Updated: May 8, 2019
The moment in this image was one of mixed emotions. Yes, happiness that my eldest was excited by the impending arrival of her little brother. Yes also, deep concern that I would feel as isolated and helpless as I did 3 years before this moment.
My daughter was a few months old. She was taking a nap. I was sitting on the floor of my kitchen and the washing machine was on. I sat in front of that washing machine for at least an hour, just watching it turn, and turn, and turn. Partly saddened by the similarity of the monotony of my life to the revolving drum - turning, turning, and turning - the same old, lonely, isolated routine. And partly wishing I could press a button to magically wash away the dark feelings and be pulled of out this black hole. I felt alone. I felt numb. I felt without purpose. And I didn't tell anyone. Perhaps I was worried I wouldn't be taken seriously. Perhaps I was scared of the potential label - 'depressed', 'incapable', 'undeserving'.
It wasn't until I reached deep down into myself to find the bravery hidden under layers of self-doubt, that I did tell someone. And you know what? Not only did they take me seriously, they told me I was 'brave', 'capable', and 'NOT ALONE'! The more I told my story, the lighter I felt, and the more I realized I was a part of a much larger community of mothers who had unexplained feelings of worthlessness - and with this ongoing support, I very slowly and gradually was able to crawl out of the dark hole.
The second time around, I was worried I would again find myself on the kitchen floor. But the difference was, I knew. Everyone will find their own way out. For me, I knew what I had to do to keep me from slipping back into the dark. I reached out. I stayed connected.
I have not told many people my story in this much detail before. I had to reach down into my bravery pot again, with the hope that it brings some element of hope to at least one woman out there.
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