A part of me I never wanted you to know
there is a part of me I am so afraid to share with you. Its deep and vulnerable and I don’t think I am ready to share it, but I have recently been inspired by an amazing blogger friend, Jaclyn of Jaclyn From Jupiter that openly shares her journey with Mental Illness and embraces it beautifully, has made me feel as though its okay to share my story, along with the grace of God.
Deep breaths…..I think that’s all I do these days. Trying to catch a deep breath that fills me up and makes me feel as though I am okay and can move forward.
Here it is the part of me I never wanted you or anyone to know about until the day I got in my car, 4 years ago, minuets after my husband arrived home from work and I started driving. I drove the unbearably slow speed limit through my military base housing until I finally approached a moment of acceleration when the speed limit allowed me to push as much as I needed to. It was the the perfect speed to think the unthinkable, “What if I didn’t stop? What if I just kept going and hit the curb and flew into the bayou?”
This is the part of me I never wanted to acknowledge. In that moment I thought what it would be like if I didn’t hit the break and also in that moment I was terrified and cried out for myself.
I have too many people at home, too many loved ones I could never bare to hurt that way, too many life experiences yet to experience. I knew I wouldn’t do it. I just told myself I was thinking about it and for me that was enough!
I immediately stopped my car and called my mom. She was the first person I knew who might possibly understand or even in the slightest get what I trying to say.
Her words were the perfect coat of comfort my broken heart needed and more importantly my mind. My mom listened. She listened to every word I had to say, never interrupting, never was there a moment I felt judged or imperfect to her. Her words gave me strength and reassurance that it was okay, I could get through this, and I am not what I think I am.
Never Good Enough
This is what I thought I was, by the way…. useless, not worthy, my family deserved better, a horrible mother, I could never do anything right, I didn’t try hard enough, I was lazy, I was ugly, I hated myself, I was a terrible friend, I didn’t work hard enough, and the list goes on. I tore myself to shreds. I was the meanest person to myself and I had no idea why.
I was lost. Something had taken control of me and I could not control a single thing in my life.
So I focused on the things I could control, like the dishes, vacuuming every hour, cleaning as much as I could as fast as I could and losing my shit when anything was out of place. I had a system and it was good for me to control but the second it was disrupted I was out of control and not myself. I would break. I was broken and I didn’t know what to do or how to fix it and no one could help me. NO ONE UNDERSTOOD ME!!!! Mainly because I never told anyone I needed help.
I became so overwhelmed. I was trying to over compensate for this thing that was slowly wearing me down to nothing. I dove head first into work and stayed up until the early morning hours. I would wake up as soon as I could to get a head start and prepare the day for my kids. I had their outfits picked out and the entire day was planned out so that they never thought I was the horrible mother I thought I was.
That was a high
Then there were the lows. I would do the total opposite of my fast paced, do it all, super-mom, up all night and up early in the morning robotic like way of coping. Nothing got done, I would dread getting out of bed, my hair full of dry shampoo and a dreadlock from a permanent top knot, no desire to work, no inspiration and absolutely no motivation.
I cried. For no reason at all. I cried because I had a reason but din’t know how to explain it without sounding like an over privileged stay-at-home mom.
I couldn’t be ashamed or embarrassed to talk about this
So that day I called my mom was the last day. I dragged myself to the doctors office and had to talk myself into walking up to sign in. Even at the counter I was telling myself I was a loser and a weak mother for having to go to the doctor because I was overwhelmed. You know, I would tell myself I was selfish because I would sometimes think, “UHHHH why won’t you just sleep for me, or I am a bad mom that doesn’t deserve children because I got on to my toddler instead of gentle parenting her.” I started to feel unworthy of God’s gifts to me. I started to feel like I wasn’t worthy of God’s love.
I signed in. My name was called, I walked back, and broke down. I broke into a million pieces all over the floor just thankful to talk. Thankful to let someone hear me. Thankful to know I am not crazy, psychotic, or unworthy.
I was dealing with something beyond my control and dealing with it the best I possibly could until I just couldn’t anymore and you know what!?!? There is not a damn thing wrong with that!!!!
I felt an overwhelming sense of peace when I left. Things were about to turn around and they did. Not everyone in my life understood or wanted to understand but Mental Illness is nothing to be ashamed of and nothing to play around with.
I had PPD, (Postpartum Depression), and Anxiety. The anxiety made sense to me but progressively got more intense.
It comes out of nowhere. It creeps up on me and suffocates me with thoughts, worry, and an inability to breathe. It greets me with a boiling sweat and uninvited adrenaline that gets my heart racing out of control, yet I am perfectly silent and still. Shaky, drained, hurting, and teary eyed is what I am left with.
I have always worried and made things more stressful than they need to be because I get consumed in my anxiety and think of the very worst possible outcome and a way to get out of it. Its basically like taking a drive in the car and thinking, “We might get into an accident…well what will I do if that happens! How will I get out that situation???…What if this or that happens???? WHAT IF? WHAT IF? WHAT IF? How do I prevent it!? How do I make it better!? WHAT SHOULD I DO??”
The PPD was hard to figure out because it was not like what you typically read about when you look up PPD.
I never thought of putting my babies in danger or anything harmful. I was extremely overwhelmed by them in a sense that I had to do everything PERFECT for them. I didn’t want anyone stepping in and taking over when I was overwhelmed, because this was my job, I got frustrated easily and took it out on my husband or myself. It wasn’t what I thought PPD was thats why I didn’t want to speak up. I didn’t know it comes in different forms.
I would cry. I cried constantly for no reason. I would spend my days in bed all day never showering. I had extreme highs and deep lows. I would be happy one minute and fuming pissed the next. I was a ticking time bomb.
All of this was explained to me at my doctors appointment, that there are different forms of PPD but the one that is stressed the most is if its causing harm to your babies or yourself. I never experienced that. Not until my 2nd child was 8 months old and I went for a drive and thought of refusing to hit the break.
I am thankful I only had a thought and never followed through. I am not alone. I want to let you know if you are dealing with a similar situation, I know. I KNOW!
I got help and I am not ashamed
I got help. I am not ashamed to say, “I took care of myself by seeking a mental health professional”. I am not ashamed to say, “I take anxiety medication”. I am proud to say I love myself and proud of how far I have come.
I am not going to sit here an copy and paste stats because that just made me feel like an overrated typical statistic that no one understood when I started Googling my thoughts. I just want to say there are many days us mothers feel so overwhelmed, we cry, we want to run away, we even scream into a pillow but you need to know you should never feel alone or ashamed or embarrassed to reach out no matter how petty you think your motherhood/life complaint or struggle is. Talk! Speak up!
It doesn’t matter if you are a first time mom or a mom of 8. Take a deep breath and let it out to someone close or a help center… anyone! The first step is talking about it, sharing how you feel and not feeling like you are broken or will have your family taken from you. You are a wonderful mother, never forget that, but the moment you start to doubt or think otherwise REACH OUT!
I am always here to talk
I want you to join me next week when we talk about not letting others use your mental health against you or feeling like you will lose your family if you speak up about your thoughts and struggles!
*** If you are having any thoughts of harming yourself or anyone else please seek help immediately HELP
*** HELP LINE
*** PPD HELP
*** ALL THOUGHTS AND WRITING ARE MY OWN. I AM NOT RESPONSIBLE FOR YOUR ACTIONS/FEELINGS ***