Warning: contains a bit of T's birth story!!
Teddy turned one this month. One year old!! Wowzers! So much has happened since he came into our lives. While he was still a tiny wee dot inside me Mum died. I'm grateful that I had the opportunity to share the news of his impending arrival with her, even though I was only 2 months pregnant when she died.
Teddy was born at home after a long uncomfortable (understatement!!) back labour, far and away the hardest of my 3 birth experiences. I laboured in water mostly but as with Zach, I had a panic during transition and leapt out of the pool before he was born. He was born all at once into a pile on the floor because the midwives told us to call an ambulance and the phone operator made me talk to her. Apparently she couldn't take Andy's word for it that I was in much more advanced labour than we'd realised - I never got to the regular contractions stage with T's labour so it wasn't until I started feeling the need to push that I thought it was time to 'call the midwife'.
Since his arrival I have been through the long dark road of PND caused in part by the gaping hole left by Mum and in part by my own unrealistic expectations.
Neither of those things has particularly changed - there is still a Mum shaped hole in my life and I am still beating myself up over what I feel I SHOULD achieve compared to what I actually manage. However, I am much improved. I am no longer afraid of falling into a deep hole. My focus this year is 'nourish'. The 'nourish myself' part is a vital part of the recovery process. It's fascinating to me to realise just how empty I was before I started focussing on nourishing myself this year. I feel a bit like a bottomless pit at the moment - no matter how much time I put in to nourishing myself I don't seem to be making a difference. But I know I AM making a difference.
I heard a story recently about the man whose donkey fell in a well. He couldn't get the donkey out so he decided to bury him alive to end his suffering quicker (suffocation over starvation I guess). He started piling mud into the well. Each time he did this the donkey would shake the soil off his fur and stamp it under his feet. The donkey continued to do this after each spade of soil. Eventually the man had put so much soil into the well trying to cover the donkey over that the donkey walked out and both man and donkey were overjoyed.
I feel a bit like I am hoping to cover over the black dog of suffering I experienced last year with soil and the soil is the meditation practice and the gratitude practice and the exercise and the date nights and all the other nourishing I'm doing for myself and my family. I'm hoping for a quick fix so I can stop throwing mud at this 'problem' but I can see that actually it's going to take longer. However, the outcome will be far more positive - letting the black dog of depression out so he is free to leave my soul forever is far more preferable to just covering it over and hoping that is enough to kill it.
My interpretation isn't quite the standard interpretation of the parable of the donkey in the well but it fit so beautifully with how I've been thinking that I'm happy with it! And so I thought I'd share the story and this interpretation of it with you. No matter what gets thrown at you you can shake it off and rise above it. And it is important to keep going with the hard work of filling the well because the results will amaze and inspire!
Keep shining beautiful. You are fab xx