If you read anything on this blog, read this first. Otherwise I fear you might read other entries and get annoyed with me.
Why would you get annoyed with me?
Well, firstly, I find that mommy blogs or social media generally show a life that is perfect and glossy. Then it makes you feel bad about your own life because you have crap all over your kitchen counters and spit up on your shoulder and you opened the door to the FedEx man with your nursing bra exposed.
Or at least, I feel bad.
But I’m not going to focus on all the negative things in my life and in raising my kids.
Mostly because I find focusing on the negative so exhausting.
There are moms out there who complain, complain, and complain about how whiney or clingy their kids are. I choose not to hang out with those moms. I find it boring.
I also don’t want my children to read these words one day and think that raising them was a burden. Because it’s not.
It’s tiring and hard and sometimes boring. Sometimes I do lose my mind and yell at my poor son when I’m getting impatient. But that is about 10% of my life. The other 90% is fun, hilarious, random and endearing.
I’ve chosen that. I’ve chosen to focus on the positive in what can often be the mundane.
I try to find humour in everything I do. Because if realizing you were signing for your FedEx package with your boob hanging out isn’t hilarious, I don’t know what is.
I’ve always been an optimist, a positive, generally happy person. Which is why people are surprised to find out I suffer from depression and anxiety.
I want to be open about this topic so that you know where I am coming from. If you think you are suffering from debilitating anxiety or depression, you have a friend in me.
And you can see what a dose of positive attitude, humour, and some Effexor can do for you!
I realized I suffered from depression almost a decade ago. Over years of working with a doctor, it’s actually not depression but anxiety. The anxiety lead to depression. In my 20’s, I was not only a super poor struggling actor but also a high-functioning depressive.
In simple terms, a high-functioning depressive is often someone who knows they are sad but is actively working to not be sad (I’m sorry for any counselor or psychologist or physiatrist reading this for over-simplifying).
I was really good at putting on a happy front for friends but would often be at home in a black-stupor. I hated that feeling. I didn’t want to be sad, I wanted to be happy.
After trying to talk it out – I sought medical help and have since been a huge supporter of drugs. I can’t stand when people tell me that you don’t need drugs to feel better. Don’t let people make you feel bad for taking medicine. As my other depressive friend states, people take drugs for things like diabetes or arthritis, we just take drugs for our brain.
I’ve now tried to go off the drugs three times. I wanted to know if I was feeling depressed due to my life or if it was, truly, a chemical imbalance in my brain.
It’s definitely the former.
What I did discover about going off my meds the last time was that it wasn’t depression but crazy anxiety.
There was nothing in my life to be anxious about. At that point, I was married, had financial stability, was working in a job I loved and had a great circle of friends. But my goodness was I crippled with anxiety. If you don’t have anxiety it’s so hard to understand. But I would lay awake at night worrying needlessly about things that had happened a decade before.
Anxiety plays terrible tricks in your head. You focus too much on one tiny thing that it gets bigger and bigger and bigger in your brain that you can’t think of anything else. Which would lead me to feeling depressed.
Without my drugs, I would be a horrible mother. Every tiny thing that goes wrong in a day (and trust me there are many) would send me into an anxiety spiral.
I can’t live like that.
My drugs give me balance. I still feel. I know so many people who contemplate medication worry about feeling. Trust me, you still feel emotion. You just won’t spiral out of control with the emotion – which is what would happen to me.
I still cry at commercials with dogs and babies. I still laugh hysterically at funny things. I still get mad when my husband doesn’t put his underwear in the laundry hamper. I still worry about what I’m doing as a mom and a woman.
But I don’t lose my mind over every little thing.
I am still anxious – but about bigger picture things. Not about what I said to so-and-so in 2003.
I want you to know this when reading my blog so that you know I don’t lead a perfect life, I struggle to choose positivity and happiness, and that I won’t judge anyone who is having a hard time.
What I do hope is that I inspire you. To work to find the adventure in what can be the ordinary. That if you do feel overwhelmed with motherhood to talk to someone. And that you aren’t alone.