The Kindness of Strangers. Saturday March 19, 2016
I have been reading Moodscope since 2012 when someone forwarded a post to me and I actually read it.
Back then I didn't record my scores. But I was reading the blog with enough regularity to be a bit miffed when Jon left. He was an excellent writer and a philosopher and his posts were tidy, with a beginning, middle and an end.
But the new bloggers were different. Their posts were open ended. I found them messy, poignant, funny, sad, beautiful, disturbing. In short, they were like my moods. My unpredictable, complicated moods.
I was just on the cusp of the most major breakdown of my life when the bloggers changed. I was recently married and had a young daughter and I had quit my career and started my own company. We bought a house.
Then I crashed. I hated being married. I felt claustrophobic. I loved my daughter but I had postpartum depression that didn't reveal itself until years later. I was feeling financial strain. Everyone around me seemed to be doing great. But I was imploding.
What the hell was wrong with me? I yelled. A lot. I threw things. A lot. My husband would hold our daughter while I raged. I couldn't believe he was more concerned about her than with my despair (so it seemed at the time). I would say awful things to him. I was convinced that no one could understand.
How can you articulate the feeling of drowning? How can you describe feeling out of your body, watching others as if they were on a different plane? I contemplated suicide. I thought about how I would do it. I would think about how my daughter would get on. I thought she would be much happier without a crazy, enraged mother who couldn't do anything except lie in a dark room for days on end.
I didn't talk to my friends for weeks. Then I couldn't believe that no one cared enough to check in on me. Now I know they were terrified and didn't know how to help.
But through it all I kept reading. I started to recognize some of the bloggers' names and I even posted a comment or two. People would respond with such love. There is something so powerful about hearing kind words from a stranger when you aren't able to hear it from your own loved ones.
It didn't matter that the bloggers were thousands of miles away. I started to feel part of something, so that when my mother in law said to me (probably for the 100th time) "You don't need to suffer like this" I was finally able to hear it. I called my doctor and got medication. I found an amazing therapist.
I never thought I would write about my experience. But this community is one of the ways I stay healthy and helped save my life. So here's to throwing it all out there!
A Moodscope member
Thoughts on the above? Please feel free to post a comment below.