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Life Lately PostPartum

The Bookshelf

A few months ago, we put an order in on the Ikea website. A few months later, the pieces arrives. Two cowhide rugs, a few bookcases for our daughter’s room and a bookshelf for my office. For the last few weeks, the bookshelf had been in my office, in it’s box, leaned up against the window sill. Every time I walked in and saw it, I felt a sense of shame.

Hear me out.

I hadn’t attempted to build the bookshelf. It just sat there, waiting for the day my husband would assemble it. The thought had crossed my mind that maybe I should assemble it, but I ignored that thought. I had tried to put together a bookshelf a few years ago. My husband and I had purchased his and hers matching bookshelves from Target to put into our bedroom. We decided to have a competition to see who could assemble theirs faster. I thought I would actually win. Except I didn’t. In the time it took him to assemble the whole bookshelf, I had assembled nothing. Not a piece. It’s embarrassing to admit but my ego was bruised. I labeled myself as someone who couldn’t assemble furniture. I promised myself I would never feel that embarrassment again.

For years, I didn’t assemble a thing. If a screwdriver was required, I was out. I know it frustrated my husband – he singlehandedly assembled our entire home when we moved.

And so this bookshelf sat in my office. And one day, I decided that I was going to get over my fear and put the damn shelf together on my own. I realized that I avoided doing things that I might fail at and this was one of them.

The hardest part was just opening the box. Opening the box meant I was committing myself to either assemble the bookshelf or attempt to and admit failure.

Building the actual bookshelf was not difficult. I had the instructions, I had the screwdriver and I had the pieces. I had my own motivation to assemble it and I did it.

I was proud as hell of myself. It may be just a simple bookshelf to some, but in my office, it’s a reminder that I can fail and then succeed. Now the only issue is that it’s a mounted bookshelf. I’ll leave that part to my husband.

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PostPartum

Life, Lately

This last month has been rough for me, and for my entire family. I broke down. I cracked. I have a clue as to what triggered it, but I think it was a long time coming. The lack of sleep for the last three months, coupled with my anxious tendencies, mixed with postpartum blues. I wonder often why I couldn’t handle it. Where did I go wrong and what could I have done differently? I knew early into postpartum that something was wrong. I knew it was more than the postpartum blues but I figured that if I was able to function, I was alright. I was alright, until I wasn’t.

An ER trip, an anti-depressant prescription and a leave from work later, here I am. I got to a bad place. I felt unreal and empty and so damn sad. I’m trying to move forward and do what I need to do to heal. I started going to see my therapist twice a week. I entered an intensive therapy treatment program that involves 3 hours of group therapy per day. I’m reading and writing more. I got a membership to the arboretum to spend more time outside. I deleted social media from my phone and I’ve been taking my medicine. I’m trying to eat more. I’m trying.

I want to be the mother, wife and friend that is there for the people she loves. I am so grateful that the people who love me were there for me. While it’s been a crap month, at least I can say I have a bomb support group. I could not imagine doing it alone.

I’m seeing improvements. I’m feeling more joy when I am with my daughter. When I take walks, I’m noticing the colors of the flowers. I’m able to calm myself down sometimes. I don’t know if it’s because of the medicine, or because of my own efforts but I am so thankful to be seeing some changes. I know I have a long way to go still, but I am just glad to not be at the very bottom anymore.

No one talks about how lonely motherhood can be. I anticipated that I would be tired, but I never imagined it meant not sleeping more than three hours at a time for months. I wish we talked about it more. I wish it wasn’t painted to be rainbows and butterflies and smiles. Sometimes it is – when your kid does something for the first time and they smile. A lot of times (at least for me) it wasn’t and I’m trying to acknowledge that that is perfectly okay too.