You like the closeup of my eye up there?
That’s full makeup me – ready to take on the day!
Taking a picture of myself really puts my ego in check.
I can look like a million bucks in my bathroom mirror and then I take a natural light selfie and all my Lookin Good Bubbles deflate.
I think I have been tired for going on 3 years now.
It started with insomnia during my last pregnancy.
Pregnancy induced insomnia happens to a lot of women. Allegedly it is a way of preparing us for the sleepless nights that our spawn bring with them.
Once I had our last babe, I thought I would at least be able to sleep when she slept – and I tried.
What I didn’t know was that I would develop a different kind of anxiety that I had ever experienced before.
Of course, I had the usual, “OMG I need to check to see if the baby is breathing! She slept for two hours!” type of panic moments.
This anxiety was not that.
I wanted to be perfect. Perfect Mom.
It never happened.
However the desire to be perceived as having all my shit together caused me great panic and it was a lot of effort! It was so much effort that I didn’t want to leave the house.
Every detail of my day and every decision was like a life or death situation.
I negotiated with voices in my head.
“Are you sure that is the right decision?”
— “Well, it is better than the alternative.”
“But you could be doing so much better.”
“You need to try harder.”
It got so bad that my anxiety kept me awake at night. Being kept awake at night while you have a non-sleeping spawn is not the best cocktail for saneness.
One night in particular I remember getting up for the eleventieth time to get the crying babe from her crib and I completely collapsed.
I fell into the overflowing laundry hamper in our bedroom. Thank mother-eff I wasn’t on top of my laundry game.
I was exhausted.
I am not sure why I did this to myself. I am not sure even when I started getting better, but things are better now.
I don’t freak out if my child is given chocolate. Hell, she eats a cookie before 10am some days.
I am able to leave her with other people for a few hours – that was a huge milestone for me and she is actually going overnight to my sister’s tonight while we go out on a date. HOLY EFF.
In retrospect, I should have asked for help. When I say help, I mean professionally.
I already had a history of anxiety and depression. I think it was aggravated by post-part-em hormones and the stress that comes from being responsible for a fragile new life.
There are so many of us who go through issues like this alone.
We may or may not have a significant other who helps us raise our children – we might even have extended family that helps here and there- but we keep our mental states to ourselves.
Why is it so taboo to tell someone how we are feeling?
Is it because we feel like a nuisance?
I feel like I would be much healthier right now if I had of gotten help earlier.
I am finally feeling better with some time and other health issues are being addressed, but I wish I could have taken a look at myself and pushed my pride away and made a doctor’s appointment.
If you are feeling overwhelmed, it is normal, but it is also completely OK to tell someone.
If you feel even more so that shit is not good – get help. Please.
My body is still catching up.
To go from hyper-alertness compounded with less sleep for a couple of years, I think it is going to take quite some time to feel 100%.
I am going to have tired eyes for a while.