It always starts with me crying at random times, in random locations.
Outside a drug store. Walking a lake path, as I catch a glimpse of the way the wind catches the water and pushes it into jagged caps. At Trader Joe’s, in the produce aisle.
That’s when I know things are a little off.
If this were my last postpartum go-round (with my second child, when I first got what I know affectionately call All The Feels), I probably wouldn’t even know what was really happening.
That’s the thing: With this kind of stuff, it takes hindsight to completely understand it.
But I know because I’ve been here before.
There are several things I think of when I ponder the possibility that I’m dealing with a touch of postpartum anxiety again. First, my “baby” is seventeen months; that’s too late to be feelings these feelings, right?
Second, this can’t be anything if I’m still functioning at a high level in my daily life, right?
And–maybe most pressing–do I share this story of mine again?
The truth is, I don’t consider what I’m dealing with to be anything approaching anything “serious.” It’s mild, it’s infrequent and it’s by no means crippling.
But it’s something. I’m off. On some days, the world around me seems different.
So I’ll do what I do now that I’m smart enough and strong enough to face this head-on: I call in my troops–my mom, my husband, my therapist. And I talk my way through it, just like last time.
And I share it because I remember feeling washed in relief when I read other women had these same feelings after having kids, too. Just like that one blogger did for me by sharing her story, I hope to make even one other woman feel less alone.
I wrote a bit about this on my Instagram page the other day, but it bears repeating. We are not in control of our feelings and our circumstances on many occasions, but we are in control of how we choose to face them.
So I’m facing them with my people at my back. And I’m sharing this because I want you to know that you can have your own little team, your own little troop, that supports you too, if you find yourself in this dim little place where I am right now, too.
It’s okay. We’re okay. And we will be, so long as we keep our eyes up and our hearts open, and ask for all the help we need.