This week's words come from this here blog and are quite a challenging group! I will do my best and we'll just have to see where this goes...
You'd think I'd come off some starship from some faraway galaxy with no concept of humanity the way I gaped at those panties. Dangling them in front of my face and wondering who the first ones to wear underwear were all those years ago? How many different phases had undies gone through until they evolved into the varieties we see today?
I shook my head and thought about all the times I had put on panties without giving them a second thought. I couldn't fathom how many little things there were like that I accepted day in and day out as just part of life. Today I just happened to come out of the shower then pause and wonder. The sense of curiosity felt familiar yet special; bringing back memories of learning something new in school and being fascinated. That just doesn't happen as frequently anymore.
I finished getting dressed and flicked my still dripping hair behind my ears. I was feeling lazy and didn't even brush it. My hair care plan for the day was to let it dry out while I brewed some coffee and proceeded to tackle my mission for that afternoon: sorting through the stash of baby stuff in the closet and finding things to give to my expecting friend.
Digging through the piles of baby clothes and burp clothes was less sentimental than I expected. Only a few of the items stirred memories, so much of those early months had been obscured by the ECT treatments. I wondered if other women that hadn't been through such a postpartum hell would've been feeling mushy and craving another baby as they sorted through such items? It wasn't puppy dogs, sparkles, and unicorns for me. The thought of another child is still terrifying. Maybe it won't always be, but for now, one is enough.
I smiled and thought of how much my husband and I had appreciated inheriting these baby clothes from a family friend. The thought of being able to provide my friend with the same blessing brought up waves of joy. I happily sipped coffee between piles of clothes and contemplated how much had happened in all the months since our son had fit into them.
So many of the memories were lost to me at the moment, but the thought occurred to me that I didn't really need to know. That was then and this was now. I was working on being the best mom I could be now, after the two hospitalizations, outpatient program, months of therapy, trying oodles of medications, side effects, doing months of ECT and weeks of TMS treatments. So much. It all seems like an over dramatic book of fiction. But it happened. I made it through. We made it. We had made it to a place where I could be cheerfully packing up baby stuff to give away instead of spending my days isolated in bed, my husband wondering if I were safe.
I praised myself internally for all the progress I'd made, imagining a gold sticker in the shape of a medal. It's tough for me to feel good about myself but giving myself little mental awards seems to help. Day after day the little efforts at building confidence seem to build up, slowly but surely. It was tough to acknowledge all the challenges but helpful to acknowledge my strength and perseverance.
I shrugged and noticed the worn woven bracelet at my wrist. I recalled the young woman that had given me the bracelet during my second hospitalization. I wondered how the conversation would go if someone asked me about that bracelet and I said, "Oh, I got it while I was in the hospital."
It occured to me that it's not really that often that folks are hospitalized. Maybe it wasn't quite an event like a stroke or a coma, but my hospital stays were weeks long and a major stress on my husband and family. Appreciating the gravity of it all brings up little feelings of guilt and concern but also pride and gratitude. Confusing feelings but overall I'm left with positive vibes thinking of how far we've come.
From inpatient to sipping coffee and paying it forward. That's sure something to be grateful for.
Well, that's how part of my day went. I felt like revisiting some of the feelings and it was certainly a challenge working in the words. Hope it's readable even though I haven't edited it very much! I think many of you will understand what I'm talking about regardless :o)
Thanks for reading and encouraging me to write!