Homeopathic remedies are like potatoes, so I was taught. They come in many forms, but you always know it’s a potato. Mashed, fried, or baked – all potatoes. Remedies are also like your best friend. You’d know your best friend walking down the street no matter what she was wearing, right? Pajamas, ball gown or wetsuit – all your best friend.
So my best friend came walking down the street the other day, and she was wearing her resting bitch face. I knew it was her all right. It was a humorous-take-on-reality blog in my inbox with the title, “I love my spouse, but sometimes I just don’t want to be touched.” It was clear to me that this blog-shaped potato was a severe case of Sepia. Sepia is a great remedy for post-partum depression, hormonal changes and disturbances, menstrual dysfunction and pain, morning sickness, sensitivity to the ups and downs of life, and so many other things. As soon as I saw her, I knew I needed to help her out, so I started this note.
Dear Sepias of the world,
You don’t have to live like this! There is help for you! It’s not optimal for you to hate your husband and children. Life can be better! Just unlock the door and listen for a moment…
How did it begin? How did it get this bad? Where did it all go wrong?
The vicissitudes of life.
Sepia is sensitive, and profoundly affected by situations and conditions that others would find to be pretty easily manageable, and they are particularly affected by hormonal changes. The thing is, hormones are changing a lot in life! I often see that otherwise stable women are falling apart at puberty, menstruation, menopause, and most profoundly, when having children. Pregnancy and post-partum are times of great hormonal fluctuation, combined with the special and added demand of the resulting infant who commands your love, attention, care and body for most of each day. Though the experience of parenting is universal, not all women react to it in the same way. Some women relish every minute, or sleepily muddle through, but not our Sepia. She is off the hook.
Sepia is unbalanced and undone by this highly demanding situation. She is worn out mentally and physically from being needed. She just can’t take another minute of some demand on her body or her attention. She is done. As the author says in the article, “Because here’s the thing no one understands until you’ve mothered tiny feral humans all day long: there is no personal space. None. There is never a moment that is truly yours.*” That’s right mama, I hear you.
What’s more, Sepia has an overwhelming sense of helplessness. She weeps, but doesn’t want to be consoled. She feels no one really understands how much she is suffering and what she has to contend with. “Until you’ve endured hundreds of consecutive days during which a small person pees on you while another small person sucks on you or milk leaks through your shirt or the doorbell wakes up the baby or the toddler writes on your laptop screen with a Sharpie or walks through dog vomit and tracks it across the rug, you won’t understand.*” That’s right mama, no one understands how bad it is.
She is angry at her husband for just existing. She is spiteful, sharp-tongued and mean, and is so easily offended. She has a total loss of interest in sex, and frankly, an aversion to sex. Just thinking about sex can make her nauseated. If her husband makes any kind of indication of interest in sex, she will lash out. “Are you kidding me?”, she thinks screams. She feels an aversion to her husband and family. What makes her better, and what she fantasizes about all day is the moment she can be alone. “Therefore at night, when I attempt to build an invisible, yet hopefully impenetrable wall around me, it’s because I need a break from being needed….Why don’t we need their love and affection? The thing is, we do. We just also need everyone to leave us the fuck alone.*” That’s right mama, we know you need your space to feel sane.
Deep dark down in that Sepia hole, where daylight doesn’t shine, hope goes to die. Being alone will make her feel better, but of course it’s not sustainable. Babies have demands and they must be met, regardless of what our needs or desires are. That is the definition of parenting. Maybe a long hard run or a bath will make her feel better. But those are temporary, too. No matter where she goes, she comes back to the demands on her time, her emotions and her body. That’s right mama, I’m here to help you. There’s hope. It’s called homeopathy.
Sepia, the remedy, offers the ability to come into balance, to find a more fundamental state equilibrium. A balanced Sepia can withstand the demands of parenting with more adaptive energy, flexibility, softness and sense of humor. The hopelessness is replaced by faith and optimism, and the ability to enjoy her family through the ups and downs.
And even just possibly, a little sex.