I wrote my first guest post almost 2 years ago for one of my dear blog friends. I remember waiting impatiently for the comments to start rolling in. When they didn’t, I made sure to hit my browsers refresh button a hundred times.
My post flopped and I was crushed.
I cried big old crocodile tears and plowed through a bag of cookies.
I went on twitter and apologized to my friend when she had butted in and said,”Kimberly, I thought that it was hilarious.”
Then she professed her love of Canadians.
We spent a good portion of the night tweeting and I will admit that I had no idea who she was.
In the morning I clicked over to her blog.
I love Alexandra for so many reasons. Her writing is flawless and beautiful with a large heaping of funny on the side.
I respect her and her amazing support of all bloggers big, small, and in between.
And because my sweet friend reached out to me when I couldn’t handle life anymore.
She was my life line and the giant kick in the ass that I needed.
Everyone, please welcome my dear friend, The Empress from Good Day Regular People.
I can’t remember how or when I met Kim, and I can’t imagine not knowing her, either. We bonded, of course, over mutual hots for Chuck Norris but it’s our commitment and promise to never let a woman suffer through Post Partum ANYTHING alone that is the glue that binds us.
I am a PPD/anxiety survivor. I made it through the scariest time in my life with the help of a nurse sent from heaven, and a hospital support group.
What also saved me and still saves me to this day, is a sense of humor. There is so much that happens in the first young days of motherhood that that can leave you without a well of resource: no sleep, no time, no interaction, no one to understand. All these factors can lead to a woman who is stumped for an answer when you greet her with “Good Morning.”
“Uh. Duh. Me? Good Morning? Duh…”
What to say back, what to say back. Well, I’ve prepared a quick guide for all of us trying to muddle through with only three or four hours of sleep and not having had an adult to speak to in DAYS. And here it is:
The Guide To Social Responses, For the days you’re having trouble putting three words together:
When someone asks you a question, it is customary to provide a response. Even a nod is a response. Do anything, but for the love of mike do not just stare back blinking.
If you’re too brain dead to provide an answer within seconds, requesting repetition of the question will buy you some time. Example: “I’m sorry, I didn’t hear you, could you repeat that?” (meantime: thinkthinkthink)
When people ask “How Are You?” As tempting as it is … oh and there will be days where you will literally have to pinch the skin on your arm to keep your mouth shut, DO NOT answer a passer by truthfully. The lady down the block really doesn’t want to know. They’re just being polite. A good answer is “I’m fine. (lielielie) Thank you.” And then walk away.
Answer questions as positively and confidently as possible. Example: “I’m great. Thank you for asking.” (translation: I must go now so I don’t begin random screaming at your poor innocent face.)
If you can muster out a smile, do it. You’ll look less frightening that way. Practice in front of a mirror, and try to not wear bright red lipstick during these sleep deprived phases. The bags under the eyes from no sleep in combination with a pair of blood red lips kind of leave you looking psychotic, girlfriend.
Timing of your response is crucial. When a passer by inquires as to how you are, the response should be immediate without sounding clipped. Quick, but let them finish their question. Just as important, answer within two seconds of their question. More than that and you’ll fall apart. The trick is to ANSWER FAST before the truth starts beating down the door to your mouth.
If you encounter someone that begins to talk your ear off and you are barely holding it together, you can quickly bring the one sided conversation to a close with a cough attack. Don’t cover your mouth with your sleeve, arm, hand, anything. They will be so turned off and grossed out by your lack of social awareness that they’ll gladly terminate the conversation, on their own terms. (hey, don’t judge, it works, and it’s all about survival at this point)
*Most Important Advice Here: save the truth talk for friends, family, the M.D.’s, the medical staff in your life. Reach out to them and spill the beans to them. They’re the ones that can help you.
But the poor widow at the post office that just stopped in to pick up her monthly pension check? Please, she reallly doesn’t want to say “Good Morning, how are you?” to hear “Awesome! I controlled my impulses long enough this morning that instead of starting the kitchen on fire I got myself out for a walk … and here I am! Yay me!”
Leave that celebration to you and your health care team, they’re the ones that want to exchange that bit of small talk with you.
Good luck, and also? twitter is a good temporary “safe” place when you’re waiting for a Dr. call back.
Check any of us here, with the hashtag #PPD. We’re here, and you can brain dump on me anytime.
And she means that.
You can follow The Empress on her blog Good Day Regular People, on twitter, writing for Aiming Low, Funny Not Slutty, Mamapedia , and make sure you check her out on YouTube when she read her beautiful piece on motherhood for Listen To Your Mother