I still feel sad multiple times every day for my friend who lost her beautiful baby daughter. I know she thought it would be old news for many after a few weeks, and maybe that is true. But it is not old news to me. Every time I drive past her house, and often when I just look at my little ones, I try to imagine the heaviness of her grief. I am sure I fail, because I think that kind of grief can only be understood by experience.
One of the things on my mind is isolation. I always feel very isolated for the first six months to a year of a baby's life. It's funny, because some might wonder how a woman with four children and a loving and attentive husband could ever feel isolated at all. People use the term "Baby Blues," which I find annoying, because it makes it sound cute, and less serious and painful than it actually is.
I have a few thoughts, after my extensive analysis. I host a book group and attend my local quilt guild, which activities help me feel connected to a community twice a month. I have an assignment at church, which can keep me connected to my faith community. I can call, text, or email my family and friends to stay connected to them. I have lunch and a scheduled play date with friends every week, and sometimes have other play dates as well.
But when I have a baby, while doing all of those things, there is often a large part of my brain that is not connected to anything except The Baby. He is underneath all of my thoughts, often fussing in the background, ready to interrupt anything I do at a moments notice. I love him, and I want him, and I enjoy him as much as possible.
I feel the blues around me, waiting to settle in. I wave them away with my quilting, my play dates, my exercise, my books. Sometimes I fail, and I feel alone. I feel disconnected from everyone: from Alex, from the kids, from my friends, and even from myself. In the past I have been addicted to blogging. Now, I check Facebook too many times in the hopes that someone has something to say to entertain me or help me connect with humanity in a meaningful way.
Recently I talked to a good therapist, and she immediately put her finger on my problem. Through our session, we talked about so many things, and I felt 100 times better when I was done. I think the biggest realization I had was that I can change my modes of operation to improve my situation. I am the captain of my own fate. I am the master of my own destiny. And if I am tired of feeling isolated, I need to reach out. I have been doing so, and it is already helping so much that I even feel like blogging again.
I guess this post is a way for me to make it public. I am working at stopping being such a lazy extrovert. Let's play.