It has taken me 33 years to confront two significant personal truths; I want to be a writer and I suffer from depression (insert artist jokes here). I am not naive enough to believe that these realizations are unrelated. They are the result of one simple shift in consciousness; self-awareness. Note that I did not say self-acceptance, but I'm working on it. One step at a time here. Did I mention I have two toddlers?
The experience of newfound self-awareness can be less enjoyable than it might at first seem. Before one can accept themselves, they must first come to know their true selves. There is a moment somewhere in the middle of self-awareness and self-acceptance that feels quite uncomfortable and a little awkward to be honest. I find myself in a place where I have both found and lost myself at once.
I want to write; it replenishes me. But some days my own mind will not allow me the release. I am left in an emotional state of paralysis, where I can't seem to find my way out of the rabbit hole. But I am beginning to discover an elite group of therapists who specialize in my particular affliction; my fellow mom writers.They are the women who write the words that I have yet to find, and who share the courage that I have misplaced. I swear, it was just here.
Maybe it is hidden in the dirty laundry, or perhaps, underneath the couch cushions, amongst the crumbs. It’s here… somewhere.I frantically search, overturning toy bins and laundry baskets, yet the mess only multiplies. Left utterly defeated, I stop searching. I stop writing. I give up. I sit on the sofa and stare. Like the “Princess and the Pea,” each tiny crumb beneath the cushions gnaws at my tired, irritated soul.
On emotional autopilot, I blankly scroll my news feed. Grazing, scoffing, and hastily moving on from each click, until I don’t. Until I find one sentence that refuels me just enough to move onto the next. The gnawing dissipates as my attention shifts toward a new series of crumbs. They are scattered within the spaces that lie between the words of my kindred.
I follow the trail of words, gathering each tiny crumb of courage left for me along the way. And when no more crumbs lie ahead, I raise my gaze to look around. The sofa is far behind me, and while the path ahead is unclear, I realize that my pockets are full with the sustenance I’ll need for another day’s travel. I will keep going. And with the crumbs of courage that I can spare, I will mark this new and unchartered journey, for I know that someone else cannot be too far behind.
More from parenting