Tuesday, December 8, 2015

Why I'm keeping the faith, when I want to throw in the towel...

Thanksgiving kicks off my favorite time of the year! Meeting with friends and family to celebrate all the joys and blessings in our life, followed by an entire month of sharing happiness, kindness, and compassion...what's not too love?!?

Well, this year my favorite time of year has been taken away from me. And instead of whisking away the last of my postpartum depression it has worsened it. Why you may ask? Why instead of feeling joy and happiness do I look at the lights, at the tree decorated by my children with joy and feel sadness and a little despair? Well it struck me today why...
Because this year my favorite time of year is also accompanied by many violent attacks towards humankind- and although terrible I am not talking about Paris, or San Bernardino...I'm talking about the rest of it. The constant news reel bashing a religion for "raising terrorists" the news feeds on Facebook where someone will post about keeping Christ in Christmas and then say Keep those Damn refugees out of my country! My favorite time of year is my favorite because of all the love and joy spread to family, friends, neighbors, strangers....but this year love is being shadowed by fear and hate.

Well, my friends I'm standing up! I may not be tall, but I am loud and I am proud and I am taking my year back! Hate will not have a place in my house- it is NOT welcome here. That means in flesh, in technology, in thought...none shall enter. I intend to "Be the Change I wish to see in the World". I intend to raise my children with the belief that the human race is just that- ONE RACE regardless of faith, color, language, or God Damn Country they were born in. I intend to show my children that love can and WILL conquer all hate, ignorance, and bigotry. I intend to spark my light anew, let it shine, and share the love of my favorite time of year ALL YEAR LONG.

Depression will no longer have a hold on me, fear will not engulf me, because I will know in my heart and soul that I love, that my children love, and hopefully that love can spread to the entire world and unite us all as one...

So this holiday season I'm bringing back my faith- my faith in humanity, when I want to throw in the towel, because my children deserve a better world filled with love and acceptance and I intend to model that for them.

I'm not giving up because I'm sick of fear-driven, bigoted rhetoric ruining my happiness.

Saturday, August 15, 2015

My growl is slowing evolving into a purr....-

If you are reading this you probably already read my post titled "When in doubt, growl it out", where I disclosed my battle with postpartum depression and anxiety. When writing that post I was nervous, I had a million and one thoughts racing through my mind. "what would people think?" "How will people react?" "I'm so ashamed" "Will people think I'm a bad mother?" The list goes on and on...and all my minds "musings" on the matter were completely and utterly the opposite of what really happened. No one "un-friended me". No one told me to stop being stupid. No one in my life reacted negatively to my disclosure. 

When I wrote that post I shed a mask- and I have never felt so free.

 By giving myself the freedom to be who I am at each moment of each and every day was the best gift I could have given myself. My depression and anxiety are still there, but they don't rule me...I don't have to hide it, resist it, or fight it. I can move past it, accept it, and most importantly call on my friends and family for support when I need it, and they are always willing to answer the call. Whether it's a shoulder to cry on, a kick in the butt, or a sounding board needed - they answer the call. 

A few days after my post was published I walked to my car after work. Typically I walk head down quickly - intent on my destination. However, since publishing my post I have actively been attempting to savor each moment,a task that is not always easy with three children from 3months-4 years old-but I digress. As I was walking I caught a vibrant splash of color out of the corner of my eye. I stopped walking and focused on the most gigantic, vibrant, complete double rainbow of my life! It was amazing...The sky still troubled and stormy, darker clouds looming in the distance, a spattering of rain, yet through it all this vivid color bomb of happiness and light. (The picture doesn't do it justice)

I could not help but think that rainbow was for me, the Universe's way of sending me a hug. I felt so much lighter after sharing my story. My depression and anxiety are still present, like the storm clouds surrounding the rainbow. However my world isn't black and white anymore either. I'm finding my colors again, and when I do, because I will, by golly I'm gonna let them shine! Be a rainbow in the eye of the storm. 

I won't have sunny days and bright skies all my life, but my rain clouds aren't going to be constant either! Storms will come and go, and we all must go with the flow, but my storms don't rule me anymore. In fact I'm learning to dance in the rain. 

Thursday, August 6, 2015

Grrrrr...when in doubt, growl it out!

Most nights I climb into bed, snuggle down,  and fall fast asleep (at least for a few hours-until James  rings the dinner bell). However, some nights I climb into bed, snuggle down, and BOOM thoughts of inadequacy, fear, and hopelessness slam into my mind and I am thrown into an anxiety storm of supreme proportions. (Okay maybe a little poetic flair, but the essence rings true)

Most days I rise from my bed to play, laugh, and grow with my children. I love life and all it's blessed mystery, and all is well in the world (excepting the inevitable temper tantrums that come with the toddler territory). However some days I drag myself out of bed, and heavily proceed with life whose blessings escape me through the fog that clouds my heart and mind. 

Let me clarify I have postpartum anxiety and depression. I have fears and feelings of hopelessness and inadequacy...that sometimes rule my world. And I am tired of it...I'm taking back my life. Eleanor Roosevelt said "No one can make you feel inferior without your consent" and I am sick of my depression making me feel small and insignificant. But the first step to my recovery (in my opinion) is sharing this experience...I'm shedding my mask that I have so carefully kept in place probably, honestly, since November/December of 2014...

I thought if I kept the mask in place, that if I could fool everyone around me, then I could fool myself. Ultimately that distance created, that veil of separation, made me feel more isolated. Instead of helping it it's time to take off the mask.

So, here is the truth...
I have postpartum depression and anxiety. I am a mother, wife, nurse, and woman...I am not perfect, nor do I want to be. I can feel joy and pain, can laugh, cry and smile through the depression and anxiety. I am shedding the mask and letting my light shine through, no matter how dim it seems some days...I can and I will become one with my whole beautiful self once again.

Sunday, March 8, 2015

Third time is the charm?

"Motherhood has taught me the meaning of living in the moment and being at peace. Children don't think about yesterday, and they don't think about tomorrow. They just exist in the moment."
-Jessalyn Gilsig 

Motherhood has taught me many, many, many lessons...but one recurring lesson (maybe you can't teach an old dog new tricks...) is the need to stop. Stop and smell the roses so to speak. Maybe this third time around will be the trick! 

Too often I find myself rushing to the next task, the next duty, the next item on my forever growing to do list- and too often I find myself getting frustrated with the kids when that is not their plan at that time. However, recently I was "blessed" with two sick children, and when I wasn't nursing the sick at work I was nursing my babies. It was a time that I was forced to push aside my list of tasks and focus on the now - Now is what was important. My babies needed much love and attention and the tasks could wait- they would always be there (and what is a dirty toilet for 1-2 more days really...). It was a much needed eye opener on what my priorities are. While a clean toilet is important, my children wouldn't remember it being dirty a little longer. What they would remember are the snuggles, kisses, and warm arms around them - and those moments I'll hold in my heart forever. 

I may be stressed and bogged down with details more often than I care to admit...but I'm working on it. Working on living in the moment and giving my children the attention they need now so that when I have time to stop I don't regret not stopping in the past....

 The Perfect Mother

You're not a perfect mother 
You yell and stomp and cry.
You get very frustrated 
When I (again) ask why?

You're not a perfect mother
Our house can be a mess
and sometimes I miss my bath time
but Mommy, I've got something to confess

I've seen the way your face lights up
when in joy you hear me giggle. 
I've felt the love in your embrace
as we snuggle, dance, and wiggle. 

So, you're not a perfect mother
those who say they are- are lying. 
I love you just the way you are
You're the best, let's both just keep on trying.