Tag Archives: tears

Rain Tears

Here Comes the Rain Again

Yesterday, as we hustled out the door to head to the gym at 5:00am (seriously – who does this?), we were surprised by the downpour just outside our door. It was a soft, quiet downpour in our neck of the woods but by the time we arrived at the gym, the rain fell harder and drifted sideways somewhat, thanks to the growing winds associated with the storms heading our way.

We went inside, I changed, and hopped in the pool. I swam for 40 minutes, engaged with focusing on my stroke instead of the rain just outside the massive windows next to the pool. Once in the hot tub though, I could see the rain, illuminated by the parking lot lights. It still fell quite heavily, according to a fellow soaker.

The rain didn’t stop until last night.

Throughout the day, it wavered between insanely driven to soft and quiet. People in the apartment complex ran to and fro, many covering their heads as they dared to venture into the uncovered spaces. I heard a few giggles from children and witnessed just a couple of adults use their regular strides as they headed to their cars.

Then it hit me.

Rain feeds the vegetation around us. Without it, we wouldn’t have ancient oak trees, green grass, gorgeous flowers, delicious vegetables or fruit. We wouldn’t have the oceans, lakes, ponds, creeks, fish, and all the other flora and fauna which depends upon the very vitality the rain provides as it falls.

Even though many of us don’t like the rain, it provides the means for our planet to thrive.

Boom.

Each of us is different. Each of us reacts to crying in our own way, just as each of us protects ourselves differently when it rains. Some of us run. Some of us use umbrellas. Some of us cover our heads with our hands or a magazine or newspaper. Some of us meander through the rain, not caring if we get soaked and enjoying the feel of every drop on our skin.

Bottom line – we all cope with the rain differently.

Tears are a part of processing emotion. Some of us cry at the drop of a hat or an overtly emotional commercial. Then there are those of us who hold our tears in until they burst through all our carefully constructed barriers, causing a flood as our emotions tied to those tears release. Then there are those of us who just don’t cry at all.

There is no right way to process emotion. There are unhealthy ways to process emotion, yes, but there are so many variants on the healthy ways to process emotions. Just like a walk in the rain – we all do what feels right for US.

Rain allows our planet to grow and thrive.

Tears allow us to grow and thrive.

It’s okay to let go and cry, it’s okay to breathe deeply and open the floodgates.

It’s not okay to pretend everything is okay when it’s not, to keep things to yourself if you’re hurting. What’s important is to remember you’re not alone – no matter where you live – (in a flood plain, a rainforest, a desert…) just because how you process things looks different than how someone else processes them doesn’t mean you’re wrong.

It just means you are human and an individual.

Memories (A TRDC Post)

The red dress club writing prompt for today caught my attention and the following piece spilled out before I realized what was happening. The Red Writing Hood prompt today involved a photograph. Go here to read the other entries and see the photo on which this piece is based. Enjoy and thanks for visiting!

 

Today.

 

Deep breath as I stretch under the duvet. Red and green lights flash at me. Babbles fill the room. Why don’t babies come with a snooze button?

 

I sit up, sighing. Another deep breath as I reach for the drawer. My hand grips the curved steel to pull it open. Inside, my camera. Right. Today. Scooping it up, I sling it over my shoulder as I slam the drawer shut. I stumble to the bathroom. As I pass Simon’s room, I hear him babbling. It’s more a cooing at this age, really.

 

I set the camera down on the bathroom sink for safekeeping.

 

Today.

 

As I wash my hands, I stare at the camera. There have to be pictures. Memories. Things for him to look upon when he’s as big as I am – or bigger. Memories.

 

I stumble back down the hall stopping just short of his room. Lean against the wall and slide down, the dark wood swallowing me. The camera hits the floor with a thud. Simon stops babbling. He’s listening. My breath catches. I know what’s coming. I know what’s…

 

“WWWWWAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAHHHHHHHHHHHHH!!!!!”

 

Shit.

 

I mean, just.. SHIT.

 

Really?

 

How the hell could I be so fucking stupid? Really? The camera, of COURSE hitting the floor was going to make him scream. And I bet I broke the stupid thing too. I reach back to grab the camera – it’s still in one piece. Take the lens cap off and snap a quick picture to see if it sounds okay. Seems fine.

 

But I’m not. He’s not. He’s screaming. My breath is faster than a cheetah running across the savanah. My heart – well – it’s the damn Hindenburg. If I stand up, I’ll fall right back down. So I sing. Collapsed outside his room. I sing.

 

“You are my sunshine, my only sunshine…”

 

He’s still crying. I’m still panting.

 

“You make me happy when skies are grey….”

 

I’m scream singing now. He’s whimpering. I tone it down.

 

“You’ll never know dear…”

 

I think I can get up. Hands on the wall, I stand. I reach down to grab the camera and prep it for a shot.

 

“ How much I love you….”

 

He’s silent as the door opens. I stare at his tear stained cheeks below the bluest eyes I’ve ever seen.

 

“Please don’t take my sunshine away.”

 

Click.

 

Memories.

Lessons from a Veteran

Growing up, I knew my grandfathers fought in World War II. Didn’t everyone’s Grandpa?

My grandfathers were two of the most amazing men I will ever know. They were strong yet fun. Compassionate yet firm. Everything a grandfather should be for their grandchild. I’m sure they weren’t perfect but to me, they were these pillars of strength.

Rarely, if ever, did we see our grandfathers cry. Men of that generation just didn’t do that.

Today, I’m writing about the one time I did see one of my grandfather’s cry.

I went to High School in Bedford County, Virginia. My grandfather moved to Bedford County not long after we did and I remember going over to his farm quite often. He was always at our house or we were at his. My timeline on when this actually happened is a bit foggy – as are a lot of things from my childhood – but I am pretty sure it happened while I was in high school.

Bedford County is home to the National D-Day Monument. Why? Because Bedford County suffered the highest loss per capita of ANY town or county in the United States on the Normandy Beaches. This was something Bedford County never forgot. We never forgot our fallen, those who so bravely gave their lives for our country, for our little hamlet.

I remember hearing about this play about D-Day in Bedford County. For some reason, I decided to invite my Grandfather to go with me. He, of course, agreed. Who says no to a granddaughter like me?

So we attended the play together. It focused on the reaction of the towns people at home in Bedford County. The telegrams and notifications that didn’t stop. The heartbreaking loss. The drive to be patriotic in an attempt to understand such a massive level of loss.

We sat together, my grandfather and I, in that darkened theatre, watching actors slowly unravel this massive day of tragedy.

Finally, it was over. The crowd clapped, stood, and there was a camaraderie felt that day.

It wasn’t until we got outside and looked at my grandfather that I noticed his tears.

He was covered in them.

My brave, strong, amazing Grandfather had tear-soaked cheeks.

He fumbled for his handkerchief and wiped them away, muttering something about allergies.

I remained quiet but I gave him a hug.

Not another word was spoken about those tears. We got in the car and he drove me home. I thanked him for going with me and he thanked me for inviting me.

I learned something that day.

I learned that it’s okay to feel. For the first time in years, I learned that yes, it’s okay to feel. It’s okay to let other people see you cry when something horribly tragic happens. Even if you try to blame them on allergies, tears are sometimes necessary. Tears happen. Even to old men.

So today, as you’re celebrating a day off work, remember the men and women who fought for us. Remember the men and women who ARE fighting for us. Remember their families and the monumental sacrifices which they have made so that we are able to continue to live free. Don’t ever forget. And if a tear happens to slide down your cheek while you’re remembering, it’s okay.

Saturday Sundries: Is Postpartum Depression only tears?

Happy Saturday, y’all!

It’s been grey here all day. Within the past hour, we have had torrential downpour, thunder, no lightning, and the sky is now a bright white instead of a dark lingering grey. I have been down for the count since Thursday night with Strep. I’m on the mend though, and managed to go for a drive this morning to escape the house. I ended up in a little town named Good Hope. Lately it seems to be where my car likes to take me when I need to get out and breathe. You can read more about my journey there at The 3six5 Project tonight at 8:00p.m.

There has also been an air of tension over my hometown for the past few days. The situation has resolved as of early this morning and we are all breathing much easier today. I’m not disclosing the reason because I would hate to trigger anyone inadvertently. All that matters is that it resolved without any further tragedy and all is well once again.

Today I am grateful for local law enforcement, tylenol, ibuprofen, and antibiotics. And I cannot wait until I can hug my children close again!

As always – the answer below is not meant to be complete or professional in any sense. Always seek a professional’s opinion in regard to your own situation. Everyone does not always have the same experience.

Today’s Question: Is Postpartum Depression only Tears?

No. It’s not.

Sure, tears may be involved somewhere. But they may not be involved at all. I have had so many mothers share with me that they didn’t think they had PPD because they were not crying lumps. Thing is, there are many different Mood Disorders on the Postpartum Spectrum. These include but are not limited to:

  • Postpartum Depression
  • Postpartum Anxiety
  • Postpartum Obsessive Compulsive Disorder
  • Postpartum Post Traumatic Stress Syndrome
  • Postpartum Psychosis

You’ll notice that I did not include the Baby Blues in the above list. It’s not there because it’s not considered a psychiatric disorder. The Baby Blues happen to many mothers – up to 80%. When the blues last longer than a few weeks and/or go beyond simply weepiness or moodiness, it is time to get checked out by your doctor.

Postpartum Psychosis is a medical emergency. Postpartum Psychosis has a fast onset. It may involve hallucinations (both auditory and visual), an incapability of making decisions for oneself, and delusional thinking. A mother with Postpartum Psychosis should NOT be left alone either by herself or with an infant. This means not even in the next room – someone needs to be with her at all times. She should also be admitted to the ER as soon as possible.

Postpartum Obsessive Compulsive Disorder, the disorder with which I struggled, involves what are called intrusive thoughts. These thoughts often include visualizations of harming our children or ourselves, but unlike Postpartum Psychosis, we are immediately repulsed by these thoughts as soon as they flit through our heads. We struggle to control them and often will create a blizzard of IT’s with no end in sight as we get lost in the ever expanding tunnel of negative “what-if” thoughts. I recently wrote a post about whether or not these thoughts go away. They fade and get easier to control but they never really go away, a difficult reality for many to face. I am a little over 5 years past my last PPOCD episode. I still have the occasional thought but I am able to stop them quicker and they do not happen nearly as often.

Postpartum Post Traumatic Stress Syndrome can be triggered by a negative birth experience or anything within the birth/newborn process which is perceived to be traumatic by the mother. The worst thing you can ever say to a mother with PP PTSD is that she’s silly for being so upset over such a small thing. Clearly, if it is causing her issues to the extent that it interferes with her daily living, it is not a small issue for her. Mothers with PP PTSD will avoid the place at which the triggering event took place – such as the hospital, doctor’s office, midwife’s office, etc. She may also struggle with graphic triggering dreams, intense anxiety, panic attacks, hyper-vigilance, and flashbacks. It is important to note that PP PTSD can occur in conjunction with any of the other mood disorders, and may even be the triggering point for the development of other disorders such as Anxiety and Obsessive Compulsive Disorder. This is my own opinion because I believe I had PP PTSD with my first and second daughters which then led to my OCD. My first birth was very traumatic and my second birth led to a month long NICU stay for our daughter.

Postpartum Anxiety is marked by constant worry about things which don’t need to be worried about, hyper-vigilance, overwhelming sense of doom, inability to sit still, racing thoughts, and possible physical symptoms such as dizziness, hot flashes, and nausea. There is help available for Postpartum Anxiety and you are not alone in struggling with this.

Postpartum Depression, while involving symptoms of crying and sadness, also involves feelings of anger and irritability. Not many people think of depression being angry, but for many, this is how it manifests. You may also become overwhelmed with feelings of shame, sadness, and guilt. Motherhood is supposed to be a happy time for us mothers. For those of us who develop a Postpartum Mood Disorder, we become ashamed for not feeling how society expects us to feel. We struggle to ignore these feelings, leading only to a more serious and urgent situation down the road.

Bottom line, Postpartum Depression is not just tears. It might be anger, irritability, anxiety, intrusive thoughts, hallucinations, flashbacks, panic attacks, shame, guilt, and hyper-vigilance. Just because your wife isn’t weeping her way through her postpartum period does not mean she does not have a Postpartum Mood Disorder. There are so many varied ways in which this can manifest.

Please also remember that Postpartum Thyroiditis may masquerade as a Postpartum Mood Disorder. It is important to get your thyroid levels checked to rule this out as if it is Postpartum Thyroiditis, an entirely different type of medication will need to be used to treat the condition. In fact, anti-depressants may make things worse if a thyroid issue is the root cause.

Don’t tell her to snap out of it. Tell her these things. Tell her you love her no matter what. Be there for her. Let her cry on your shoulder if she needs to do so. Encourage her to see a doctor but know you can’t force her to do this UNLESS she is a clear threat to herself or to others (ie, threatened suicide or harm to others). Recruit help for housework. For childcare so she can rest. Having a baby is hard work. Raising one while struggling with a Postpartum Mood Disorder is hell. We need all the help we can get. She may not say thank you immediately but one day, in the future, she will be ever grateful for all you did for her when she needed you most. She will say thank you. One day.

Postpartum Depression is not just tears

Postpartum Depression is not just tears.

It can be anger. It can be irritability, frustration, insomnia, obsessive compulsive, or anxiety.

Postpartum Mood Disorders can manifest in mothers in so many different ways.

Not only do we fight against the stigma of struggling with a mental illness and/or not being thrilled about our newfound motherhood, we also fight against the stigma of what a mom with Postpartum Mood Disorder must be like. So many moms don’t reach out for the help they so desperately need because they don’t “have the typical symptoms” of Postpartum Mood Disorder.

It’s not all tears.

I found a blog post which speaks to this precise issue. Written by a mother of three currently expecting her fourth, she bravely shares her experience and admits that she would never have classified herself as having Postpartum Depression because she “wasn’t sad, I didn’t cry, I took care of my children.  My house was clean, my responsibilities taken care of. I didn’t sleep a lot, or wallow in my own misery.”

Go read the entire post here. Leave her some love and let her know she’s not alone!

After hitting publish, another mama left her blog post about the VERY SAME topic in the comments. Rather than leave it hidden down there, I want to encourage you to read her post too. Entitled Postpartum Disorders, this mama, Sarah, over at Dandelion Roars writes a great piece about how Postpartum Mood Disorders were not all she thought they were supposed to be – she even states she had never heard of Postpartum Depression. Most importantly, she points out that there is a myriad of disorders between Postpartum Depression and Psychosis.

Go read Sarah’s post too.

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