For so many the sea can be a source of calm, peace, relaxation, meditation. It is in the sea that many find their anchor. I am one of those people. I grew up at the beach as I noted in a post from the other day. The sights, smells, and feel of the beach trigger so many wonderful memories often locked within my heart. Memories which are the foundation of my life.
But even the sea, the tranquil sea, gets angry.
Today is one of those days.
A storm system is traveling through the area. Filled with lightning, thunder, threat of tornado, the clouds are moving swiftly over land and out to sea. As a result, the ocean is reacting to the forces placed upon it by nature.
Soft and gentle waves are replaced by short and choppy waves as far as the eye can see. They crash harshly onto shore, pulling more sand angrily back out to the depths of the seabed with each new crash. A red flag declaring no swimming is raised tall in front of the lifeguard stand. No one is meandering along the beach except for a few brave souls.
So here we sit, waiting for the storm to break, the rain to fall, and planning alternate activities for the family so as to maximize our last day here at the beach.
And that’s when it hit me.
That this, this storm, this angry weather, is just like a Postpartum Mood Disorder.
Sure, we can predict to whom it MAY happen.
We can identify the jet streams which may swoop it into the lives of certain people. Identify the environmental factors which ripen the possibility of occurrence. But until we get pregnant or give birth, we don’t know if it really will happen to us.
Then when it does, we seek shelter. We make alternate plans. Hopefully we have an emergency kit ready to go in our shelter which should include a list of resources to which we can turn if the waves of emotion get short, angry, and choppy. If the waves decide to reclaim us bit by bit. If they do, we hedge ourselves in until we can heal, seeking respite from the very storm which threatens to tear us apart.
Just as we sit to wait for a storm to pass, we also must wait for a Postpartum Mood Disorder to pass. Some storms pass through quickly, a mere blip, other storms linger and take days to pass. Of course, a Postpartum Mood Disorder takes longer than days to pass – for some it may be months. For others, it may take a year or more. Again, this is in direct relation to your risk factors, level of support, contributing circumstances, proper professional care.
We may feel helpless as the storm whirls around us. But we are not as helpless as we believe ourselves to be in the midst of this vortex. Others always stand ready to come together as a community to support us, to join hands with us in this shared experience.
We must also remember our loved ones become trapped in this vortex with us. They too, need support, love, and understanding.
As I sit and listen to the angry sea, I find peace in knowing that soon, this too, will pass. So the angry waves crashing upon the shore bring solace and strength. The sand will one day be replaced, the beach will grow stronger, and once again, we will play in the waters of the ever-changing sea.
Know too, that one day, your Postpartum Mood Disorder will pass, and you, you will be stronger, able to play in the ever-changing sea of your life.
Dear members of the media including but not limited to ABC, TMZ, NBC:
You make me sick. Sick, angry, and sad.
A celebrity is in the midst of a dire emergency and you’ve erected circus tents around him replete with cameras.
ABC? You get a special mention here because you even allowed his CHILDREN to be present at one of the many interviews you filmed with Charlie Sheen. His children.
On what planet is it okay to be cool with nearly two year old children around someone who claims to have “tiger blood?”
But it’s okay, you say.
Okay because Charlie says he’s okay.
You drug tested him. Drew blood.
Guess what, ABC?
Yeah. That’s not diagnosable via test tube or pee cup.
Now that you’ve “ruled out” drugs, are there plans for you to play Psychiatrist too as America watches?
I feel heartbroken for his family. For his ex wife, Denise Richards, who has now had to assure the American public that her kids have not been with Charlie these past two weeks. I feel for Brooke who is clearly in a state of confusion. I know where she’s at …. somewhat. I’ve been there. It sucks. You don’t know which way is up or down. It’s a vortex in which you do the best you can do just to stay afloat but mostly you want to collapse and scream and ask WHY?!?! But instead you go numb and trudge forward toward safety. You hope.
Charlie, a father with four children, is clearly struggling with a multitude of issues.
Instead of offering help to Charlie, you’re putting on a show for the rest of us with him as the star. You ask him things like “Do you worry about your kids learning about this?” To which he replies, “God no! What a lesson!” What kind of a lesson, exactly? That it’s okay to go crazy, seek attention, shout inane things from the top of the world, and demand that you get paid more for services you’re clearly not capable of at the moment? There is a lesson in all of this – it’s that when you hurt, you get help. When you see someone hurt, you GET them help. You don’t put them on display.
Wait. You’re the media. You do put it all on display. No matter what the moral and ethical bounds are – it’s all about the ratings. The wilder the better, right?
I’m not watching. Many people I know are not watching.
But many are… and the damage being done to those who are mentally ill and struggling with addiction by your organizations is atrocious. Here, let me serve up some stigma on a silver platter. Watch.
Have we, as a society, taught you this behaviour, through our obsession with reality TV?
Has reality TV finally blurred the line? Have we really come to this?
Is our society so starved for entertainment we are willing to watch, in real time, as a celebrity implodes live on the air?
I know it’s about ratings. If people watch, you make money on advertising, etc. Have you no soul? No decency left among you?
In my opinion, the only company that has done something right is CBS. I stand with them in canceling the rest of the season of Two and a Half Men. It’s unfair to the rest of the cast and the crew, but not to Charlie.
There needs to be someone holding him accountable for his behavior. Yes, he is an adult and shouldn’t have to have anyone treat him like he’s 12. Unfortunately, he’s also a very ill person in crisis right now. Sometimes we have to take steps back in order to regain our footing.
I sincerely ask you to stop exploiting Mr. Charlie Sheen’s tragic situation.
Your exploitation of his situation is possibly even more tragic and disturbing than Charlie’s fall from grace.
For the past three years, I have been attending, off and on, family recovery meetings with my husband. There’s childcare. The meetings have grown from a small group of 10-15 to a group almost three or four times that size.
I have sat in group with hurting people. I can’t disclose their issues because what is said in group, stays in group. It is a safe place in which to heal from your addictions and the very real wounds they cause within you and in the ones you love.
Three years ago this month, actually, I was in a car accident. Not only was my car totaled, my life as I knew it would soon follow suit.
I was not the one high.
My husband was the addict.
He spent money on marijuana instead of on our car insurance.
He spent money on marijuana instead of on vehicle registration.
He even fashioned a FAKE sticker for our license plate, y’all.
Addicts lie. It’s part of the lifestyle.
Here in Georgia, driving without insurance AND vehicle registration is a jailable offense.
Not even three months after the birth of our son and I found myself sitting in a jail cell. For something I didn’t do. For something my husband had lied to me about because of his addiction.
We never dealt with the mania that Charlie Sheen is now exhibiting on a daily (if not hourly) basis.
We never thrown into a media circus because of our issue.
Our issue had ripples too – it hurt me, it hurt our kids, our families, enraged my brothers, destroyed my milk supply (I had to put our son on formula at 6 months old when he was diagnosed as failure to thrive.)
We still deal with the fallout today. Sure, we’re better. But we’re far from perfect. And we sure as hell aren’t screaming it from the roof tops.
I’m not a professional. I’m the wife of a recovering addict disgusted with the media for the giving Charlie Sheen the time of day instead of encouraging him to get help. I’m disgusted that this is happening. I’m disgusted that Charlie Sheen is being called crazy, insane, nuts, and several other offensive things. As this week has worn on, I have watched my Twitter stream explode with Charlie Sheen jokes. Jokes about addicts. About how crazy they are. Sure, Charlie Sheen is the case in point and I get that, but I also see the many faces of the addicts I see on Thursday nights when I read these jokes. They are hurting, people. Hurting. They, thankfully, are getting help. Charlie Sheen is not. Instead, the media is literally glorifying his lifestyle. They are putting his words and his mania on display. And people are eating it up.
It’s reprehensibly irresponsible.
You wonder why we have a bully issue? Why we have kids who think it’s okay to make fun of people who have issues and act strange?
Perhaps it’s time to look in the mirror, America.
Perhaps it’s time.