Friday, 14 November 2014

Post. Partum.

Over the last few months I have given regular talks and interviews about postpartum psychosis as part of my mission to get the word out there about this illness. I was approached by a woman whose sister-in-law has recently been struck by it, and they are all still struggling to pick up the pieces that this explosive disease has left scattered throughout their lives.

As I listened and heard what they had been going through, and were still dealing with, I was reminded of the pain and fragility that this disease creates. One of the most fragile parts of recovery is when you are beginning to resemble yourself again, but are still feeling far from home. You are no longer inside a house that's on fire, trying to survive, you are no longer fighting the fire, trying to save what belongs to you. The fire is out, the fire engines have gone back to the station, and you are just left looking at the burnt embers that remain wondering what the hell happens next.

I can see my front door.
I am here.
I am home.

I'm desperate to get inside and don't want to go in.
I do.
Post. So much post. Of course. It's been weeks. 
It annoys me. Post didn't feature in my idealistic view of my home coming.
I feel out of control. Lost. Anxious.
I have my family.
I'm home.
I need to take this slow. 

I tell Albert we are home. His little eyes open. We place him in his rocker, in the room he was born in. He smiles. This wouldn't be as note worthy if he had smiled before, but he hadn't. This was his first smile. We burst out laughing.
We had made it. As a family.

I feel like I'm playing a role, going through the motions of normality to look like I know how it all works. I have a strong sense that I'm trying to play catch up with my self that didn't have psychosis. What would I be doing if I hadn't been psychotic? How would she behave in this situation? It was unsustainable and unnecessary. I had to just be what I was. Someone who was recovering from the equivalent of a devastating accident. There was no reason why I should be completely "better" and yet because I had no wounds I felt like a fraud. 

All of these emotions and feelings were very difficult to handle, but what they couldn't disrupt was the fact that I was home. That we had done it and no matter how uncomfortable the transition back to "reality" was I was going to keep leaning into that discomfort, and learn how to live again. 

It was rehabilitation that no-one knew was happening.
It was incredible.
It was a triumph.
It was brilliant.
It was horrible.

Love and mixed messages,
Mutha Courage X

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