Mental Health / Parenting

Slowly Drifting, Wave after Wave…

My face above the water
My feet can’t touch the ground
Touch the ground, and it feels like
I can see the sands on the horizon everytime (everytime)
You are not around

I’m slowly drifting away (drifting away)
Wave after wave
Wave after wave
I’m slowly drifting (drifting away)
And it feels like I’m drowning
Pulling against the stream

Since my grandmas died I have felt like I’m in a tiny wooden boat, bleached by the sun, and I am set adrift on the ocean. The beach, with all my friends and family, is getting tinier and tinier in the distance. I didn’t ask to be in this rickety slab of driftwood, and yet, here I am. No paddle. No control. Set adrift, with nothing but waves and sunshine to keep me company. And then sometimes it feels like I’ve jumped out of the boat, maybe trying to swim back toward shore, but my clothes are waterlogged and heavy and the current is too strong. Sometimes the sunshine is hidden by thunderclouds, and the waves go from gently pulling me away from everything I know and love, to simply trying to drown my next lonely breath.

But was it my grandmas that plunged me into this predicament? Or was I already in the driftwood boat, and their death simply cut the rope and let the natural current take me away. It’s been a winter of depression battling. I made the conscious choice inside my soul to try and go this winter without pharmaceuticals. And I think I’ve been doing reasonably well, but the margin for feeling like I’m happily drifting in the sunshine and drowning is so thin, that I feel like I’m living an almost lie.

And now it’s busy season for tax accountanting, and I’m a solo-mama with a strong-willed 3 year old, and fancy hopes of getting pregnant soon. Which seems like the dumbest idea to say aloud, like suggesting that I jump out of my tiny raft with a large anvil around my neck and see ‘well, maybe I’ll be able to swim with this,” which we all know is not smart, and yet I’m also acutely aware that I am not my own most reliable narrator.

Just this week I was talking to my best friend, something we’ve managed to ramp up in the last few weeks (which stands in stark contrast to my feeling that I am alone and drifting away from everyone), and she was talking about her own hopes for children and a house someday in the maybe-nearer-than-we-thought-originally-future. And she was talking about my own experience postpartum, and that’s when I had to clarify, that I am not a good reporter. I mean, I am a good reporter of how I am feeling (sometimes), but the actuality of what I’m doing and what I’m feeling are often totally different. Like last night when I was screaming at my kid because he pooped his pants again in half and hour, I am walking around on eggshells and feel alone and crazy and up to my eyeballs in stress and wondering if entertaining the idea of having another kid, it is only 1 of 2 times that has happened in a solid 6 months. Apparently I am too hard on myself, because when it happens I feel totally shitty, and I do appear to have a reeeeeeeeeeeeaaaaaaaaaallllllllly long fuse for tolerating childhood annoyances…

But in my head?

In my head I’m a monster.

In my head I see things I shouldn’t see. I think things that scare me. Thanks to things like Invisibilia Dark Thoughts podcast, I know I’m not alone.

So maybe I’m not always the best reporter. It’s actually something I talked about in my class yesterday, which was really neat to have a frank conversation with the students in my afternoon section, about our own remembrances of events, and how we articulate things now, vs how we might have articulated them then, and how we might articulate things happening now, in the future. My students were so candid and honest, even talking about difficult subjects like masturbation and deepest childhood fears without my prompting. And the level of respect was through the roof.

So here I am, feeling like I’m drowning. Obsessing over sameness, that is, desperately trying to find people just like me to connect with, and feeling fragmented in friendship in the process.

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