Mental Health Awareness

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! 🖤✌🏾

Motherhood-Five out of Five Stars

I’ve  been trying to write this recap of my first year of motherhood and it’s been so hard. I cry all the time. This has been the biggest year of my life. Obviously becoming a mom to the most amazing little boy, has been the highlight! We left the small town where we met & got married, for new opportunities in LA. And I quit the full time job I had for 8 years to be a stay at home mom. I’ve learned so much about myself as a mother and women and I’m ready for whatever comes next. 

I’m sure you’ve heard this or read it somewhere and it’s really annoying but the time goes by so fast. I hate saying cliche things! But it really does speed by! I definitely miss the days when Bruce would take like six long naps. It was so nice. Now he’s a wild animal and I’m lucky if he gets a second nap. But it’s so fun! So far watching him learn and try new things has been my favorite thing this year. He loves to be outside. We take walks everyday and he loves to say hi to dogs and watch big kids play. He’s so inquisitive and wants to explore everything. He’s my little adventure baby and I love that.

I know it goes without saying but motherhood isn’t all good times, rainbows, and sunshine. I haven’t written about it a lot but I have shared with some friends about being diagnosed with postpartum depression and anxiety. It was definitely a darker side of motherhood that I wasn’t prepared for. I didn’t know until I started seeing a therapist, but I have been living with anxiety my whole life. I remember having such a hard time sleeping because I had stress induced dreams about work. I used to grind my teeth in my sleep. I would get so nervous about going somewhere that I wouldn’t go. I would totally flake out, even if I actually wanted to go. When I was pregnant my anxiety was overwhelming. Moving to a new city was already stressful, but being pregnant and living in a new place had me hiding in my apartment for days. After Bruce was born, my anxiety spiked. Again, never wanting to leave the house, but I wouldn’t sleep for days. I would lay in bed sobbing for hours. I questioned if I was good enough to be a mom. I felt like I was being a terrible wife. My attention was hyper focused on Bruce and when it wasn’t, I was hiding in the shower crying. It took me a long time to figure out that what I was experiencing wasn’t just baby blues. I started to see a therapist and it has been the best thing for my mental health. It has made me more aware of my anxiety and has showed me the best ways to cope with it. 

One of the biggest challenges this year was balancing my new mom job, and my current one as a wife. It doesn’t matter how solid your relationship is, when you become parents, you will be tested. There were so many times I would want to choke my husband. Granted, my short temper and irritability stemmed from the lack of sleep and my anxiety. And once I was able to manage my PPD & anxiety that made me irrationally angry like 78% of the time, (the other 22% was him actually being annoying) I saw how much he was trying to be helpful and navigate his part of our parenthood journey. On top of the emotional stress we were both dealing with, we decided it was best for our family if I quit my full time job to stay home with Bruce. That meant Tyler taking on all of the financial responsibility. We created a budget and stopped spending money on unnecessary things. I was so used to spending my money how and when I wanted. I couldn’t just buy makeup or shoes because I wanted them anymore. Changing our family income was rough and we’re still trying to navigate our budget correctly. But quitting my job to stay home has been so rewarding. I’m so fortunate for this. 

This year has been so wild. But I wouldn’t change it for anything. Even though I had PPD & I’m still learning to manage my anxiety, it has taught me so much about myself. I’m a stronger mother and women for that. I’m so excited for this next year and all the adventures with Bruce and Tyler! Here’s to my first year of being a mom! CHEERS! 🥂