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  • My wise aunty shared this saying with me once:

    In the 1960s, people took drugs to feel things. Now, people take drugs to stop feeling things.

    After becoming a mother, I have experienced a rollercoaster of emotions, many pleasant, many very unpleasant. The most insidious of these is anxiety. That feeling that things are not quite right. That at any moment, something very terrible is going to happen to me, to my precious daughter, to someone I love. Sometimes, it's even just this feeling of dread in the background of my seemingly happy life.

    I have realized the greatest antidote to these fearful feelings is acknowledgement. Admission. Heck, even shouting from the rooftops, “Hey People! I feel f#cking anxious today!”.

    Nothing has been more poisonous for me than keeping my feelings inside. Allowing them to slither and sneak and lurk in me, trying to pretend they don't exist. That they'll go away if I do nothing and keep quiet.

    Shining a light on them, pointing in their face and saying, “I SEE YOU THERE!”, has helped me tremendously. And out the other side of acknowledgement has come greater acceptance of them. Even understanding. That they've been my natural, normal, reasonable response to all the trials and tribulations of motherhood, birth (now THAT'S another story and another silenced issue in our culture!), shedding the old person I used to be (well, the illusion of who I thought I was), and slowly learning to embrace who I am now.

    I feel. I feel. I feel. I FEEEEEEEEEEEEL!!!!

    Photo: Olive Blakeney in That Uncertain Feeling (1941).
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