Friday, April 16, 2010

{Perfect Day}

"If the day and the night are such that you greet them with joy, and life emits a fragrance like flowers and sweet-scented herbs, is more elastic, more starry, more immortal,--that is your success."

Today was remarkable. Perhaps it is the weather. Perhaps it is the fact that for the last 6 days The Mister has been away and I am getting giddy at the thought he comes home tomorrow (and that I have survived!). Perhaps it was simply my singular children. But today I realized that the fog is lifted and I am here.

After Little Bird was born, I was so incredibly happy and serene. I had this tremendous sense of my womanhood and power and femininity. Life seemed miraculous. And then as the weeks ticked on, and going back to work drew near, even if it was "just for four weeks" as I kept reminding myself, a heavy emptiness started to move in. I told myself it would pass soon. Once the school year was over, I would be a stay at home mom and I would return to the miraculous life I had lived a few weeks before. Instead, through summer this hollow inside of me seemed slowly to expand. I told myself it was simply the oppressive Phoenix summers; soon the weather would turn and so would my mood. In heat like that, no one wants to get out of bed, or do their hair, or play with their children, or cook, or...or... Of course, things would get better when the school year started...or when the autumn breezes finally hit...or near the holidays. I would be happy, I would feel, I would stop snapping at my children whom I love so dearly.

But all these things came and went, and the hole kept getting bigger, until finally I started to believe that this was simply who I had become--tired (so tired), short-tempered, lonely in the midst of love, empty...sad.

Thankfully, there was little part of me that fought to get through the cracks in the wall of this Kierra 2.0. That little part always sparked and sometimes ignited with joy, even if the flame was short lived. The little part ate away at the back of my brain and finally sent me to my doctor.

For many months, I was ashamed to talk to anyone about the fact that I thought I had post-partum depression. I worried it meant I loved my son less than I had loved my daughter. I worried it meant I wasn't praying hard enough, or I didn't have enough faith. I worried I was "broken."

Now I am ashamed I didn't do something about it sooner. For months, it cost me the joy I feel every day. There are memories I know I lost in that fog, moments I can't get back.

Today I realized that I had been silently worried about something else the last few months. I had been worried that the happiness I had again, this return to the old me, was not me, but the medicine. Even though it felt like me, even though logically, I understood the brain function and chemistry behind this, even though I didn't feel embarrassed about my diagnosis, I had been worried I was somehow "faking." But lying there in the park with my children, in the midst of so much (so much!) inexplicable joy made me realize that I am here, wholly present and fully myself. I am a woman who, though imperfect in infinite ways, finds happiness daily. I have made it through a whirlwind of change--in place, in lifestyle, in habits--over these several months. I have worked to find balance, to simplify, to pay more attention to what matters and less attention to what doesn't. I am a woman who has survived 6 days of single mom-hood without blowing a fuse, bursting into tears, or locking myself in my closet to sleep (things that occurred regularly in just a half-day a few months ago). I am daily a better mother, wife, woman. There are many more steps to take before I am all I want to be and all the Lord would have me be, but I am the one walking that path. Medication or no, it is me in here.

So, my brain is a little out of whack...anyone who knows me could have told you this years ago! So, I take a little pill at night before I go to bed. I'm not an asthmatic, I'm not a diabetic, or arthritic, I have a heart and a liver, and marrow that fill their God-given purposes without incident.  This is simply the card I was dealt, and today I let it go. Inside this imperfect flesh, which carries this particular weakness, is an eternal, sunny spirit. A spirit existing in fullness, and I am not afraid to admit that life smells like flowers and looks like starry nights and beauty is immortal...

{Ok...a positively terrible picture, technically speaking...but THIS, this exuberant expression, this explosive joy, was our day today, from start to finish. And besides, I am completely and utterly and madly in love with those little vampire teeth! Aren't you?}


  1. Kierra. Wow. You express yourself so eloquently. Thanks for putting your struggles out there because you're inspirational for life choices, priorities, and well, beautiful prose. I know I've had my struggles with medicine and trying to determine if/when I need help, and searching for the real me. You are such a beautiful person. Please keep sharing your life here! I feel like I know you better than I have in a long time!

  2. Hi Kierra!
    I love your blog! You have such a unique and beautiful voice. I can't believe how big your children are already. I am so grateful to have witnessed their births. Tell Rob I said hi...and best of everything to you both. hugs~

  3. That was such a beautiful post! The photos, your story and feelings - just amazing. I am glad you are feeling more like yourself again - you are one of the 'sunniest' people I have ever met!

  4. You are great with words Kierra :)
    I too love the vampire teeth!

    I'm glad that you are doing so much better, someday, I will get there too and we can celebrate together. Thinking of you.

  5. I love that you link your blog to fb. I come over here now and then and I need to say HI and I love your posts. You do so much and I understand why, I too have a very busy toddler that I have to keep ahead of as well! I have to say I am always educated by something you post. Whether it be family cloths (I never heard of that!) or something else, I am always inspired by your posts! Congrats on being YOU again!

  6. Wow! So much love from so many amazing women I love! Thanks, all, for your sweet comments--I am so blessed to know each of you!

  7. I just sat here and sobbed through this whole, beautiful post... Thank you for being so honest and true and sharing this. I understand completely in so many ways, and am just grateful eternally for your words and your spirit that always lifts mine... thank you! I love you, Kierra, truly I do.


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