Hope in an Envelope: Rach’s Rainy Day Letter

My lovely #PPDchat friend Rach (@donutsmama on Twitter) was moved by this post on the The Opportunity in Setbacks and Rainy Days Letters. I challenged her to actually sid down and write herself one of those letters,  to have on hand when the next setback happened. Below is Rachana’s letter to herself in all its glory. I hope you will be inspired by it as much as I am. 

If you too are in recovery from PPD, I invite you to write your own rainy day letter. Then print it and put it in an envelope you can keep in your purse and/or your bedside table  (having two copies isn’t a bad idea). Read it when you need it. Setbacks, those bastards, are inevitable, yet their severity and frequency will drop over time, and rainy days letters help this happen faster.

While it may not make everything better instantly, reading a letter you wrote while you were fully “yourself” does help shut up the PPDemons, or at least make it easier to discredit their accusations. In any case, a rainy day letter is guaranteed to bring a ray of hope into the darkness of a setback, be it a bad day or a bad month.

You see, it’s how we handle a setback that determines how long it will last. If you see every bad day as proof that you are slipping, and if slipping means that you are going to fall deep down into the abyss of depression again, then bad days will wreak much more havoc than if you see setbacks for what they really are: painful yuck which is as normal and inevitable as catching a cold (and what do ya know, they often come together, darn it).

And let’s pretend for a moment that you are slipping: slipping doesn’t have to mean sinking, and even sinking doesn’t mean you are going to drown. In each of these painful situation, having a rainy day letter is like having someone lend you a hand just when you need it, and the beauty of it is that the help comes from you! You! You ! You! Because even when it doesn’t feel this way, you have all the answers inside. Such a big part of recovery from depression is about gaining self-trust. And finding your own power. And connecting with the wise woman who already lives inside you.  A letter to yourself holds all of these things and more.

You are welcome to share your rainy day letter with me, and if you wish, I would be honored to share it here on the blog, where your letter to yourself can help another mama see things to like in herself. 

OK, enough of my words already.  Lets pass the mike to Rach: 

 

– – –

On Rainy Days

Dear Mama,

It’s been a tough year. The past few months have tested and stretched you more than you realized. You didn’t know just how hard being a mother could be. You were lost, wondering how anyone knew how to be a mother. You could barely keep your head above water with middle of the night feedings, endless laundry and dirty diapers. You were caring full-time for 2 people—your baby and yourself.

But you got lost somewhere in the shuffle. It became so overwhelming that you didn’t take care of yourself. You were consumed with worry, guilt, stress, and worst of all, perfection. You wanted to be the best mom, wife and homemaker. But you started to feel like you were failing. And you didn’t know it.

You didn’t realize you were in a slump. You just knew you didn’t feel like yourself. You were angry, sad, and confused at the same time. The lack of sleep, the lack of control was consuming you. You thought this was what your life was destined to be.

Would happiness ever come to you?

I can answer that yes, yes it will come.
Because it did.
Look at these past 7 days.
Seven whole days!!

In these 7 days, look at what was accomplished. You came home to a clean and renovated home. Looking around at this newly remodeled home has made you so happy to be back. The remodel on the house was causing you so much stress and this is now one less thing to worry about.

And look at your little baby. She’s sleeping again! You had to sleep train her, something you weren’t able to do while you were away. But her daddy was on board with the sleep training and together, with lots of prayer, you did it. And guess what? She’s just fine! She’s happier during the day because she’s sleeping well at night.

You’re happier too. You have more energy. You’re eating better. You’re finding time to see friends, do some crafts, and read magazines. Everyone is so much happier.

Keep in mind though, that babies change all the time. You might have solved one issue today, but there will be something different tomorrow. Don’t be discouraged. Nothing is permanent. You know that now. Yes, hard and challenging times may be ahead, but you know how to swim now. But you also know that sometimes you can just tread water and wait for a life raft to come. Just send out an S.O.S. and you’ll have a whole slew of friends and family who love you come to the rescue. Just ask.

You’re doing great, Mama. Everyone is healthy. Everyone is happy. This is the life you’ve always wanted. Everyone has good days and bad days. The bad days can make you stronger and more appreciative of the good. You’ve fought hard. You may have to fight again. But you can triumph. Because today, you have.

 

– – –

Such a great letter, Rach. Thank you so very much for sharing it with us.

Rach bloggs at http://lifewithbabydonut.blogspot.com 
Go say hello, and tell her I sent  you…

Comment magic:
Talk to Rach, talk to me, talk to you.
Tell Rach what parts of her letter touched you.
Tell me: what do you need to hear when you are down? 

Tell you: what do you love about you most? How can that help you feel better when you are in a slump?

As always, oodles of love to all who read.
Whether you comment or not, may the joy be with you.

20 Responses to Hope in an Envelope: Rach’s Rainy Day Letter
  1. Amanda Austin
    September 12, 2011 | 1:42 pm

    I just read this. I know exactly the feeling. This is so hard. There are days I get it and other days when I don’t. I’m going through a “don’t get it” right now. People say “oh, it must be so nice to have such a cute baby.” and I wish I could say “yes, yes it is.” But I always say something like, “oh, well you don’t have to get up in the middle of the night with him.” I am sad and guilty I feel this way. I need to write a letter like this when I’m feeling up. It’s inspiring to know she’s felt this way before and at some point feels good.
    Amanda Austin recently posted..Scooters, my old foe

  2. Yael
    August 29, 2011 | 10:18 am

    Yes, the internet is so wonderful! I wish we could have had each other when we were suffering, we could have been very good for each other, so good.
    I’m thrilled that we can collaborate now. xxxoooxxx

  3. Alexandra
    August 28, 2011 | 12:52 am

    This makes me so sad.

    Because I remember when my life was truly just second by second.

    Making it second by second.

    I feel so sad that so many still are suffering. And I think if there’s annyone suffering all alone like I was.

    So very sad.

    The internet is wonderful.

    I pray that so many find this site.
    Alexandra recently posted..Friday Funny

  4. Emily
    August 9, 2011 | 10:03 pm

    Reallly beautiful, Rach. I remember the struggle I had after my second daughter was born and I think a letter like this one could’ve been really, really helpful. I’m glad you’re talking and connecting and starting to feel better. Keep going!
    Emily recently posted..I’m N-E-R-V-O-U-S

  5. jacqui
    August 9, 2011 | 9:39 pm

    I’m so glad things are going so much better for you now, Rach.
    Writing this letter was a great idea and you did an awesome job!
    jacqui recently posted..Get A Real Job…

  6. Leighann
    August 9, 2011 | 8:54 pm

    Beautiful job Rach!

    And love that you introduced me to a new blog.
    Leighann recently posted..Words of Wisdom from the Hubs

  7. Kimberly
    August 9, 2011 | 1:25 pm

    Rach, what a great thing to do for yourself. I”m so glad that things are getting better for you. Keep your head up, you’re doing an amazing job!
    Kimberly recently posted..VlogTalk: Journey to BlogHer

  8. Sandra
    August 9, 2011 | 10:37 am

    As someone who had four children and did not suffer PPD, I find the details agonizing. This letter was beautiful and uplifting. Great job Rach!
    Sandra recently posted..Repetitive blog posts

  9. Life As Wife
    August 9, 2011 | 9:00 am

    So glad that Donut is sleeping! Sleep and happiness have a direct correlation, I just know it!

  10. mom2kiddos
    August 9, 2011 | 7:06 am

    Great letter that will serve as a great reminder when you need something to lift your spirits. Well done Rach.
    mom2kiddos recently posted..Blind Date

  11. Janie
    August 9, 2011 | 4:04 am

    This is great reminder Rach! Glad that sleep training is going well.
    Way to go mama!

  12. Grumpy Grateful Mom
    August 9, 2011 | 1:06 am

    I loved this idea. I’m so glad you are having better days now and know that you can come out of anything. And it sounds like you have a wonderful support group with your family and your blog. Now hopefully your little on will keep sleeping through the night. :)

  13. Robin @ Farewell, Stranger
    August 7, 2011 | 7:49 pm

    This is so great! And especially so considering I know how much it means to you to feel better. And yet my favourite part is near the end when you acknowledge that you’re going to have rough parts again. I didn’t do that – wanted so badly to be better and be DONE with it. Now I know that, so even though I’m better (again) I know it won’t always be easy. And even better, I know that I have the tools to deal with it.

    I just love this. Wow. Your strength and determination and your happy show through!
    Robin @ Farewell, Stranger recently posted..The Beginning of BlogHer ’11 in Photos

  14. Jenn @ Fox in the City
    August 5, 2011 | 12:17 pm

    Ah, what a great letter. I am so pleased that you are
    both getting sleep again. Life is always so much
    better with sleep.

    This letter is a great idea and thank you for sharing.

  15. Yael
    August 4, 2011 | 10:37 pm

    Hey Cookie’s mom, please do write yourself this letter, I can’t begin to tell you how self affirming it is to do, it’s something you’ll just have to experience for yourself. I hope you will be willing to share it with me here, but even if you do it just for you it will be healing. go for it. And it is so nice to “meet” you.

  16. Yael
    August 4, 2011 | 10:15 pm

    Hi Julie, So nice to “meet” you!
    I just hopped over to your blog and almost peed in my pants reading your nap commandments, and the one about pealing eggs for Jesus made me run to the bathroom. Andy yes, YAY! for getting a good night’s sleep. Much needed here too.

  17. Yael
    August 4, 2011 | 10:02 pm

    Oh, Rach, we could start one of those funny sketches where one says thank you, and the other goes, oh, no, thank you! and this could go on forever. We are so lucky to live in a time when we can offer each other such support. Lucky we!
    many hugs.

  18. Cookie's Mom
    August 4, 2011 | 9:14 pm

    What a fantastic idea! I need to write myself a rainy day letter too.
    Rach, good for you! You’ll have to keep us posted and let us know if
    it works. You’re doing very well, and you have a previous little
    Donut there!

  19. Julie @ mamamash
    August 4, 2011 | 8:23 pm

    I’m glad to read that sleeping training went well and you’re having a good week!

  20. Rach (DonutsMama)
    August 4, 2011 | 6:06 pm

    Thank you Yael. It means to much to have this published here as a reminder to me.
    Rach (DonutsMama) recently posted..So How’d You Meet? Dwija & Tommy

Hope in an Envelope: Rach’s Rainy Day Letter

My lovely #PPDchat friend Rach (@donutsmama on Twitter) was moved by this post on the The Opportunity in Setbacks and Rainy Days Letters. I challenged her to actually sid down and write herself one of those letters,  to have on hand when the next setback happened. Below is Rachana’s letter to herself in all its glory. I hope you will be inspired by it as much as I am. 

If you too are in recovery from PPD, I invite you to write your own rainy day letter. Then print it and put it in an envelope you can keep in your purse and/or your bedside table  (having two copies isn’t a bad idea). Read it when you need it. Setbacks, those bastards, are inevitable, yet their severity and frequency will drop over time, and rainy days letters help this happen faster.

While it may not make everything better instantly, reading a letter you wrote while you were fully “yourself” does help shut up the PPDemons, or at least make it easier to discredit their accusations. In any case, a rainy day letter is guaranteed to bring a ray of hope into the darkness of a setback, be it a bad day or a bad month.

You see, it’s how we handle a setback that determines how long it will last. If you see every bad day as proof that you are slipping, and if slipping means that you are going to fall deep down into the abyss of depression again, then bad days will wreak much more havoc than if you see setbacks for what they really are: painful yuck which is as normal and inevitable as catching a cold (and what do ya know, they often come together, darn it).

And let’s pretend for a moment that you are slipping: slipping doesn’t have to mean sinking, and even sinking doesn’t mean you are going to drown. In each of these painful situation, having a rainy day letter is like having someone lend you a hand just when you need it, and the beauty of it is that the help comes from you! You! You ! You! Because even when it doesn’t feel this way, you have all the answers inside. Such a big part of recovery from depression is about gaining self-trust. And finding your own power. And connecting with the wise woman who already lives inside you.  A letter to yourself holds all of these things and more.

You are welcome to share your rainy day letter with me, and if you wish, I would be honored to share it here on the blog, where your letter to yourself can help another mama see things to like in herself. 

OK, enough of my words already.  Lets pass the mike to Rach: 

 

– – –

On Rainy Days

Dear Mama,

It’s been a tough year. The past few months have tested and stretched you more than you realized. You didn’t know just how hard being a mother could be. You were lost, wondering how anyone knew how to be a mother. You could barely keep your head above water with middle of the night feedings, endless laundry and dirty diapers. You were caring full-time for 2 people—your baby and yourself.

But you got lost somewhere in the shuffle. It became so overwhelming that you didn’t take care of yourself. You were consumed with worry, guilt, stress, and worst of all, perfection. You wanted to be the best mom, wife and homemaker. But you started to feel like you were failing. And you didn’t know it.

You didn’t realize you were in a slump. You just knew you didn’t feel like yourself. You were angry, sad, and confused at the same time. The lack of sleep, the lack of control was consuming you. You thought this was what your life was destined to be.

Would happiness ever come to you?

I can answer that yes, yes it will come.
Because it did.
Look at these past 7 days.
Seven whole days!!

In these 7 days, look at what was accomplished. You came home to a clean and renovated home. Looking around at this newly remodeled home has made you so happy to be back. The remodel on the house was causing you so much stress and this is now one less thing to worry about.

And look at your little baby. She’s sleeping again! You had to sleep train her, something you weren’t able to do while you were away. But her daddy was on board with the sleep training and together, with lots of prayer, you did it. And guess what? She’s just fine! She’s happier during the day because she’s sleeping well at night.

You’re happier too. You have more energy. You’re eating better. You’re finding time to see friends, do some crafts, and read magazines. Everyone is so much happier.

Keep in mind though, that babies change all the time. You might have solved one issue today, but there will be something different tomorrow. Don’t be discouraged. Nothing is permanent. You know that now. Yes, hard and challenging times may be ahead, but you know how to swim now. But you also know that sometimes you can just tread water and wait for a life raft to come. Just send out an S.O.S. and you’ll have a whole slew of friends and family who love you come to the rescue. Just ask.

You’re doing great, Mama. Everyone is healthy. Everyone is happy. This is the life you’ve always wanted. Everyone has good days and bad days. The bad days can make you stronger and more appreciative of the good. You’ve fought hard. You may have to fight again. But you can triumph. Because today, you have.

 

– – –

Such a great letter, Rach. Thank you so very much for sharing it with us.

Rach bloggs at http://lifewithbabydonut.blogspot.com 
Go say hello, and tell her I sent  you…

Comment magic:
Talk to Rach, talk to me, talk to you.
Tell Rach what parts of her letter touched you.
Tell me: what do you need to hear when you are down? 

Tell you: what do you love about you most? How can that help you feel better when you are in a slump?

As always, oodles of love to all who read.
Whether you comment or not, may the joy be with you.

20 Responses to Hope in an Envelope: Rach’s Rainy Day Letter
  1. Amanda Austin
    September 12, 2011 | 1:42 pm

    I just read this. I know exactly the feeling. This is so hard. There are days I get it and other days when I don’t. I’m going through a “don’t get it” right now. People say “oh, it must be so nice to have such a cute baby.” and I wish I could say “yes, yes it is.” But I always say something like, “oh, well you don’t have to get up in the middle of the night with him.” I am sad and guilty I feel this way. I need to write a letter like this when I’m feeling up. It’s inspiring to know she’s felt this way before and at some point feels good.
    Amanda Austin recently posted..Scooters, my old foe

  2. Yael
    August 29, 2011 | 10:18 am

    Yes, the internet is so wonderful! I wish we could have had each other when we were suffering, we could have been very good for each other, so good.
    I’m thrilled that we can collaborate now. xxxoooxxx

  3. Alexandra
    August 28, 2011 | 12:52 am

    This makes me so sad.

    Because I remember when my life was truly just second by second.

    Making it second by second.

    I feel so sad that so many still are suffering. And I think if there’s annyone suffering all alone like I was.

    So very sad.

    The internet is wonderful.

    I pray that so many find this site.
    Alexandra recently posted..Friday Funny

  4. Emily
    August 9, 2011 | 10:03 pm

    Reallly beautiful, Rach. I remember the struggle I had after my second daughter was born and I think a letter like this one could’ve been really, really helpful. I’m glad you’re talking and connecting and starting to feel better. Keep going!
    Emily recently posted..I’m N-E-R-V-O-U-S

  5. jacqui
    August 9, 2011 | 9:39 pm

    I’m so glad things are going so much better for you now, Rach.
    Writing this letter was a great idea and you did an awesome job!
    jacqui recently posted..Get A Real Job…

  6. Leighann
    August 9, 2011 | 8:54 pm

    Beautiful job Rach!

    And love that you introduced me to a new blog.
    Leighann recently posted..Words of Wisdom from the Hubs

  7. Kimberly
    August 9, 2011 | 1:25 pm

    Rach, what a great thing to do for yourself. I”m so glad that things are getting better for you. Keep your head up, you’re doing an amazing job!
    Kimberly recently posted..VlogTalk: Journey to BlogHer

  8. Sandra
    August 9, 2011 | 10:37 am

    As someone who had four children and did not suffer PPD, I find the details agonizing. This letter was beautiful and uplifting. Great job Rach!
    Sandra recently posted..Repetitive blog posts

  9. Life As Wife
    August 9, 2011 | 9:00 am

    So glad that Donut is sleeping! Sleep and happiness have a direct correlation, I just know it!

  10. mom2kiddos
    August 9, 2011 | 7:06 am

    Great letter that will serve as a great reminder when you need something to lift your spirits. Well done Rach.
    mom2kiddos recently posted..Blind Date

  11. Janie
    August 9, 2011 | 4:04 am

    This is great reminder Rach! Glad that sleep training is going well.
    Way to go mama!

  12. Grumpy Grateful Mom
    August 9, 2011 | 1:06 am

    I loved this idea. I’m so glad you are having better days now and know that you can come out of anything. And it sounds like you have a wonderful support group with your family and your blog. Now hopefully your little on will keep sleeping through the night. :)

  13. Robin @ Farewell, Stranger
    August 7, 2011 | 7:49 pm

    This is so great! And especially so considering I know how much it means to you to feel better. And yet my favourite part is near the end when you acknowledge that you’re going to have rough parts again. I didn’t do that – wanted so badly to be better and be DONE with it. Now I know that, so even though I’m better (again) I know it won’t always be easy. And even better, I know that I have the tools to deal with it.

    I just love this. Wow. Your strength and determination and your happy show through!
    Robin @ Farewell, Stranger recently posted..The Beginning of BlogHer ’11 in Photos

  14. Jenn @ Fox in the City
    August 5, 2011 | 12:17 pm

    Ah, what a great letter. I am so pleased that you are
    both getting sleep again. Life is always so much
    better with sleep.

    This letter is a great idea and thank you for sharing.

  15. Yael
    August 4, 2011 | 10:37 pm

    Hey Cookie’s mom, please do write yourself this letter, I can’t begin to tell you how self affirming it is to do, it’s something you’ll just have to experience for yourself. I hope you will be willing to share it with me here, but even if you do it just for you it will be healing. go for it. And it is so nice to “meet” you.

  16. Yael
    August 4, 2011 | 10:15 pm

    Hi Julie, So nice to “meet” you!
    I just hopped over to your blog and almost peed in my pants reading your nap commandments, and the one about pealing eggs for Jesus made me run to the bathroom. Andy yes, YAY! for getting a good night’s sleep. Much needed here too.

  17. Yael
    August 4, 2011 | 10:02 pm

    Oh, Rach, we could start one of those funny sketches where one says thank you, and the other goes, oh, no, thank you! and this could go on forever. We are so lucky to live in a time when we can offer each other such support. Lucky we!
    many hugs.

  18. Cookie's Mom
    August 4, 2011 | 9:14 pm

    What a fantastic idea! I need to write myself a rainy day letter too.
    Rach, good for you! You’ll have to keep us posted and let us know if
    it works. You’re doing very well, and you have a previous little
    Donut there!

  19. Julie @ mamamash
    August 4, 2011 | 8:23 pm

    I’m glad to read that sleeping training went well and you’re having a good week!

  20. Rach (DonutsMama)
    August 4, 2011 | 6:06 pm

    Thank you Yael. It means to much to have this published here as a reminder to me.
    Rach (DonutsMama) recently posted..So How’d You Meet? Dwija & Tommy