I know I’ve been rather absent from this little space this year, and while I’ve touched on the subject, I hadn’t really gone into detail on why.
When I started blogging, I knew I wanted to be transparent. I wanted to show the struggles, the triumphs, and everything in between that comes with being a mother. The stuff that I probably shouldn’t share.
I’ve been trying to write this post for months. My creative drive took a hard hit this year and anytime I sat down to write, I couldn’t get anything on the page. If I did manage to find some words, it felt inauthentic, and I’d just give up. I struggled trying to connect with my readers because I was struggling to connect with myself. If you’ve been following along a while you know that last year I had a difficult pregnancy, a difficult cesarean recovery, and then moved from the only place I’d ever known with my then 2 year old and 8 week old. I battled colic and food allergies with my 8 week old stuck in a town where I knew nothing and no one, which started brewing the perfect postpartum storm.
I battled postpartum with Mykenzi, but it seemed rather short lived and I was able to get back on my feet on my own. This time, things were very different.
My mental health has suffered all year. A kid with colic can tear down a Mama, and unless you’ve gone through it, you honestly have no idea how dark those days can be. A lot of our colic issue was directly related to what Rowan was eating and it took us months to figure out. Once he was 7 months old we finally figured out a diet that worked for him, the dark clouds started to part, and the sun began to shine … well, for Rowan anyway.
For me, the damage was done. The stress of a newborn, the stress of two under two, the stress of a move, the stress of having no help close by, the stress of colic, the stress of food allergies, all combined with postpartum had taken my mental stability and turned me into a shell of a person. I could barely carry on a normal conversation with people, and when I did manage to carry on a conversation, I spent hours after it ended dissecting and regretting everything I had said. I struggled with morbid thoughts, never about suicide (thankfully), but things like being scared to get into a car because what if? I didn’t want to blog, I didn’t want to go out to dinner, I didn’t want to do anything. I tried so hard to get through it myself. I prayed SO hard, and tried my hardest to give it all to God, but this beast was so much bigger than me.
After a year of unsuccessfully getting myself out of the black hole of anxiety, I asked for help. I was very adamant that I did not want I be on medication, but I told my Doctor I knew I was at a point where I didn’t have much choice. I’m sort of a crunchy mom, I was sure there was a natural approach I could take to help. I had tried every natural approach I could get my hands on, which helped, but didn’t kick it, so there I was, begging for mercy. I was terrified. I didn’t want to “feel” like I was on medication, and I certainly didn’t want to be a zombie. I wanted to feel things, but not feel like everything was a catastrophic idea. I was ashamed that it had come to this, I left that office defeated and with a prescription in hand. I felt like a crunchy failure that let Big Pharma creep their way into my body.
I spent an entire year trying to avoid medication because society tells you it’s weak, and the crunchy world tells you to steer clear at all costs. What I didn’t prepare myself for was how I’d actually feel on that medication, and honestly, I felt amazing. My head was clear, I felt refreshed, I felt motivated, I felt like MYSELF, and for the first time in forever when a plane flew over my house I didn’t fear that it was falling out of the sky and into my home. It sounds ridiculous, and well, that’s because it is, but try telling that to high functioning anxiety.
Something I avoided for so long because of a stigma actually helped me piece myself back together. It showed me that the last thing I should be feeling is ashamed because I’m a better person with its help. I’m a better wife, I’m a better mom, I’m a better me. I told my Husband at that appointment that I wouldn’t tell a soul I had given into medication. I was scared of being judged, or scared of being seen as weak, or being labeled as crazy. I wasn’t going to share that here, no way. But, when I saw the positive changes and could think clearer, I knew someone else out there was struggling and needed to know it was okay to ask for help.
I honestly had no idea I was living under a dark cloud for so long. The way I feel is the best I have felt in years. So please, if you are struggling, don’t be afraid to ask for help. The very thing you are scared of could be the very thing that helps you get your life back. I will always advocate for finding a natural approach to things, but sometimes things are just so far out of your hands that modern medicine can be useful. Also, if you are silently struggling and just want to talk to someone, I am always willing to listen.
So, that’s where I’ve been. Trapped inside my own head. Thanks for bearing with me as I got myself together. While this year has been a huge struggle, it has also been quite the learning year. I have grown in so many ways that I would struggle all over again. With an eventful 2017, I’m looking forward to a bright 2018. I’m ready to reclaim this little space and make regular rambling pit stops again.