In honor of the longest day of the year, the summer solstice, the Climb Out of Darkness I’m going to tell you something about myself.
Brace yourselves, I’m diverging from what I usually talk about here….. Oh, wait, no…. No, I’m not.
This year’s Climb is honoring the women who are back. They are themselves again, the new evolved version of themselves. Sometimes we focus on the bravery of identifying as someone with a postpartum mood disorder. I would like to invite you to entertain a different notion: the idea that when the thing is behind us. When it’s gone or managed or under control it ceases to be a thing at all.
Instead of my fellow warrior moms being brave. I invite you to see each of them as who they are. Individuals.
So… Back to me…
I want to tell you how I see myself. Shrek would say I’m an onion, because I have layers. I jokingly (not-so-jokingly) call myself well-medicated.
I tell the person ringing me up at Trader Joes; they usually remark how patient I am with my wild unruly children and I respond with “That’s because I’m well-medicated.” I tell the moms at preschool. My whole family, often. At this point, they’re probably like “Bla bla bla, you’re crazy. WE KNOW!”
I’ve chatted up moms on the playground who were looking like they were at their wits end. Using my amazing self-deprecation super powers, I relate, I’ve been there. Shoot- I’ll probably be there tomorrow!
I’ve said before that people often contact me and tell me their story. They tell me that I helped them get help, or feel normal, or feel better about their life (that’s fine too!) I’m realizing that it goes beyond that people ask deeply personal and probing questions because they are curious.
Do you remember your first gay friend? Do you remover asking them “when did you know?” or “what was it like to come out to your parents?” I hope the friends I asked didn’t mind too much! I wanted to know. I needed to understand. To see this piece of who they are. Very quickly I realized that their gayness wasn’t remotely their defining characteristic. Though, interestingly a statistically significant subgroup is obsessed (and I mean obsessed) with monopoly. What’s that about?
I hope that I am the token crazy friend. The friend you can ask and learn from. The friend that shows you that my anxiety hardly defines who I am. I could list a million things I enjoy, like food and yoga.
But the reality is this, I am someone who finds humor and joy in the strangest of places. I’m not perfect and I never want to try to be.
So if you know someone who self-identifies as ‘crazy’ and ‘well-medicated’. Ask. Learn more. Probe. It’s okay, maybe they want or even need to share. Because I’m willing to bet you will quickly realize it’s only one of many layers, and once you peel it back you will discover some really beautiful things.