When I first shared here that I had been diagnosed with postpartum depression, Lauren Hale found my post and notified the #ppdchat Twitter army to rally around me. I was overcome by the love and support that I received from strangers, and was so happy to find a community of women who embraced me for who I am. I’m honored to share this post that Lauren wrote for you today.
Addicted to bacon, chocolate, and music of most genres, Lauren Hale spends most of her time as an advocate for families struggling with Postpartum Mood Disorders. She’s a Star Trek-loving geek who also obsessively watches college football, F1, and MotoGP. You can find her on Twitter, at On the Air, and at her blog, My Postpartum Voice.
Butterflies are magical creatures. They start out in life as eggs, sprout into caterpillars which creep along the ground, trees, bushes, etc, eating a ton of food in preparation for creating a chrysalis, the very vehicle used to support their change into the magical gorgeous butterfly.
One of these magical creatures crawled onto my one of my fingers this past week, stealing my breath as it stood there, perched, flapping it’s wings with a purposeful precision. Once it flew away, a piece of my heart went with it, grateful for the experience.
We don’t see butterflies change. The transformation is often hidden from sight and takes place in a safe, hopefully undisturbed spot. But we do see butterflies flitting about once they’ve completed their metamorphasis into a magical floating flower. They are patient and accepting of their change, understanding it’s the way their life flows.
It’s the same with people, throughout life. We are constantly changing and growing. Thing is, we don’t often get to do so in the safety of a chrysalis. No, we get to do it on display as we deal with the every day challenges of life. We can’t tuck ourselves into bed under the covers and refuse to deal with life. Well, we can, but that’s typically a sign that there is something not okay with us.
I wear a butterfly ring on my right index finger. It’s the ring I bought as a “nursing ring” to track which side I had last nursed my son on so I’d start on the opposite side the next time around. He’s four. The ring hasn’t moved since the last time I nursed him.
He was suddenly weaned at six months old. The pediatrician was extremely concerned he hadn’t gained more than 4-5 pounds since birth. She wanted me to pump. I had been down that dark road before and knew where it took me the last time. I had no interest in revisiting that dark place, a place I had worked very had this time around to avoid. I gave myself 24 hours to make the decision. At the end of the 24 hours, I drove to the store, purchased bottles, formula, and off we went. He was much happier and began gaining weight. He didn’t fuss and whine all the time any more which greatly improved my mood as well.
So the ring, the butterfly ring, sits on my right index finger to remind me that I did the very best I could for him. It’s also a symbol of the freedom I found in the peace with my decision to move him to formula. He thrived, blossomed, and exploded forth from his “chrysalis” of struggling to thrive. So did I.
Even when things are darkest, the light is still there, the beauty is waiting for you to find it.
Sometimes you just have to take a deep breath and hold your hand out to reach for it first.