I recently finished watching a video series PBS did with Nora Ephron, and when she said this line, the world around me went into slow motion.
“Someday this will be funny, and you will write about it.”
Don’t you love how that happens? Every once in a blue moon something so small, yet so pivotal, takes place and everything you were doing before gets rerouted and redirected somewhere new.
When I heard her say those words, I teared up. This was partly because I’m still coming off antidepressants and it’s making me a weepy little nut-ball on certain moments of the day. I also teared up out of relief.
I am relieved that finally, after all this time, I can laugh about my postpartum depression.
For a long, long time, I could not laugh about it. And then, all of a sudden, I could.
I have a long standing rule that if I can’t laugh about something, I won’t write about it. It just takes time. With enough time, most things can be funny.
I think some people believe writing is a terribly romantic endeavor. I beg to differ. Writing, for me, is hard. It is hair pulling. I have to sit by myself and be terribly antisocial. I tell anyone around me, “Pretend I’m not here.” Which really stinks, because I like it when people talk to me.
I type for a while, glare at the screen and say something like, “Why can’t you just cooperate with me…words? Huh? Huh?” Basically, I have to be a little bit schizophrenic to do what I do. I’m sure it’s not that way for everyone, but it is for me. And since writing is not this easy, romantic, “lightning just struck my brain” event, I really have to have a carrot in front of my face. I have to bribe myself. The funny stuff is the carrot. If I can make myself chuckle, all that talking to myself and hair pulling is worth it.
So that’s what I’ve been doing. I’ve been putting my postpartum depression experiences on paper. I’m doing all of this through the lens of humor, of course. It’s cathartic. But it also symbolizes, for me, a big shift in my life.
It feels like I can finally close the door and move on.