Today, we welcome Melodic Rose’s words to the Lose The Cape Blog. In this guest post, she shares openly about her experience with depression, pregnancy and motherhood. Melodic Rose is a contributor in our upcoming book, Lose The Cape: Never Will I Ever (and then I had kids!) which is publishing later this month and available here.
It’s the middle of January. The air is tepid and reticent. I am sitting on one of the soft cushioned seats inside the therapist’s office. I am incredibly nervous and I have to sit on my hands, in order to keep my fingers from trembling. She studies me for a moment before speaking. When she finally opens her mouth, the first question that comes out is simply “How are you feeling?” It’s a simple question, only I don’t know how to answer her. I can’t seem to find the words to describe the sensation of my heart falling out of my chest, or the wealth of emotion that threatens to burst through me, like a river breaking through an electric dam.
I attempt to answer her, only my lips sputter something nonsensical. Suddenly my composure is gone, I am a heaving, sobbing mess. What she doesn’t know is that one hour before, my life had just changed. Only one hour ago, I had been sitting on the bathroom floor, with my face pressed down into my knees, my newfound knowledge going off in my head. I want to answer her, but every word is locked inside of my chest. I trip over my tongue several times, getting increasingly frustrated with myself but I fear that saying my truth aloud will make it real.
After what seems to be an eternity, the therapist takes control of the situation. My silence declaring my truth, far louder than I could ever say it.
“Are you pregnant?” She asks.
With the tears falling down my cheeks, I nod.
“When did you find out?” she says softly.
“This morning.” I reply.
“Does anyone know?” She asks.
I bite my bottom lip and shake my head, mouthing the word “No”.
She allows me to sit in silence, giving me words of comfort, but I am a mass of fear, my anxiety creeping through my veins, and i can feel every facet of my body tremble. The situation is daunting and I can’t help but feel as if something is tearing my insides apart.
That conversation, in the therapist’s office became the catalyst for the next few months. I grappled with idea of motherhood, all the while attempting to keep my emotions at bay.
I think to some extent, all women find the transition into motherhood, challenging. No matter how many books you read, or the advice that you may solicit for other people, it can rarely prepare you for the unexpected. My transition, into the realm of parenthood was made extremely difficult by one overwhelming aspect of my life. For the last 10 years I have grappled with the debilitating effects of Depression and Anxiety. When you have depression, it can be exceedingly difficult. Call it the “The Fog”, “The Cloud”, “The Vortex”, The truth is that the immensity and the scope of this illness, can be absolutely volatile. It is as if someone has taken your mood and trapped it inside of a dark paper bag. You can always see, little shards of light creeping in but it rarely reaches you. No one could have prepared me for the challenge of managing my mental health and raising my daughter. It’s been three years, since I first entered therapy and along the way i’ve had many bumps in the road.
There are some days, where I will get overwhelmed and frustrated. When that happens, it can take a lot not to close myself off. Knowing that my daughter needs me more than ever, has given me that extra push to keep going. Sometimes I do succumb to the feeling and I will sit by myself for a moment, allowing the tears to come rolling down my cheek. My daughter will look at me, climb onto my lap and give me the most brilliant smile. That smile always reminds me, why I continue to fight, why it’s important that I get up in the morning.
While I don’t consider myself to be an expert on this issue, there are a few things I have learned about managing Depression. First, I had to acknowledge that what I was battling, was more than just a sad mood, that it is an actual illness. I used to get angry, when I couldn’t pull myself out the darkness. I had to learn to be patient with myself, that the depression wasn’t a character flaw, it just meant that perhaps there was an aspect of my brain, that was wired a little differently, than other people and that was okay.I had to acknowledge that what I was battling, was more than just a sad mood. Click To Tweet
For anyone who has this issue, I would say that It is absolutely essential to have support. Don’t be afraid to reach out for help. It can seem really frightening to admit to another person, that you don’t have it all together, or that you are struggling. You might even believe that having depression makes you “Weak” or a bad parent. Remember that is just the illness talking. It does not define you.
The best thing you can do for your kids, is to take care of yourself. Always remember, you are their prime example in their life. How they express their own emotions, the ability to be vulnerable at times, will be greatly affected, by the example you set for them. Reaching out to family and friends, seeking medical attention from mental health professionals, talking about the things that make you afraid or stressed out, All of these are tools that can help you get through the process. Finding a hobby, that you enjoy can also give you a great sense of satisfaction. I discovered that I truly enjoyed Poetry and Music and I have relied on it for many years, to get through some of the challenging times. Find your muse and that mountain will become less difficult. Above all, have fun with your kids. Play games, laugh, read to them. Kids have an amazing way of soothing the soul. Through their joy, their innocence, we often find that they create an image of life, that can be far more beautiful, than any we ever thought possible. More than anything, remember that you are not alone and you will get through it.
Melodic Rose is a spoken word artist from Montreal. She has written poetry for 15 years. She believes that poetry should be a transcendent experience. That true poetry comes from artistic and emotional vulnerability and at the heart of it, should reflect the distinct voices and nuances of the human experience. Melodic Rose hopes to reflect this philosophy through her work, by producing art that is unbound by the confines of race, gender or political affiliation but will continue to challenge and inspire others to live with complete authenticity. Her chapbook “Ephemorphosis” was just selected for publication, by prolific press and will be released in 2016.
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