Addicted to bacon and chocolate, Lauren Hale spends most of her time as an advocate for families struggling with Postpartum Mood Disorders. She also obsessively watches Star Trek, college football, F1 racing, MotoGP, and is a passionate NY Giants & NJ Devils fan. You can find her on Twitter and at her blog, My Postpartum Voice.
I began blogging a little over five years ago. (Okay, five years, one month, and 19 days ago as of the day this post goes up.) My initial goal was simple –to re-frame an unexpected pregnancy after experiencing Postpartum Depression, OCD, PTSD, and even a bout of antenatal depression tossed in for good measure. What can I say, I’m an overachiever with a thing for acronyms.
So much has happened in five years.
This past year, in particular, has been an explosion of personal growth. Growth that, until now, I’ve not fully put into words.
My entire world changed. My perception of myself, of life, of relationships, everything –changed. There are hard truths I’ve acknowledged and magical occurrences I’ve experienced. For the first time in years, I have shed tears for hours. I’ve laughed deeper and I’ve lost track of time lost in thought.
But where does all this change leave me as a blogger? As a writer?
Truth is, I’m not sure right now. I’m okay with it. I have never been a fan of fully defining myself. I believe, strongly, that every interaction, every second of every day holds the potential to change you. You decide if it changes you for the better…or for worse.
One of my favourite songs is by Natasha Bedingfield –Unwritten. In it, she sings,
“Feel the rain on your skin
No one else can feel it for you
Only you can let it in
No one else, no one else
Can speak the words on your lips
Drench yourself in words unspoken
Live your life with arms wide open
Today is where your book begins
The rest is still unwritten…”
I know when my words cooperate, I will not be afraid to write them as they flow through me. I am in awe at the power my words have these days, the fearlessness, the transparency, the way they tumble forth from my mind to the keyboard. It is a magical process these days…one to which I hold my arms wide open as it pours over me, opening my mind to the ebullient promise of new discoveries.
Some days require more patience than others. In the meantime, I have become a connoisseur of self-care. Knowing when to step back, breathe, and let go. Words can be very stubborn creatures, much like mules. They work best when not forced but sometimes you have to till the soil regardless of the unyielding behavior of your words.
Writing is the essence of who I am. I play with words. In doing so, I unlock a bit more of who I am with every sentence I write. I share just a bit more of my soul with every syllable I release, as if they were all tiny butterflies sent to alight upon a flower in the garden of life.
I will always write. I will always advocate and support families struggling with Postpartum Depression. I will always see the little things in life, that which makes every second of every day magical. Most importantly though, I will never again lose myself now that I have a grasp on who I am. My roots are deeper than ever, drinking in nutrients from deep below the surface of my soul.
That alone, the rediscovery of my very essence, has made the hell I have trudged through off and on for eight years, so very worth it.
Winston Churchill had it right: “If you’re going through hell, keep going.”
Keep going. There is magic, light, beauty, laughter, and love waiting on the other side.
For Lauren’s favorite post, please click HERE.
To read her series on her hospitalization, please click HERE.