I was walking outside in a storm, with wind and rain whipping my winter coat, when a fragment of a poem flickered through my mind. I stopped in my tracks. I hadn’t felt creative since my baby was born, since the pandemic began. I thought I was being lazy, I thought I wasn’t trying enough, I thought I was too tired to write, but it wasn’t that at all. I was just depressed. My creativity got sapped by a postpartum pandemic wartime depression. A depression that went unnoticed by myself because I hadn’t been sad. I was just numb. But from one day to the next, a switch flipped. And the fog suddenly dissipated.
You’re not crazy, you’re not bad,
You’re not lazy, you’re just sad.
Today, after the poem shot through me, I tried tearing down my wall of numbness. I opened the floodgates, braced myself and felt: joy. Not the sorrow I was expecting. And I know my baby noticed the change in me too. She looked at me as if to say, ‘Hey. I’ve missed you.’ I’ve been reeled in after being untethered for so long. I snapped out of my year-long depression to discover that being awake isn’t as bad as I feared it would be. That my daughter is magical. That her laugh could resuscitate my cold heart. That my husband’s lips still take my hiccups away and make me feel like I’m flying. That I might be ok.