I don't know if it's still called post partum anxiety & depression when it unravels three years later. I do know that it didn't feel like the commercials you see on tv with the checklists. It just felt like my life. I didn't realize I had a problem until I suffered a few debilitating panic attacks last fall and sought treatment. Part of which included a panel of testing to make sure I was physically healthy. Apparently I'm not dying. Apparently it's not "normal" to always think that you are. Sometimes a mole is just a mole. So many of us suffer from anxiety and it doesn't always look like you think it does. Through recovering I'm realizing how far gone I was and just how much better my life can be. I actually have a few instagram friends to thank for that. For extending their hands out to mine when I reached out. I'm forever grateful. And for a few of my friends here locally who have been helping me steady my step and making sure know I'm not alone by just showing up. Simply showing up for someone is enough. And my husband, my rock. But that's a conversation for him alone.
Sometimes feeling stuck doesn't look like not getting out of bed. Especially when you have small children who need to be fed and cared for and loved every day not just some days. Feeling like you could harm your children doesn't always look like a monstrous evil act lurking in your thoughts but a simple lack of confidence in your ability to keep them safe and alive and happy. I know food allergies have played a huge role in my line of thinking but I think much of it has been lurking around forever. Mostly rooted in self doubt. Apparently stress and an easy going attitude aren't mutually exclusive.
So there you have it, OCD, perfectionism, depression, anxiety, panic attacks. Why the heck am I publicly sharing this? I'm not worried about the stigma. There are plenty of reasons you might not like me but I can assure you this brand of crazy isn't it. That's part of who I am and I will proudly share it with the world. Because I'm also really creative. And smart. And thoughtful. And a freaking awesome wife and mother. I love the crap out of my husband and my kids. And I'm all kinds of full of empathy and love to help others. And I'm turning into a pretty good vegan baker. And I make a ridiculously good chicken broccoli casserole. And I like to read. And listen to podcasts. Oh, podcasts are my new favorite. I have a few favorites I'd love to tell you about. It's really nice to just sit and listen to someone else without the ability to interrupt or add in your own experience. I think that's good practice for the real world. And I could win a Real Housewives of everywhere trivia tournament. Like, rock it. And I learned that I could give up wine without even thinking about it but not coffee. Lord, please don't take away my coffee again. And I like taking really long walks but still hate to run. I'm starting to learn that saying, "No, that doesn't work for me" is so much better than saying Yes and then regretting it. And I used to be really fun and funny and I'm slowly getting that back too. And I'm good at photography. And I love to write. No, more like I need to write. And I love cute outfits and pretty rooms. And putting together mood boards. And imagining all the pretty stuff I'd buy if I won the powerball. And finding recipes I may or may not ever make. And blogging. Yes, blogging.
So now that I've taken some time to sort through was brings me joy and what I want taking up space in my head and in my life I'm excited to say that this blog is on that list. And as much as I want to make it 100% about the pretty I just can't. I thought for awhile that might be a bit better for me. To keep it all light and positive. I need to mix in a bit of the real and dirty and raw in with that even if it's not popular. Even if it leaves me wide open. Vulnerable. I have Brene Brown to thank for that via my very brave friend Katharine. I wanted to be sure of that before I moved forward. Writing and blogging helps me look inward which is an important part of my recovery. I'm excited to use this blog again as a place that brings me joy and connection. I hope it can do that for you too and that you'd still like to move forward with me!
I feel like this is where I should share some uplifting quote on being courageous or strong or whatever so I guess I'll hop on over to pinterest now and find something fitting. Although really my husband said it best this morning, "You can't just stay home and vacuum forever." That sentence gave me the courage to hop back on here today and I hope this post gives you the courage you need today too.