And then I felt sad for more days than one. And then I thought, I've been feeling sad a lot, that's not good. And then I suddenly couldn't decide anything, and my memory seemed to go "Poof!"
I panicked. I thought my depression was coming back.
Just thinking that sent me into a mental tailspin.
Which made me sadder.
And more scared.
And more hollowed out.
I tried to feel about to see where the sadness was coming from and my mind said, "Everywhere."
I tried to grit my teeth and fight it, and the sadness came anyway, at night when the kids had gone to bed and the dark had crept in. And worry came anyway, in the moments we were late for something, or had to be anywhere that was out of the house. And the need for perfection came, in the days leading up to running the first writers workshop of the term. And the overwhelming anxiety that I wasn't homeschooling properly came, in the days when the kids found their work hard, or didn't know what to do with themselves.
And then I felt lost.
What did I do?
I talked about it.
I talked to my husband and he listened. And I talked some more and he listened some more. And he said things that were wise, and kind. And he said I was amazing. And he reminded me that he loved me, always and no matter what.
I talked to my girl about the night. I finally admitted that I didn't like it either and that yes, Life is in fact much better in the day. Which she loved because that made us twins. She went to sleep so easily then.
I talked to my boy (or perhaps he talked and talked and talked to me). He said, so many times I lost count, "I love you, Mum. You're the best Mum ever." He gave me hugs and we talked about puns and comics and ideas and he made us all laugh so much we cried.
I "talked" on a homeschooling forum where I am a member. I said, "I'm afraid" and I raised the "D" word. That was incredibly scary. I thought, "I don't know all these people, what if they think…" But I got kind response after kind response. All saying, "We understand. And we feel those things too, and have fears just like yours. Thank you for talking about this." I felt stronger then.
I talked to my friend and cried a little, and talked some more. And she listened. And gave me a whole thumbdrive of inspirational words to listen to at night when the dark seemed largest. Another lifeline.
I went to the beach and rang my sister. I sat and watched the waves roll and told her my doubts but also my instincts. And she said my instincts were so much stronger than my doubts. And to trust them. I love my sister.
I posted some writing, real writing of mine on my blog, and remembered I was a writer.
I took my kids up to the city today, and we spent the whole day together. We did an art workshop that we loved. And we spent the day laughing, sharing, talking. I remembered how much I adore being a mother, being around my kids, homeschooling them, watching their joy.
And my head cleared.
And I felt less afraid.
And I realised that being afraid of sadness seems to let it in more. So I may as well accept it. Accept that some days are harder than others. Just gritting my teeth and pushing sadness out doesn't always make it go away.
Finding the joy does, but also finding the opposite of fear. Which is love. Corny as it sounds, it's love. Loving the paths I choose, my heart, my instincts, my kids, my husband, my family, my friends—all this is bigger than the part of me that is scared.
And when I realised that, I was suddenly okay.
I don't know if I'll feel sad tomorrow. I might. But, in this moment, I believe I won't be afraid.