For All You Mothers Out There

This is a brilliant article I have reprinted from the original for you to read. Enjoy!!!

 

Your kids are fine. Your husband is fine.

You? You’re fine too. Great as a matter of fact! You’re good. It’s all good.

You’re fine, remember?

Go ahead and just keep telling yourself that. It’s easy to keep just being “fine.” You’ve mastered it.

You’ve perfected masking the panicked and anxious feelings and the massive mood swings, the suffocating and physically debilitating depression, the manic highs and lows, and all those frazzled in-betweens.

You’re fine, remember?

It’s all just normal stress anyway, right? I mean, you’re a modern mother, of course shit is hard. They’re just kids! Hell yes, they’re gonna be needy and suck the life out of you. That’s just what they do, so why are you surprised? Who said you’re supposed to enjoy any of this anyway? And joy? What the hell is that?

So you keep just being fine. It’s been several years of “fine,” of treading depression filled waters and scaling mountains of anxiety, and you’re still alive. The kids are fine. Your husband is fine.

You’re fine, remember?

Except when you’re not. And you’re not, a lot. But it’s just the blues. You’re fine! You haven’t been sleeping well is all. You’re mentally exhausted, but who isn’t? It’s nothing a pedicure and a long nap can’t fix.

You’re fine, remember?

You missed a moms’ night out last month. Said your kid was throwing up, and you had to stay home. Lie. Lies help a lot lately. They come in very handy when you can’t anything. What were you gonna say? That obsessive, obtrusive, and hypervigilant thoughts have been playing on repeat in your head all day, and you can’t make them stop long enough for 2-for-1 margaritas? That’s not a valid excuse. It’s not like you can actually say that.

You’re fine, remember?

You called in sick to work last week. Said you had strep throat — another lie. Can you tell a superior at your job, the same place where you need to remain highly professional, stoic, unstoppable, efficient, and smart, that you’ve been weeping for days (or years) and can’t seem to shake it? Hell no. They’re strangers. They’ll think you can no longer do your job, and you need your job, health benefits and all. You know, the ones you’ve never used. Oh, you’ve looked at them before — the mental health and therapy — in a moment when you really thought, I need help, but you never sought help. There are the copays. And where would you find the time for therapy sessions? And would it help anyway? Probably not.

Because you’re fine, remember?

You almost let the cat out the bag a few days ago. Oh, you were so, so close. Routine blood work at your primary care doctor. You sat there on the table, the tissue paper crinkling underneath as your heart raced and you repeatedly told yourself, “Just tell her. Tell her! Say something. Tell her you don’t feel right. There’s something wrong in your head. You don’t know what, but life is getting harder and harder, and you know it’s not supposed to feel like this. Maybe she can fix it. Can she fix it? No. There’s nothing that needs fixing.”

You’re fine, remember? 

You tell yourself today is not the right time; you’ll feel better soon. Then out of the blue, right after a question about your calcium intake, she pauses and looks through your eyes, and asks, “Are you experiencing any depression? Sadness? Anxiety?” Why is she asking me this? Does she sense it? Nah. She’s just doing her job. Doctors these days. You know, they have to ask this now. You smile widely, shake your head back and forth, and say, “Nope. I’m fine! I exercise and don’t drink and take really good care of myself.”  You handled that brilliantly.

And then you got in your car and drove home — crying, swearing, screaming. You need help. You know you do. You had your chance to finally get it, and you didn’t take it.

You’re fine, remember?

If you see yourself in any of these sentences, I want you to know something. First, know that you’re not alone, and you’re not a failure. Second, the hardest step in seeking mental health care is going to be the first one. But you know this already, because you haven’t taken it yet. Yet. Why is it still so hard to take that step? For everyone, the reasons are different. Perhaps it’s shame or denial. Maybe you’re wired to think the way you’re feeling is actually normal. Could be it’s time, money, or guilt from telling yourself it’s selfish to get help when you have kids who really need you to be there all the time and to be strong.

I also want you to stop suffering in silence. Yet is today. It’s not tomorrow, or next week, or next month when you tell yourself you’ll get help. Yet is today. If you simply can’t find or don’t have the strength to take the first step today, show your spouse, your best friend, or a family member this article and just say, “This is me.” Tell them to make the appointment for you, to drive you there, to talk with your health care provider with you, and to make sure you don’t leave without the beginnings of a treatment plan or a referral to a therapist.

You can do this. I know you can. Because I know from experience, that your “fine” can be so much more. 

Go get your joy back. You’re worth it.

About the Writer

A Pivotal Point

Love is a strange one.  We can still love our partner, even though we feel and know the relationship is nothing like it used to be.  When first married, we can’t wait to see each other at the end of the day, and probably can’t keep our hands off each other.  Then with the advent of children, pressures of work, paying the mortgage, having an extended family and other trials life may bring, it is possible that frustration and disappointments become evident and the loving, sexual, sensual closeness begins to wane. The spark disappears. Emotional distance sets in.  Mostly this is due to the complexities of life. Often as the dynamics of a relationship change, exhaustion sets the pattern and we are fast asleep before our head even hits the pillow.  This may also be a way to avoid underlying issues that are not being addressed.

As individuals we change over the years, we are influenced by our friends and business colleagues, work, other mothers, the pressures of parenthood.  It is possible one partner will broaden and expand their horizons in a different way from the other.  This need not spell the end of the relationship, rather with open and honest communication it can enhance the relating.

Turning any situation around and trying to focus on the things that are working in your relationship and reaching for better feeling thoughts is the beginning of a recipe for success.  It is so easy in life to notice what is not working, what we believe should be changed (usually the other person).  Having some gratitude for what we have instead of beating the drum about what we do not have or what is not working is always helpful and it does bring you to a pivotal point.

Some may have thoughts and feelings about wanting change, maybe even wanting to leave the relationship as it is no longer fun coming home every night, or being at home all day with children is not meeting needs on an adult level.  It does not mean to say that the intention is to divorce, nonetheless the thought or the desire to abandon ship is a result of growing discontent and the failure to find a way to achieve some balance.  You know that saying “the grass is always greener’?  Well it may look greener, that is, until you get there.

Do you know why?  Being in a relationship means we are part of the problem (if there is one).  Therefore if the decision is made to move on to greener pastures, we take ourselves with us and any inherent problems we have. It is likely we will act them out over and over again, until we take some responsibility for who and what we are. Until,  we are prepared to make changes to our thinking and behaviour that brings us the changes we are wanting, especially when it comes to our relationships.

Conscious loving, conscious sex, conscious communication, reaching for better feeling thoughts, looking for what feels good – always – and having a deep appreciation for what life has given you is a recipe for a joyous, happy and fulfilling life.

We shall not cease from exploration

And the end of all our exploring

Will be to arrive where we started

And know the place for the very first time.

  • ‘Little Gidding’, T.S. Eliot

That could well mean that we meet our beloved, fall in love, play, live and bring up a family with him/her, deal with pressures and challenges, drift apart and struggle with our very own identity and then wind up back ‘in love’, renewed, as if meeting them again for the very first time and beginning a new chapter of life together.  Stronger, more assured, companionable and very much at peace with each other and the life experiences that has brought you to this very moment.

Copyright ©2017 Marie-Elise Allen

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