52 Weeks Project | Week 36 | I Found My Light

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She had stars behind each eye
and a galaxy in her soul
that drew people to her endless heart, 
like the pull of a black hole.
 
She was made of earth and fire, 
of wishes cast on shooting stars, 
she was a brand new solar system, 
unlike the ones they'd known so far. 

With constellations ever changing, 
no one could memorize her skies, 
and they thought the thing for them to do
was to bring her to their size. 

They shrunk the universe within her, 
told her her vast expanse was wrong. 
That she should make her life much smaller
if she wanted to belong. 

As they collapsed her world around her, 
she felt her inner stars grow cold. 
Until her life was far too heavy
for her once strong arms to hold. 

You might wonder how it happened, 
but I guess that it makes sense
because a life becomes much heavier
when its the universe condensed. 

-E.H.

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They say the average person goes through depression 5 or 6 times in their lifetimes. And if I'm being completely open and honest here, this project was started as a sort of modern walkabout to redefine myself again after going through my postpartum depression. I plan on doing one of my last posts with this project talking more about my personal experience with PPD, so I'll save a lot of that talk for then. 

But this week I really wanted to create something that showed my journey out of depression. Finding light in my own darkness and in that light, finding myself again. But I feel as though my personal PPD lasted longer than the average 6-8 month span because I had underlying sadness I never dealt with before getting pregnant. Becoming pregnant just brought it all to the surface. And then my crazy birth experience and weeks after (you can read that whole story here if you want) sent me into a deep state of depression that I could no longer hide. I cried at almost everything. Triggered often by insignificant things even in public. And felt alone while facing a great deal of change into motherhood. 

Before getting pregnant, I spent some years with some intense night terrors, body dysmorphia, low self esteem, and the worst of it... a huge level of aloneness

I read a book recently called 'A Road Less Traveled' by Scott Peck and in the book Peck defines aloneness as a feeling one encounters when there is no one else who is at the same level of awareness as they are. And I realize as I have crawled my way through this project and taken so much time in dissecting my own life, experiences, and my own depression that aloneness is what I have felt almost my entire 20's.

It's that feeling that makes you feel lonely in a crowded room. That no body can truly understand you. But also that because you are at such a heightened awareness, it makes it hard to even level with people without having to tear yourself down. But the empathy and compassion that I naturally carry tell me that it's not a total waste of time. It tells me all people deserve to be at a heightened level of awareness amongst themselves. To feel the sort of completeness I do.

But because most people I have met don't even want to face themselves directly, it will consistently be a feeling that I will have to learn to live with. One that will be easier to live with in this renewed sense of strength that I have found this past year.  But I also want to say that regardless of that fact, having come out of my own depression and faced a lot of my own demons, I've chosen to continue trying to show people that the light is worth chasing. And that the rewards of it far outweigh the pain it takes to get there.

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