The last week of June I took part in the SEMrush Academy’s Content Marathon. I was one of 673 participants and was so nervous that I wouldn’t be able to complete it. I had intended for the week to help me hone in my writing skills for work and was planning to choose a topic that I could later use, but ultimately it became very personal for me.
I knew I was struggling emotionally, but through the week I was able to write 7 pieces that were very therapeutic. I wrote about my struggles with my identity after having a baby, and how that impacted my whole life. I wrote about my struggle with losing my hair (hello, postpartum shedding), struggles to lose the baby weight, and my fears that Beto would see me differently.
After having Joseph, I knew about Postpartum Depression but didn’t really think that was what I was experiencing. There were more highs than lows at the beginning, so I thought I was in the clear. Over time though and as I struggle with my appearance, my inability to complete tasks, and not feeling myself, my irritability, frustration, and sadness, I think that is what I’m experiencing. Maybe I won’t require medication, but I know I need to ask for some help.
My whole life I’ve turned to writing as a way to get out my emotions, but it was always deeply personal and I never shared my work with anyone. Over the week of the content marathon, I was pushed to share the pieces I’ve written and received feedback. I even was featured as the Day 3 favourite for a letter I wrote to Beto. I didn’t share it with him until after, but it felt good to be recognized. It felt great to know that my words resonated with others. Not only did I finish the marathon, I felt like I had accomplished something amazing.
So now I am working to include writing in my everyday. At least one hour where I can zone out and put my heart and soul onto paper (or computer). These minutes tick by and I feel a little more like my old self, the one I know I’ll never fully be again, but at least I can recognize pieces.
There’s a part of me that feels I don’t have the right to feel sad. I should feel blessed, thankful, and joyful at having my son. I do, but there’s more to it. I am grateful, and I experience more joy than I can explain when I see my son smile, laugh, and look at me with so much love in his eyes. But, I also experience great sadness, grief, and frustration when those smiles turn to frowns, laughs turn to cries, and when his eyes squint in pain from teething. I try to keep it all in perspective, but there’s a part of me that is not in control, and that is the part that I need help with. Whether that is through therapy, or writing as therapy, only time will tell.
I am grateful for influencers out there that talk about body positivity. People like Sarah (@thebirdspapaya), Jenna Kutcher (@jennakutcher), Ashley Graham (@ashleygraham), who show me it is normal to have a body like mine. I am practicing confidence in wearing a bathing suit in public, and doing my best to show my son that women are not all like the ones he’ll see in magazines, movies, on TV, and Instagram. I want him to learn positive lessons despite my insecurities, and that some jiggle is A-OK.
So this is my practice of writing as therapy. A little every day, some I’ll share, some I won’t, but I’ll just keep trying to get it all out.