It's Always All Uphill
Today I did an outdoor workout: dragging a weight with a harness vest, while trudging through snow. (Yes, my crazy husband comes up with these absurd exercises and makes me do them). And I was having a hard time with it. Not just with the exercise (which was sweat inducing) but also with battling the little gremlins in my head. Lately I’ve been hit hard with the postpartum blues. I wouldn’t necessarily say depression because I don’t really feel depressed. But I’d be lying if I said the last few weeks have been all peachy keen. To give you a better idea, I’ve literally cried every morning for the last 5 days in a row. I wake up feeling okay but tired, feed Baby Bird, and before I can even get down my coffee, my mind is running wild and the waterworks are flowing. I never have any harmful thoughts or unannounced aggression, but I generally start off just feeling really bummed out. I feel anxious because I feel out of control. Like I can’t control the emotion. Then comes the self-doubt and then the guilt. Oh, the guilt. And it just keeps building and building and building. And I’m lost.
Until, Papa Bird comes to the rescue and cuddles me and starts asking questions. And I try to explain, but it’s really hard to. More tears and a disgusting snotty nose. He keeps asking, and I keep talking. He is right there, but I feel alone. I wish I could transport him into the centre of my mind, so he could feel what I feel, and see what I see, and hear what I hear. But I can’t. And that is lonely. But he tries and tries to understand. Never giving up. And that makes me feel guilty. Like I’m being a terrible wife, putting all this on his shoulders. He didn’t ask for this. And the gremlins keep tearing me down. Sometimes I can shake it. Sometimes I can’t. And it’s hard. The whole thing is hard. I feel like everyday I wake up back at the bottom of the pit, looking up to the tiny speck of light. The walls start caving in and I start running. And running. And running. Hoping to make it to the opening before I can’t. And it’s exhausting. So exhausting. And today was one of those days, the one where the walls were caving in faster than I could run.
But I didn’t give up. Because I’m better than that. I’m stronger than that. And my family deserves more than that. So, outside we went, straight to the back field. Papa Bird harnessed me up and we started to walk, the weight clumsily dragging through the crunchy, wind polished snow banks. And we walked and we walked. And the gremlins kept knocking me down. “You can’t do this. You can’t pull this weight. You’re not going to make it. Just give up.” And that was on top of the doubt and guilt and insecurity that was already tearing me down. But I kept walking. Papa Bird, by my side. We hit the half way mark and I just broke down. Bawling in the middle of a snow covered field. Sweating and panting. And Papa Bird started talking again. Asking me questions. Trying to glimpse inside at the maze of destruction. Trying to understand my thoughts and the gremlins. And I tried to explain. And he just reassured me of all the doubts and silenced all the guilt. And he said, “You can do this. You will get through this. I know you can and you will.” And I just nodded. In that moment, without him even knowing, he squashed a gremlin and stopped a wall from caving in. And I grasped that moment and started to walk. Trudging again through the snow. Running towards that speck of light.
Until we reached home again. And I did it. I squandered that gremlin who told me I couldn’t do it. I reached that speck of light before all the walls caved in. And I felt relieved. And thankful. For my husband, who, on my worst days, knows how to rescue me. And in that moment, I started to believe in me. Believe that I can get through this phase. I am strong enough and I can do it. And I will do it.
Like everything else in life, it’s always all uphill. And you keep climbing not because you have to but because you want to. The strength you gain with every step, is empowering. The challenges you face with different obstacles, makes you wiser. The lessons you learn are invaluable. And you just know the view from the top, will make it all worth it.
- Mama Bird