I had a hot-mess-mom moment this morning. Well, that's the whole year, but stay with me...
I was deep into writing a new book, I'm about 30 pages (60 paperback sized pages) in and it's wonderful. Fah-Low has returned. I have thanked the gods profusely. I think it's Mark Twain who used to say that he wrote every day but Sunday... he just didn't want to "lose that thread." It could be someone else and I don't have the exact reference, but I get the concept.
That thread, that invisible, magical tether to the creative realm, from which story flows, incessantly, like an IV drip... if you're lucky. And I am, for the moment.
So, there I was... mid-scene, and the battery was low on the ol' Macbook. I couldn't find the charger cable. Anywhere. Upstairs, downstairs. High, low, it was gone. I began to panic... then, I noticed the little plug-in rapid charger for my Canon Sureshot, with the battery inside, is also not where I left it. More panic.
I prayed to Mimi, my departed maternal Italian grandmother to go get St. Anthony for me, because that's what you do when things are missing and you grew up with old Italian ladies who thought chanting with necklaces could help you locate valuable items.
It might've worked though... because... I surrendered to my frenzy. I pushed everything off my plate. S l o w e d down. Made the bed (found the charger.) Tidied up the table and the room. (Found the camera battery.)
Thanks Mimi and St. Anthony.
And I was so delighted and laughing at myself... and saw the lesson in it. And I wanted to talk about it, so this just in... I am recording a new bunch of episodes for The Jelly, my podcast. I see the metrics, I appreciate you listening (still!) and I have more for you. Soon.
I forgot how much I like to hear myself talk. Made up with my SnoBall.
Those of you who’ve followed me for a good while know that I write through my life. If I find myself in an emotional mess, in a state of confusion, if I find myself wondering about the nature of things, if I feel lost... I craft a question and dive in. I write through it and heal. I write my way out.
I haven’t written for a while, because I’m in such a lovely, yet challenging, state of just being. Self-care. Focus. Staying grounded and doing good work. Setting boundaries and knowing priorities.
And I love that. The right project will find me when it needs to and I’ll be ready for it. Truth be told, my goals and dreams are changing, the more I simplify toward what I really want from life.
And in retrospect, it’s been fascinating, the “archaeology of me.” ... all through my worries and oddness post-pregnancy, I wondered why I was so anxious. Like, beyond normal. No one understood. No one could see into my head.
I had to piece it all together in my own - it wasn’t PPD, it wasn’t baby blues. The doctors said I was fine, just antsy, and it would go away. Or I could take a drug. I was just unsteady and irrationally afraid. All the time. I wanted to get to the root of it. I wanted to face it and understand it, even if no one else could.
I could. It was my life, after all.
On the other side of Wild Horses and Mistakes, I realized that my anxiety condition from my youth and teen years came back but with a new vengeance. And a bit of paranoia. A new social media addiction wasn’t helping things... anyone who’s watched The Social Dilemma will understand why.
So... a little therapy here, a little yoga there. Lots of meditation. A focus on the right foods. Better sleep habits. Exercise. Choosing joy. The right mentors to follow. The right friendships for where I was at. And learning to trust my gut and intuition, as I wrangled through fears.
It’s been a 5 year journey so far, and I feel so much more like me these days that it’s just about awe-inspiring. I’m grateful - for the tools and the work on ME that I got to do.
Only this year, way on the other side, can I point a solid finger toward what I was experiencing.
On Postpartum Anxiety:
Moms... if this sounds like you, reach out. You don’t have to live life that way. There are tools. Groups. Strategies. Methods. Coaches. Spiritual practices. Books. Podcasts. PPA is real but it doesn’t have to wreck your life. And many doctors (I found) won’t even bring it up or talk about it. But it’s real and you can heal.
You can learn to get grounded, steady, healthy, and trust yourself again. Though waves will still come, you’ll be able to handle them. You’ll be more resilient. Stronger. Patient. Empathetic. You can learn all of the tools that YOU need to wrangle your life and keep showing up, feeling good and steady. Promise. And your little one(s) will benefit most of all.
Just commit to yourself and you’ll get there. My life is simple by design. I choose a peaceful life, with moments of bliss and adventure here and there. Peace of mind can’t be bought. But it can be chosen and cultivated and crafted, over time.
...and it’s always somewhere in the middle of things.
“Know thyself.” - Socrates