As of 2016, this has been my church’s mantra. I have heard it proclaimed a myriad of times over the last year. It has championed my home church; allowed people to fall at the feet of Jesus, weary and broken, in front of thousands. There have been tears, miracles, prayers, dancing – all of it done in a spirit of freedom and with hearts of abandon. I have seen such a beautiful awakening take place, yet here I am, still wearing my mask.
Regurgitating that phrase wasn’t a problem for me. I see the good in people; believe in them when they don’t believe in themselves. However, my introspective/introverted/everyone-else-before-me self believed those words could only be true for others. Let me tell you – vulnerability is not my thing. It takes me about three days to process anything emotionally-plaguing. Once the processing is complete, I then decide if what I’m feeling is worth sharing. In my mind, it’s usually not.
This process of mine becomes an issue in personal/intimate relationships. (Shocker, right?) If I get to a point where I feel as though it is absolutely necessary to discuss my internal workings, I can barely speak. It’s as if everything inside me is trying to push the words out, but my mouth is sewn shut. On multiple occasions, my family members, close friends, and even my husband – all have misunderstood/misinterpreted my silence.
Silence is nonexistent after you have a baby. Whether it’s baby cries or your own, noise fills your world postpartum. I cried so much and so often after I had my son. (Disclaimer: I’m not a “crier”. Before my babe, I truly cried maybe twice a year.) I wasn’t detached or disconnected from him. I just could not stop weeping. The worst part about all of the tears – I didn’t know WHY. When my husband asked me what was wrong, the only thing that made sense to say was “I don’t know”. I was confused, unable to understand why I was upset or anxious, and at times, completely despondent.
I was told that none of these feelings were abnormal. “So many women go through this.” “You just had a BABY.” “You can cry, it’s OK.” Although well-intentioned, these statements did not help me feel any less insane. So, here I am – still confused, still a little weepy, still anxious…and I want to go through all of it with you. To the mothers who recently birthed their first and to those who are veterans at this mom thing – this is for you.
Throughout this journey, I will be sharing all things postpartum – emotions, experiences and some practical info. Never fear, these posts won’t always be heavy. However, I will be honest with you. I will build you up. I will pray for you. Whether you’ve experienced something like this or not, I hope you know that I’m your cheerleader.
Now that you know the “what”, I would like to share with you the “why”. I want you to know that I do not enjoy talking about myself. This is not for self-gratification, nor am I seeking pity or sympathy. I have decided to share this with you because it’s real. It’s not a carefully-crafted Instagram caption or a posting of some silly quote/happening from my daily life. This is me. My aim is to empower, encourage and uplift you. I hope that if you’re reading this and enduring similar things, you know that I’m here to commiserate with you (for a short while), and then pick you right back up. I’ve got your back, mama – no matter what.
It’s OK to not be OK.