So this monologue came up in my Facebook memories this week and (though it’s long!) it is just as relevant to me now as it was two years ago. I want to share it with you now:
This is gonna be a long post and deeply personal, but I feel like much of this needs to be said. Bear with me if you want, but skip ahead if you don’t. I am dismissing negativity at this point.
2016 could be called, at best, a year of transition for me. And you know what? I spent most of it just aggressively hating myself.
I didn’t start the year in a good place. I had (and am still even now recovering from) really severe post-partum depression and post-partum anxiety. I couldn’t even drive somewhere without having a panic attack or throwing up from anxiety. I felt severely disconnected from my child. I neglected pretty much everything and everyone. I was angry and lashed out randomly. I cried too much and most of the time I couldn’t explain why. I felt a lot of pressure from all around me. Pressure because I did not breastfeed my son. Pressure because I was heavier then I have ever been in my life. Pressure because I could hardly keep up with my own child, let alone my husband or my family or my home or anything else. My self-loathing was intense, and all-consuming.
All this left me with nothing but hate. I hated myself because I was heavy and nothing I would do could fix it. I hated myself for letting Logan cry too long sometimes, and easily passing him off to anyone who wanted him. I hated that I couldn’t be around people who I cared about with panic attacks. I hated that I couldn’t just “love” this post-baby body, or be proud with what I had done. I hated myself for being unable to just be happy, when Drew and I miraculously had this beautiful little boy after trying for years of our marriage, and a diagnosis that it probably wouldn’t happen. I hated losing aspects of myself that I wasn’t ready to lose, and being unable to embrace the things the new things I had become. I hated that I couldn’t even keep my house clean, and my husband always seemed disappointed in me. I hated myself because I felt like no one totally trusted me to be alone with my son, even me some days. I felt that no one really wanted me or needed me, not even my son. I had honestly not ever been so miserable.
(As an aside, if anyone reading is struggling with postpartum, or even struggling with anxiety and depression while still pregnant like I did, please please PLEASE reach out to me. I understand what it feels like, and I want to help in any way I can. No one deserves to feel alone.)
I have lived with this struggle for over a year, telling only a precious few. But for some reason, I don’t feel like I should be quiet about it anymore. Not if this can help someone else.
I have done a lot of thinking in these past two weeks of 2017. I have made a lot of progress in my recovery, and I don’t want to see it backslide. I don’t want to feel these feelings. So I have put together a list of words that I want to use to describe my 2017.
Create. Transform. Brave. Happy.
The world fell apart around me last year. I am not going to let it continue. This is me trying to be brave. This is me trying to tell the truth about my life, even when it is scary because I have learned that there can be beauty in that too. I will transform myself, body, mind, and soul into the person that I want to be. I am going to be the best mom I can be. I am going to make art and write stories and find the time for the things that I used to love.
I suppose it means that 2017 is a year for transition as well. But I want it to be better, and I want it to make me better too.”
You may be asking yourself why I am share this with you. The reason is that THIS was the headspace I was in when I started getting into Pinup. And it also reveals an important topic that you will probably hear me talk about a lot. That is Postpartum Depression and Anxiety. In fact, it is my great ambition this year is start working and advocating for woman who suffer with this.
I thought this would be a good starting place for the week. I’m planning on going a little more in depth about all of these topics over my next few posts, but I also knew that it would be easy for someone to read what I’m writing and say “What makes her think she knows what I’m going through?” I really felt that I needed to bear my soul to you all a little first. I hope that if you are here right now, you are willing to go on this journey with me. I am passionate about this, and I really want to help other moms who had a hard time transitioning like I did.
Cheers and Love to you,