This week during my blogging e-course, we’re talking about finding, embracing and sharing our authentic voices. It’s critical in blogging, but just as important in our everyday lives. I wrote in today’s lesson that it’s about “saying what you want and need to say, even – or maybe especially – when your voice is shaking, your lower lip’s trembling and your knees are knocking.”

It made me think of this song – Say by John Mayer – that makes me cry every time I hear it. When it catches me by surprise on the radio, I don’t just get teary-eyed or feel a little lump in my throat. The song almost always elicits full-throttle, soul-deep crying for me. 

The song was released in the fall of 2007, when I was only a few weeks into my pregnancy with Tru. I was so fucking scared. When I walked into my therapist’s office and told her I was pregnant, Jeanne’s eyes nearly popped out of their sockets. After the trauma of my first delivery and the years of depression and PTSD (post-traumatic stress disorder) that followed, re-living the experience – or even something similar to it – was not part of the plan. But I had worked for several years with Jeanne and others, doing much soul-searching to re-discover the real me. So…once Jeanne regained her composure, she looked long and hard at me and said, “You can do this.” She convinced me I was up for the challenge, that I had an amazing chance to re-write history. My own history. 

Me + Tru ~ May 2008
I remember Jeanne telling me about Vietnam vets with PTSD who had worked up enough courage to return to that country decades after the war. Despite knowing the smallest thing – a sight, a sound – could trigger irrational fears and behaviors caused by their PTSD, these Vets went anyway, hoping they could overcome their personal demons by speaking up, honoring their emotions, leaning into their fears in order to heal. This impending birth, she said, was my return trip – a rare opportunity to face the darkness and be rescued by my own inner light. 

So, when this song came out, it became my mantra; I played it non-stop. Today, I still fall apart when the second verse starts and John Mayer sings: “walking like a one man army…fighting with the shadows in your head…living out the same old moment, knowing you’d be better off instead…if you could only say what you need to say.” 

I fall apart because those words catapult me back in time – it all still feels so recent and so raw sometimes. And I’m reminded by those lyrics that I made it through to the other side, carrying with me unwavering courage in my heart and the most beautiful baby boy in my arms.