see other Moms out and about with their little ones, and I’d feel certain that they had everything I didn’t. They were confident. They were together. Their kids had shoes on. They smiled like they meant it. They had time for manicures. Showered. Wore mascara. Surely they were much happier than I was. I imagined their lives, clean houses, cooked dinners, a routine, a rhythm…and I wished and I wished and I wished to BE them, anything to escape that deep burning self loathing and noxious stink of putrid failure that was so potent some days it made me want to puke.

And now that I’ve clawed my way out, there are so many many words I want to share with you that I don’t even know where to start. I want to finish my birth story. I want to talk about the year that almost passed me by, and how I managed get up and get moving before shooting many aspects of my life in the proverbial foot for good. I want to tell you guys about Delilah’s crazy love of music. I want to scream from the mountaintops about how after ten years on the outside, Scott went back to school. But then I think about all of those things, and all those words, and I start to get that tight feeling in the center of my chest. That too much time has passed. That I’ll tell it wrong and someone will be offended. That I’ll be thought ungrateful. That I’ll post it and then wish I hadn’t. That I’m a total and complete asshole for even thinking that anybody but me cares enough that I should be panicked about it in the first place (the most rational thought I seem to be able to manage in those moments.)

I let my vulnerable emotional state, my fear of making my Mom cry (sorry Mom, I’m feeling better now, don’t be sad…) and my sick need to please the entire universe at once turn my once-safe-place into a looming, monstrous ogre that hangs over my head and makes my stomach turn flips at the very thought of hitting publish. I’ve let this blog become a reason to beat myself up. And c’mon, that’s just plain crazy.

So I’m writing this post. I’m not even really that sure why. I guess partially because I’m ready to talk about what kind of nasty tricks my mind played on me this year. And partially because I *think* I’m ready to take my blog back and share all of the funny, and weird, and cool and hopefully heart warming things I used to so enjoy sharing with you, Internet.

And also, I’d like to say thank you. Y’know…for probably not being as judgmental as that voice inside my head.

Feed Me Seymour

One Response to Blast From The Past: I Carried A Watermelon

  1. pretty_swell says:

    LOVE this post and so glad you’re feeling better. Write your heart out. We can’t wait to read what’s next. (yes, I’m speaking for all of your readers because who *doesn’t* adore you?)  xo!

Talk to me. Please. I'm almost always alone or with a toddler.