Guys really don’t get it. (Insert an exasperated Napoleon Dynamite “luckyyyyy.“)
Yesterday I wanted to give up the company I had created. I felt like a total failure. I wanted to lay on the ground, admit defeat and cry in a puddle of worthlessness.
Pregnancy hormones had hit. Big time.
There wasn’t any logic to my feelings, but they were overwhelming. And they felt 100% true. I was swallowed in an ocean of self-doubt, sure to be overcome by the waves.
I wanted to talk to my husband about it, but sometimes our partners just can’t handle “another meltdown.” It feels very lonely, adrift in that sea of hormonal despair. And, we (particularly women) crave connectedness -so isolation exacerbates the overwhelming emotions. Now not only is everything hopeless, but we’re also very alone.
I walked around the house, taking care of the kids, and waffled between self-pity and inner pep talks until I finally sat on the couch and just the let tears out. Yeah, I did feel guilty knowing I was having a pity party. I’m not defending my actions, it’s just what happened.
THEN. With my baby on my knee and my six year old daughter wanting to play, I decided that singing was the answer.
Happy songs. Happy kid songs. Songs Waverley could sing along to. Jams Tennyson could wave his hands to. Smiling was automatic. Reaching beyond myself to bring joy to my children was magic. In those moments of sweetness, silliness and song, I saw my children’s faces and it reminded me that I’m okay. We’re okay. Life is okay.
Life is okay.
It doesn’t feel that way, not when those hormones paint the world (and our brains) a contrary place. It feels wretched. Awful. Just plain no good. And when you’re in the throws of a hormonal storm, it’s a Herculean task to choose happiness (or even neutrality.)
But life is okay.
You are okay. You are going to be okay. They are going to be okay.
It’s going to be okay. And that’s what I so desperately wanted to hear from someone. I just needed a rock to cling to, safe harbor, any “ocean safety” metaphor you can round up.
This morning I woke up stronger. At least stronger than I was last night. The truth -that life is okay- was apparent. I was able to see last night’s storm for what it was, not the end of the world, but a hostile takeover of my brain by hormones.
So when that flood comes again –and it will, dang it– here’s what I can reread to myself:
You are enough.
You are safe.
I want you to breathe. Nice deep breaths.
I want you to know how much you are loved, how happy your soul is being inside you.
You are good enough and you will make more beautiful, wonderful, you-fueled things in your life -one day at a time.
You can rest now, even if it’s just for a moment. A brief pause, acknowledging that you have everything you need, that you are immeasurably valuable and no one and nothing can ever deplete that.
Now focus on your baby, on your children. Love them through your spirit, sending them what you’d want to tell them if they were wrestling with similar feelings. Feel the love flowing out of you for them. Now, know that this love you feel for them is also there for you. You are worthy of this kind of love. Find this first for yourself, then it’s just a blessing when it comes from others, as well. WE are so loved.
YOU ARE ENOUGH.