May is Mental Health Awareness Month. So let’s talk about my mental health! 😬
I talked about it before, but I had some major anxiety and depression after Bruce was born. I went to therapy and it really helped me understand a lot of things about myself. I learned how to cope with my anxiety and manage my moods. But it opened up some things in my past and helped me realize that I had been living with anxiety for years and I wasn’t coping in a healthy way.
My anxiety started when I was a teenager. My parents split up and I didn’t know how to cope with that. I became emotionally shut off and I never let anyone see anything but happiness. I believed that if I cracked just a little and showed some type of vulnerability, people would be able to hurt me. I had friends but I always felt like they were around because of my older brother. When people showed the tiniest interest in me, I felt like they were just trying to get my walls down to use it against me. Looking back now, it’s so exhausting to be so damn guarded all the time. I was only 16! Of course I had all the normal insecure teenager bullshit but on top of that my anxiety about people and my family had me fucking wrecked.
I am not going into details about some things that occurred in my life that caused my anxiety to heighten just yet. Maybe in another post. Some of it is just too personal to dive into with strangers. Some of it is just bat fucking shit crazy! But I had been living with anxiety and had no idea. I would have anxiety attacks and I thought that it was normal. I used to grind my teeth in my sleep and have nightmares about my younger siblings all the time. After having Bruce, I was experiencing these crazy feelings and they felt familiar. When I finally shared everything with my therapist, she helped me see it all. I had been dealing with anxiety as a teenager and eventually I was able to numb myself to it but I never dealt with it in a healthy way. So when I became a mother it came flooding back to me. I finally had a name, a reason, a cause, for why I was having a hard time mothering my sweet boy.
So with the help of therapy, I’ve been able to manage my anxiety without medication (for now). Of course I have some rough days when I can’t leave my apartment and I lay in bed with some heavy doubt and worry. But I finally know what’s going on and fight it. It’s so important to take care of your mental health! Talk about it! Let’s break the stigma! You’re never alone. See a therapist. Take the medication if you need to. Write in a journal. TALK! I honestly can’t say it enough. I wish that I talked about how I felt when I was a kid. Instead I resorted to unhealthy coping mechanisms and that’s resulted in a lot of unresolved issues that I had to confront at 27! So one more time just in case you missed it. TALK ABOUT YOUR MENTAL HEALTH. You always have an open line here! 🖤✌🏾