I started writing this post back in December of 2011. By “started writing,” I mean there was a title (inspired by Adele’s eponymous song) and a bunch of white space.
So, December 2011. I was five months postpartum. I’d been seeing a counselor, which was helping, but I was still well-stuck in the snares of postpartum depression.
Adele’s hit song, “Someone Like You,” was released in 2011, and from the beginning, it was a tear-jerker for me (apparently I’m not the only one, see this interesting WSJ piece on the use of appoggiatura in music). In the months after G’s birth, it became deeply personal. And I don’t mean I got a little bit teary, I mean sobbing, to the point that when it came on in the car, I probably should have pulled over.
For me, the words weren’t about finding another lover, but about finding myself again, and not the sad, depressed, wanting to go back in time self. I couldn’t go back to my pre-C-section, child-free self, I had to figure out how to move forward. Slowly and surely, with help from a lot of people (and with a few bumps, like the winter of 2012), that has happened.
For me, 2014 felt like a real turning point.
Matthew and I acknowledged the many ways that my depression had affected our relationship (in addition to the normal affects of having a child), and we sought help. We had already started working with John Gottman’s book Seven Principals for Making Marriage Work, and we found a local therapist who had trained in Gottman’s methods. Turns out that staying married, especially staying happily married, takes work, ya’ll.
Individually, I completed the Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction course and integrated mindfulness practice into my daily life. This, too, is work. It’s not a cure-all, and it requires real commitment, but I’ve seen real changes.
Back to the title of this post — in late October, I was driving home from the final MBSR course. I often enjoyed driving in silence after class, but at some point that night, I turned on the radio. When I was within two blocks of home, “Someone Like You” came on, and it felt like a sign. I parked and the tears flowed. But it felt different this time, mostly happy tears.
Sitting there, I felt like I had finally found the “someone like me” that I’d been searching for — someone scarred, but stronger. Someone who wasn’t wishing for a different, long-gone life. Someone living in the present.