A Perfect Storm (Mama Musings approaching the close of Year 1)

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The weather in my city has been really intense and stormy lately, and in perfect form, so has my life in some ways.  But in a different way because I am enjoying so much joy and light and love as I culminate my FIRST. YEAR. OF. MOTHERHOOD.  Wow!  To say that motherhood is hard work is insufficient.  For me it has been an intense, demanding, and worthwhile decision to prioritize in and sacrifice for the wellbeing of my child- without limit.  So we are having fun and I am exhausted as shit, most of the time.  I get frustrated, lonely, irritable and all of that but everyday I am inspired and impressed with my son and myself.  Interestingly, life keeps happening so I have all kinds of new milestones in my personal and professional life and new challenges and difficulties to learn and grow through.  So recently, when things got deep for our family, I wrote a poem about it.  It is right on time as I chart the open territory before for me as a new mother, improve my self-care practice, live more fully in my gifts and create a life that I love for me and for our family.  Here it goes:

 

It’s like I’m in this perfect storm…

And I like storms

Love comes softly like the rain yet floods the river

And my life is perfect right now

And at once stormy and unpredictable

And I don’t know how to manage it

All my dreams are coming though

Love is all around me and oh so much goodness

And so is the pain… I can’t evade the darkness even when I try to pull away

This is the work

I don’t like it, but I’m really good at it

I am here to love and to care for others

But I need this care and love too

I must have it, no question at all

Even if I have to take it for myself

Give it to myself

Give to myself first…I guess this is the only way to survive

The best way to thrive

The hurt is not my own

I feel the hurt of my brother, my sister, my children, and my nation

Far too deeply

So deeply that I don’t want to feel anything at all anymore

And I push it down, down, down until it’s bubbling up and overflowing

Then I remember to let it out, let it breathe

And it’s always better, then

How to navigate a storm

I know how to do this; perhaps it’s a gift

Even though it doesn’t feel that way.

For now just enjoying the calm, actively, intently and fully present

The storm will come again, and again and again…

And it will pass away, again and again and again.

Washing us clean and ushering a fresh new start each time

So I will rest in the calm, frolic and play… but I will also dance in the rain and receive the intense power of the storm.

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I feel sooooo alone, but really I’m not.

More than a few of us have had to navigate mental health challenges to include: depression, anxiety, bipolar disorder and the full spectrum of such conditions. Part of me imagines that our brains and our bodies align to manifest the outward experience of living in an angst driven society that de-centers gentleness and ease with oneself and with the process of life.

It is fairly easy to dismiss, misunderstand, and diminish the experience of mental illness and brain disease if you have no previous experience or awareness of it in your own life. Sometimes I have hesitated to share my joy and wellness, in fear that my hardship won’t be taken seriously. It’s crazy, but I fear that others might miss the overwhelming emotional, physical, and spiritual pain one has to cross over from moment to moment and breath to breath until healing is complete. I have found it difficult to navigate this pain of indescribable nature that has no visible manifestations nor obvious symptoms. The pain doesn’t always go away when I talk about. It is partially a physical turmoil and needs a physical response; a release of some sort.

Along the healing road, I have found that it REALLY helps to be understood, remembered, and considered with warmth and compassionate care.

Here is a collection of creative illustrations that make wonderfully clear the struggles many of us have had within our mental health experience (whether clinically diagnosed or not). I am in a healing place now and yet I have felt many of these sentiments at one time or another as I found my truth about my mental health experience.

At this juncture, I can praise and celebrate my experience with anxiety and depression not just because of the strength I’ve gain and the healthy life practice I am cultivating but also for the gift I can be to others. Whether through inspiration , compassion, or direct assistance I can offer a hand in healing to others. This swells my heart in a way that I can’t explain. And what is more exciting is that EACH of us has the capacity and power to do this and to be a light for one another in this world.

So while I often feel alone, I really am not. I am always loved, I am always protected, I am always comforted when I still myself, breathe , and reconnect with my spiritual power. Sometimes this is easier said than done, but I am always gonna try.

I am NOT gonna give up.

that’s a fact; and that’s my bottom line. 🙂

Below are diagrams/ creative expressions I made to share with others about my own healing and recovery process.

What anxiety can feel like:

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What it can feel like to go on or come off meds:

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What I have gained from the experience so far:

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I hope this is helpful to someone along the same journey or one who desires to support a loved one toward optimal mental health.

Update: Check out the comics mentioned above (21 Comics that Capture the Frustration of Depression):  http://www.buzzfeed.com/hnigatu/comics-that-capture-the-frustrations-of-depression

Post a comment about which ones caught your attention or made an impression?  Mine are 3,9,16,19, and 20.  I like 4, 5,6, and 21 as well.