The snow is melting in Montreal.
I’m on top of my game, feeling in fine form in all the ways. School, kids, love and social life have me all filled up. I’m in charge of my health and wellness. I’m sleeping more than I probably have in four years.
365 days ago, I didn’t feel quite like this. A year ago I was weaning off anti-depressants. I was recouping from what we called Postpartum Depression.
I’m revisiting that time in my life a lot, these days. I’m still not entirely sure what happened. I still don’t know if I was depressed. I was angry and sleep deprived and isolated. I felt abandoned by my parents and I wasn’t sure who my friends were. It was a time of deep confusion. Of transition and adjustment.
At some point, when I’d convinced my mom to come give me a hand in July, 2014, I buckled. Or surrendered. It was after I’d punched holes in my wall and had electric shocks pulsing through my body as I lay in bed. Weird stuff, right? My therapist had gone on vacation. I payed a lot of money at a private clinic and left with Cipralex, a drug that is supposed to be safe to take while breastfeeding. I felt better, fast.
After a few months of being on the lowest dose of the medication, I settled into the routine of being a (tandem nursing) mom of two. I felt ready to get off the medication I was so resistant to get on. I had no follow up with the doctor at the private clinic. No family doctor. With the advice of a friend who is a psychiatric nurse, I stayed on the medication and waited for the snow to melt. Winter felt eternal and I was afraid I’d never be myself again. I thought I’d be stuck on these pills forever. As the snow melted, I weaned off the meds. It was easy.
At this point, I had already started yoga teacher training. I completed my a Radiant Child training while on the medication and weaned off at some point during Mom and Baby or Yin training. I was already working teaching kids yoga and I had big plans for my career. Transitioning. No longer a journalist. A Yoga Teacher. I felt great. I felt I was something other than “just a mom.” I had something to do other than breastfeed and change diapers.
This winter, which is almost over, was a good one. It was long, like it’s long every year. But it changed for me when, as the leaves started to fall, one of my teachers spoke to us about the seasons and rhythms of our bodies. The feelings that take over when we’re head to toe in too many layers. We turn inward and want to cocoon. We become sad. Or is it SAD? Are we depressed or are we just moving at a slower rhythm? A normal, natural rhythm.
It was allowing myself to feel winter, instead of fearing winter, that got me through this one.
All this occurred to me today, as I watched the snow melt. It started to rain. I started to cry. But I’m not sad, or depressed. Not in the slightest.