I am feeling Not Good today. Last night I had Night Sadness (lying awake thinking of sad and oppressive things, and all the ways in which I have failed / am failing / will fail), and usually sleep cures that—but this morning I woke up with Day Sadness. It feels like I do the same thing day in and day out, and like it’s never going to change, and like I’m never going to handle anything right, and like the world is a bad and stupid place. I know that’s not true, but what I know doesn’t have much to do with it.
So today I’m in Postpartum Mode, doing all the things that can help with irrational feelings that feel rational. I got up and made myself coffee and two hard-boiled eggs for breakfast: caffeine! protein! hot beverage!—all things that can help. I took a shower with hotter than usual water, and I turned on a bunch of extra lights: usually Mother Earth has her way, but today the world feels like it’s going down the toilet whether I use extra electricity or not.
I used my favorite 2-in-1 shampoo/conditioner, which smells beachy. I used an apricot facial scrub. After showering, I used a serving of an expensive face lotion sample my mom’s friend Donna gave me: it smells like perfume and it feels like being rich, and I use it when things are Grim. I lit my favorite Illuminations candle, the Flower Garden one that smells like flower petals and fresh spring dirt.
I held the baby for awhile. This is not recommended if the available baby is in a crabby, squirmy mood and will make you feel like a bad mother who can’t even make her own baby happy. But if you have a cozy warm baby in a footie sleeper who hooks his little arm around your upper arm and rests his cheek against your cheek companionably, this is like a shot of psych meds straight into an artery, or perhaps I mean vein, or perhaps adding that kind of medication right into the blood wouldn’t help anyway, but what I mean is that it’s pleasant.