I’ve been debating how far in depth I want to go with this post. I want to be able to help people and show that there should not be a stigma around mental health. However, I’m also not a doctor, so I don’t want to go too deep that I am sharing practices that are not specifically for everyone. Also, you are a product of your environment and I do not want to put anyone that is or was in my environment out there. So, I’m going to do the best I can here. If you have any questions please ask me or talk to someone.
Why I started:
After my second child was about six months old I started to sink into a very blah state of mind. At first, I thought it could be post-partum depression and I did some research on it – the issue was – the ONLY thing I cared about was my children. I didn’t care about my looks, my health, my home, my friendships, my marriage – didn’t want to or have energy to put into any of that. I just got up every day, took care of my kids, went to bed and did it all over again.
I wasn’t happy, I wasn’t sad, I was just existing.
I talked about it with my husband and among other suggestions he said maybe I should go talk to someone. My first thought was .. “yea right, who is going to watch my kids once a week” – my first though again – went straight to my kids.
I remember my mom had done some research on counselors in my area for someone else, so on a whim I asked her if she found anyone she thought was good. She sent me a name and I looked her up. I put it on my to do list for a few weeks.
I’m not sure what it was but something kept nagging me to contact her. So I went on her website and filled out one of those “contact us” forms. I thought, “if I get some automated email saying to call the office then I’ll just forget about it”. I didn’t though, she wrote me back and gave me openings and thats it – I scheduled an appt.
The First Few Appointments
Looking back now, I don’t remember all of it. I remember sweating. I remember wondering if Madeline stayed down for her nap, she needed to sleep. I also remember basically word vomiting everything about my life.
The first few appointments were uncomfortable – I was unsure what to talk about. There were a lot of awkward pauses. A lot of questions I couldn’t answer. A lot of me beating around the bush on certain topics and completely avoiding others.
But it got easier, and it gets easier with each time I visit.
What It Has Done To Help Me
After a while we discovered, which I’m sure she figured out from day one, that I wasn’t “filling my cup”. I have been pouring into everyones cup because I’m a “helper” and never taking time to fill mine. In fact, I’m still learning what actually fills my cup. While this is common for mothers because they are the caretakers, mine was worse because I have been doing this my entire life, even before kids. I had hit the bottom of my cup – hence the blah state of mind.
I am learning now what “fills my cup” and makes me happy. I’m taking time for myself, which still often feels uncomfortable for me. I can see though, when I do, I feel better.
Besides the above, there are some underlying things in my life and therapy has helped me:
- Understand why I do and think the way I do. When you can understand it sometimes it helps you to change it. When you understand it, it can help you see things from a different perspective.
- Learn to set up boundaries, even with people close to me. If I want to remain happy I need to stop any constant streams of negativity in my life. I do that now with boundaries.
- Other peoples actions or inactions are not my responsibility. This is a big one, and once I let go of that I had a huge weight lifted.
- By learning how things in my life may or may not have affected me, I can now turn around and implement things in to how I’m raising my children.
I hoped something in this helped someone. If only one person reads this and it helps them then that is all that matters. Going to therapy doesn’t mean you are “crazy” or that you “failed”. I wish I would have gone sooner. Sometimes talking things out with someone (non-bias) is all you need.
If you have any questions at all, please reach out to me. You can email me at firstname.lastname@example.org or message me on Instagram. I am an open book and will answer any questions you have to the best of my ability.
Another blogger that I follow, Lauren McBride, also speaks openly about how therapy has helped her. She has suggested https://www.psychologytoday.com/ as a great starting point to find someone in your area to talk to.