What I did not share in the caption was that I was also in the throws of some gut wrenching postpartum depression. My second child was five months old. At the time, I couldn't walk from the living room to the kitchen without absolutely losing it, gasping for breath between sudden strangled sobs. I remember crawling to the bathroom (so my kids wouldn't see me) and crying on the side of the tub until I could regain my composure. I was depressed. I felt like a failure across the board. I wasn't suicidal but I was definitely looking at bridges differently. Although I didn't have a plan in place, I remember thinking many times (far more than I care to admit) that my beautiful family would be so much better off without me.
And yet somehow in the middle of all of this - with Bryce and our children cheering me on, with my wonderful sister in law, Christine, by my side and with 30 lbs of extra weight on my joints - somehow I managed to run 5 kilometres without stopping.
I did it for my Mom. I did it for my sons. And most especially, without yet knowing it, I did it with a quiet yet persistent hope that life would somehow get better for me.
And what's more, I forgot about the gravity of it all until this moment. I forgot that I achieved this accomplishment in the midst of my depression. And I forgot that back then, nearly every time I laced up to train, I looked at bridges in a way I never would today.
Friends, sometimes we forget where we've been. Sometimes we forget how we've persevered or even that we've persevered. The years roll by and we move on to the next challenge, the next victory, the next thing. But today I am reminded that, sometimes, it's good and beautiful and lovely and sweet to look back to your darkest hours with the deepest of reverence and the utmost of respect; to breathe all the way into your bones and to celebrate all you have done.
Wherever you are in your life right now, take some time today to send your younger self (the self that brought you to this moment) some much deserved unconditional love. The kind you were born to receive inherently. The kind of love I wish for you today.
This photo feels like it was taken a lifetime ago, back when I first began to read Dr. Suess to my brand new baby, as I did to his brother before him.
Oh the places you will go, little boy. The places you will go...
Thank you for joining me in my quest for bliss.
If you're reading this, you are loved.
The Happiness Detective
PS. Postpartum is a beast. I went to my doctor and together we determined the best course of treatment for me was counselling. I encourage anyone dealing with postpartum to reach out to family, friends and especially the medical/therapeutic community to seek help. It happens to many more women than you may know. No one needs to suffer in silence anymore. Xo
|Enid-Raye Adams celebrating with son in 2010. Running through Postpartum depression.