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.