Saturday, 8 September 2012

All That I Know Is I'm Breathing Now

This time last year I was in the depths of my descent into crazy. (Quick note: I call it crazy because it's my crazy. I wouldn't use that word to describe the struggle of anyone but my own. It was recently brought to my attention that using the word crazy can be perceived as insensitive and uncaring. Which, uhh, fuck that. It's my crazy and I'll call it crazy if I damn well please. End rant.)

Last year I was spending a lot of time crying. I spent days refusing to leave my bedroom. I imagined horrifying situations involving Grady hundreds of times a day. I spoke shrilly and quickly, and my mind was even more shrill and quick. I snapped at Shawn every day. I frothed at the mouth at the slightest (mainly imagined) provocation. I felt despair - heart-wrenching, spine-chilling, breath-stopping despair. Every day. I thought it would never end.

And then I got help. Things got better. Slowly. Painfully. But progressively better.

It was a gradual thing for me, my ascent out of crazy. I didn't decide to get help and instantly feel better. My happy crept up on me.

I don't know if it's the seasons changing or Grady turning one (or the blue moon or or etc) but I've been thinking a lot about my experience with ppbs ("postpartum bullshit" encompasses the postpartum depression, anxiety, and ocd that I experienced and is much faster to type out and can be perceived as insensitive and uncaring.)

A couple of months ago when Grady got sick, I held it together. I spoke to doctors and specialists and I held my screaming child down multiple times while blood was taken. I was functional and present and efficient. Until we were transferred from one hospital to another because the hospital closest to us wasn't equipped to deal with Grady's illness. I spent the entire ride between hospitals chanting "no" with every breath, my thoughts racing, my breath increasing until it wasn't "no" anymore but "nonononono."

Later, when Grady was better, when I could think in more than monosyllables, I realized how my new normal didn't involve being constantly distraught. It's a bit silly that it took me so long to realize that I wasn't crazy anymore but it did. I wasn't sure I'd ever be able to say this again but I'm happy.

Tired as shit but happy.


  1. I'm so, so, so glad you're feeling less crazy :)
    And I know it's not the right word, but I use crazy to describe my mental disorders as well.

  2. So glad you're feeling better! I really feel like we've been on a similar journey with all this, the kids are close in age and I can relate to ALL OF THE CRAZY.


    Here's to owning it, my friend. xoxo

  3. Thank god!

    Also PPBS may be the best thing I've ever heard.

  4. Just wanted to say thank you for being so open and honest. I'm just coming out of my PPBS but I'm not quite there yet. I think more people need to talk about this without judgement.

  5. Hillary, I am so grateful you shared your Crazy with us. I can't explain to you how much comfort I find when I am crying my face off at 3am, knowing that you and others have survived the Crazy. Thank you for that gift.

  6. I'm so happy you're feeling better. And eff the people who want to make you feel bad for using your own language to describe your own state of being. Eff them in the ears. Jerks who put added pressure on people (who probably just flipping had a conversation with jerk about stress in their life!) are doucheballoons.

  7. Children can do that to the best of us ... bring out the many levels of crazy. But, I like to think they also help to center us all over again. And that's probably why we wouldn't trade them in for a different, newer model. I'm so glad to hear you're feeling happy again.

  8. I'm so happy that you're happy again. I'm also happy that you were brave enough to seek help when you were in your crazy space.

    Love you all.

  9. I'm high-fiving you from Texas, friend. You're the absolute best and strongest.

  10. sometimes you look back on life as a new mum, from weeks/months/years in the future and think, oh my! i got through that, and realise how awesome you actually are.

    and you are

  11. Ebbandflo said everything so perfectly.
    I am so very proud and so very happy for you that you conquered your PPBS. It is something I fear deeply and hope to draw on your strength and wisdom when the time comes. You are so very special to me and I am glad you found the light at the end of the tunnel.
    Love. Love. Love.