Wednesday, October 10, 2018

Mental Health Awareness Day

Anxiety For as long as I can remember I have always worried about what people think of me. Of doing or saying the wrong thing. Before I got pregnant with my son these feelings were always a small voice inside my head. One easily pushed to the back. Acknowledged but manageable. With my third pregnancy things started to get, let’s just say intense. I was no longer able to ignore the voice in my head telling me I was wrong. Not just a self-doubt now. But a smoldering fire of anger that could blaze into an uncontrollable inferno at the least provocation. I was frustrated and resentful of my family. Unable to be stand being touched by the innocent belly rubbers I actually sprained a stranger’s fingers when they tried to touch me in the grocery store. I brought up my concerns to my doctor and midwife to be told it was common for women carrying boys to get extra hormonal and that it would pass with the birth. HA! With the arrival of my sweet babe I became a hostage of my emotions. Anything someone else did for my boy I would redo. Even my Husband dressed the baby wrong. Washed him wrong. Feed him wrong. Even now that Earp is 21 months I cannot leave him overnight with anyone. And by anyone I mean his Aunty or Gram. My closest family. The ones that were perfectly capable to raise myself and my Husband. I second guess every decision I make for my children and our lives. With our third child we needed to expand our home to accommodate our larger family. Hello nervous breakdown. Trying to decide which colors to paint their rooms, or light fixtures, or flooring would literally reduce me to a crying puddle on the floor. And then I would get angry that I was so “crazy” and out of control. When I again brought these feelings up to my doctor they literally locked me in their office until a psychiatrist could come and evaluate me. I was told I was sleep deprived and to go home and give my child to a sitter and sleep. Oh and take this handful of pills everyday and try not to think about my problems. Since I was nursing I refused to take the meds. But I did listen to their advice that I needed to talk to someone. Unable to afford a therapist I did the next best thing. I joined Facebook groups and read other bloggers with some of the same issues. And do you know what I found out. I am NOT CRAZY! That I am not abnormal. Or selfish. That I am not ALONE. There is a whole internet world out there full of stories like mine. These brave women are telling their stories to help others. And they have helped me. I find the most help from Brittany Gibbons at and from fit_teacher_rachel on Instagram. Their honest and usually hilarious posts keep me sane even when I feel crazy. Things I have learned are self-care is not selfish. That a little time to myself makes me a better mother and wife. That working out is not optional. Even if that working out is just stretching and meditation. That I cannot be everything for everyone and that is ok. It is also ok to say no to invitations or extra-curricular activities or anything else that I feel I cannot handle at this time. Because my happiness is just as important as everyone else’s. And believe me my family would rather have a calm happy mommy then go to that fifth 4H group. All of this is ok. And if you are like me and you feel that you need someone’s permission to go for a walk instead of doing that 8th load of laundry then I give you that.
Some of my favorite hikes lately. My first trip walking the Golden Gate. And a shot from a hike of Bear Harbor on the Lost Coast

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