Whether it is a gift or a curse, it was mine.
This depth of sorrow and unwillingness to live one more day if it was always going to be this way.
I was given the gift-curse of postpartum depression so that it could drag me away in an undertow of my new life and make me speak truths that would burn my throat.
Like hot vomit coming from a black part of my being that, all at once, screamed everything at me.
All the horror and shame of all the dark places we bury inside ourselves.
That get poked and prodded by various situations that leave us newly fresh, raw, and torn open.
For the hundredth, maybe thousand time, our scabs get picked anew.
You think you’ve got it all together?
Have a baby.
You think you know yourself?
Have a baby.
You think you understand what it means to doubt whether you have the courage to live one more day?
Have a baby and watch your soul get ripped out and sprinkled like sadness on the bathroom floor.
Or don’t have a baby and find yourself walking deeply into the unknown.
A place that you may never leave.
A place that threatens to take everything you have, leave you with nothing, and spit on all that you’d promised yourself you would accomplish in this life.
But you are not alone.
Thinking that you are the only one who knows sorrow, that you alone have the corner on pain, speaks to the depth of isolation we experience from each other.
Do we really believe we are the only ones who say to ourselves, "You worthless piece of shit, get it together or no one will ever love you?"
People say that to themselves daily. Hourly even. Maybe on the half hour.
If I eat this cake, he’ll leave.
If I don’t do everything she wants me to, she won’t love me anymore.
If I am not the best, I’m nothing.
Lies my friends.
Deep-seated, parent-programmed, childhood experienced, adult-acted-out LIES.
I am not going to tell you what you are worth.
That’s not a gift I can give.
But a gift I can give, and a curse and a cross that I and everyone else bears, is that it is in this shared experience of deep pain, sadness, and hollow shadows of the self that we are connected.
We are all united in the fear of fear. And pain. And grief.
For better or worse we exist together, united in sorrow for all the things we longed for and lost, or longed for and gotten.
Connected through the lives and loves lost in our unique marches toward death.
Know that your sadness and grief and despair is not only a curse, but a gift that binds you to every living soul whose been crushed as many times, or more, than you have.
Rest in the knowingness that we all suffer.
And that is what unity really means.