A Letter To My Postpartum, Hormonal Completely Overwhelmed Self
Youâ€™re probably a little bit gone right now. But thatâ€™s okay. Iâ€™ll talk anyway. I know youâ€™re tired — no, exhausted beyond anything youâ€™ve ever known. I know youâ€™ve been up all night for the past 10 straight nights. I know the only thing you want is sleep, not for a few hours, not for a night — for a week and then some. I know the thought of moving forward and into another day is exhausting in itself and knowing that that you canâ€™t call out sick, you canâ€™t give up, itâ€™s all on you, no matter what, is crushing.
I know itâ€™s hard to picture everything being okay because youâ€™re walking into the unknown with a weight youâ€™ve never felt before and it seems like that will never fade.Â I know that suddenly your body feels like an old woman. Crippled from hours of leaning over, feeding your child, from the grief of what youâ€™ve lost and the weight of what youâ€™ve gained all at the same time.
I know that everything is different now. There isnâ€™t time to sit and think or talk with friends and pour your heart out. And it feels like you canâ€™t catch your breath and nobody knows; nobody realized that you stopped breathing; that you havenâ€™t taken a full breath in weeks; that youâ€™re dying and growing a new soul and a new heart and it hurts when itâ€™s happening. But it has to happen.
I know you canâ€™t let go because youâ€™re scared of what might crumble if you do. And the next feeding, the next diaper, the next uncontrollable scream that youâ€™ll try for hours to soothe is lurking. Itâ€™s any moment. Itâ€™s coming.
I know you feel like youâ€™ve lost it all, your youth, your freedom. The responsibility is endless and youâ€™re right. There is no end in sight. You canâ€™t go back.
So just let me say it, since you canâ€™t. Since no one will believe you, since it hurts too much to even think it. Since it wonâ€™t make you feel better. But Iâ€™ve been through the judging and the misunderstanding and the â€œsuck it upsâ€ and so Iâ€™ll say it for you. This is hell. And itâ€™s mean and itâ€™s sweaty. And you will have to claw your way out from the bottom up. There it is.
But let me tell you what else I know.
I know that you are growing more now than you could have in 30 years; that youâ€™re in the process of discovering how to live. You werenâ€™t doing it before. You were existing and itâ€™s not the same thing. If you want life, this is it: the good and the bad. Itâ€™s real and it will remake you if you let it.
You can move forward, but you have to embrace it all first. This is your life. Own it. Claim it. Breathe it in so that you can start to feel the earth shift. It will be slow at first and then faster and faster until youâ€™re running to catch up.
You will find your way, but stop pushing back. Youâ€™ll only have farther to fall.
Trust your instincts and embrace your mistakes. There will be plenty and so thereâ€™s only more to learn. This is how we grow as mothers. Donâ€™t be afraid to ask for help. Sometimes you will hear yourself talking and not recognize the sound of your voice but keep talking. Let go of negativity from others, but let your ears be open to their truths. Everywhere you look someone will say youâ€™re doing it wrong, but donâ€™t be so afraid of the bad that you forget to look at the good.
Go with it.
Youâ€™re going to be a great mom.
Love, You (a few years down the road)