I thought this was a perfect time to reflect on the last several weeks...
The month of May is Mental Health Awareness Month, if you didn’t already know. But anyone that struggles with their mental health reflects everyday vs one month out of the year. Mental health isn’t a joke guys. It’s not “in your head” or "being dramatic" or something that people make up for attention. It’s so many things and different for so many people. I think people are afraid that others will think it is "for attention" or "dramatic" which is why so many people let it harbor. For me, it’s anxiety and depression and most recently how I struggled with Postpartum after I gave birth to Eleanor. If you know me personally I’ve got a big personality and its no secret. Being outgoing, vibrant, (mostly) confident comes easy to me. I like to make people laugh and feel good about themselves. I try to spread sunshine. I’ve always done a good job at putting a face on so when I first shared my raw and real story in my first blog post, I think people were surprised and kind of relieved to know that my life isn’t always the social media highlight reel or sunshine in rainbows. I"m not sorry that I love a good filter and funny caption to go along with my posts... I think we all do. But we all go through stuff, right?
Everyone has mental health. Just like your physical health... it’s part of us. When we’re sick, or injured- we seek medical attention. We don’t think twice when they give us pain medication or a z-pack. So why should it be any different if you see a therapist when everything isn’t aligning “upstairs.” What’s wrong with Zoloft or Prozac or Lexapro? Nothing. The answer is absolutely nothing. It's a STIGMA! We aren't supposed to talk about it because we aren't supposed to make people feel uncomfortable about the way we're feeling... BS!
I was on Zoloft my entire pregnancy so I didn’t have to struggle through it and I'm so glad I was. I knew it would be selfish for me not to be on something to help me cope with the 40 weeks in front of me (well 38) and and then after. I’m glad I did. That’s part of MY story and may be different for you but that’s okay. The point is- there’s nothing wrong with that. It takes a lot of strength to admit that things are hard in pregnancy and motherhood when the spotlight is on to look perfect, all together and back down to your size 27 gap jeans (hi!). But it also takes a lot of strength to admit that you’re struggling in general. Weather it be interpersonal relationships (hi again!), how much this pandemic is affecting you and your family... how work gets on top of you that you can’t give your family the 100% you wish you could. How mess makes you cringe (hi!) or that the idea of being out in this pandemic has you scared for your life or your little's. Whatever it is that keeps you up at night when you can't shut your brain off. Whatever it is that keeps you from being productive or worrying about in a time of heightened anxiety.. talk about it!
Admit it! Talk about it! Break the Stigma!
You don’t have to be perfect. I mentioned in my first post how I struggle with perfection. Nothing's changed. In this crazy, chaotic time when we feel so alone, it’s easy to be so hard on ourselves for not being "enough". Talk about how the fear of failure is killing you right now. How you're afraid to feel good about successes in a time when things are out of control. Talk about how the idea of germs makes you cringe and you're afraid to step out your front door. Talk about how you're feeling so isolated and so alone, what's making you feel so out of control. This is mental health. Your story is YOUR mental health...and if its weighing you down, you deserve to get it off your chest. Be the example. Whoever is reading this and needed the boost and reassurance ...this ones for you!
PLEASE! If you know someone whose pregnant or just had a little one, check in on them. Send them a text or try and Facetime. Send them snail mail and let them know they’re amazing and we will get through this time.
Note: If you or anyone you know is suffering mentally during or after pregnancy, there is help. The Alexis Joy D'Achille Foundation for Postpartum depression offers help to women and their families so they don't have to suffer alone. Please reach out for help.
PS. My best friend of almost 19 years (right, Ang?) tagged me in this quote from one of the most impactful pages that I follow on Instagram (MotherhoodUnderstood). When you read small factual blurbs like this when you're scrolling it makes you think for a second. Check in on people- let them know you're there for them to talk. Thanks best xo