100 Words on Love: We Share a Life

We share a life now. You and I. And like the patchwork quilt that cloaks our sleep, we tug at it, this way and that. You’ve always called me “the blanket thief.”

We share bottles of wine, holidays and secrets. You give me your name and I clear space on my bookshelves. Your library mingles with mine.

We divide the pain and joy of our worlds. You carry me. And sometimes, I carry you.

Tonight, I breathe you in as you lie asleep beside me. My head folds into your shoulder. A jigsaw complete. And you share my insomnia, unknowingly.

This article was previously published on The Good Men Project as part of their 100 Words on Love series

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On Being Desperately Lonely in Mothers’ Group

One of the most common things to emerge after I recently started to speak more openly about my struggle with severe postpartum mental illness (postpartum psychosis) was the amount of people who told me that they had no idea. Many expressed their surprise at the extent of what we, as a family, were going through and some hadn’t picked up on it at all. “But you always look so happy and together,” is something I heard repeatedly. This most recent reaction reminded me of the very early days of my illness when I “came out” to some of the women in my mothers’ group. No one saw it coming. I hid it well. Continue reading

Love In The Mess Of Parenthood

It was hard not to be entranced by Jackson Bliss’ exquisite, lyrical essay How To Stay In Love. I smiled stupidly as I read his piece for the first time, feeling a delicious recognition, and knowing intimately the love he so beautifully described. The privilege of it.

Prompted by Jackson’s piece and his beautifully expressed sentiments, I wanted to write about guarding and nurturing love after two become three. About staying in love when the dyad is pierced by new life and new love. And by the mess, the magic and the madness of parenthood. Continue reading

A Few Good Men

My husband and my brother regularly go to the movies together. Generally, they watch films I have zero interest in seeing, such as The Fast and the Furious number anything. They call these beer movies: they smuggle alcohol into the cinema in backpacks like teenagers to endure the (poorly reviewed, more often than not, yet not-to-be-missed) film.

Over the last few years, this moviegoing has become a firm tradition. A ritual. And it’s something that makes my heart smile.

Brothers in law. It’s a relationship not discussed nearly as often as that of the mother in law or even sisters in law. Less drama perhaps? It’s no less important. At least not to me. Continue reading

Why Are There Three People In My Marriage?

There are three people in my marriage: me, my husband, and the woman my husband calls “Prudence.” Prudence looks a lot like me. She sounds like me. And she’s a mum. But the similarities end there.

For the past 18 months, I’ve been really unwell. After the birth of our first son, Henry, I suffered from post partum psychosis, a severe mental illness which affects approximately 1-2 of 1000 women. I’ve been hospitalized twice, see a psychiatrist weekly and take both an antidepressant and an antipsychotic.

This experience is, of course, a story in itself but one I’m not yet ready to tell in detail. It’s still a little raw, a little too painful and I don’t have a happy postscript. I’m still working on that part. Which brings me back to Prudence. Continue reading