In the first few weeks that we brought Avi home, I was convinced that I’ll never cook again. I was tethered to him night and day. Between feedings, pumping sessions, more feedings, a few stolen naps here and there, and severely fractured sleep, I thought that throwing a piece of meat in the slow-cooker and dumping tomatoes over it was going to be as advanced cooking as I was ever going to do. But you good people, you assured me that one day, in not so distant future, I would cook again. And I didn’t believe you. Honest to goodness I thought you were all full of shit. I even laughed to myself about it – the kind of mirthless laugh that’s full of regret. Cooking was, is, and will be the way I anchor myself to the world. It’s the way I know how to make myself feel like I belong somewhere. And not having that piece of myself made me feel unmoored.
I’ve been meaning to drop in here sooner and write about postpartum anxiety, and somehow I haven’t been able to find the right words. I still don’t think I have them, but screw proper phrasing and waiting for the right language to present itself. Here’s the gist. Around eight weeks after Avi was born, I decided that what I was feeling and going through wasn’t healthy. In addition to being severely sleep-deprived and shell-shocked from transitioning from a household of two adults and one large cat, to a households of two adults, one large cat, and a tiny screaming baby – who refused to sleep anywhere but on a human (which at nights meant me) – I was also severely anxious.