At think at some point in time, we all as moms have a day where we wonder: “HOW DID I GET HERE?”
If you suffer from postpartum depression, you may wonder this quite often. But even if you don’t, you may still find yourself pondering the same question.
Saturday was one of those days for me…
As I sat on the floor of my pantry room, uncontrollably crying… I heard my husband walk up behind me. “Why?” I asked him…
Why could I not control my emotions today?
Why could I not make a simple decision such as what I was going to eat for lunch?
Why was I letting my toddler’s words and actions get to me?
Why was I a wreck?
His answer was “I don’t know, but you can’t sit in here and wallow in your emotions. You have to get up and keep going.”
At first I felt that was harsh, why can’t he just tell me what I wanted to hear? Like: “Everything was going to be ok; everyone has bad days; it’s ok to cry; you’re not broken…”
But I knew he had said exactly what I NEEDED to hear.
His words helped me get myself together, figure out lunch/dinner and get some much needed rest while the kids slept.
So why was I crying uncontrollably? I wish I could answer that…
I was just so angry for feeling like I did, I wanted to be free from responsibility, subconsciously I was just feeling bad for myself.
In order to answer that question I mentioned earlier… “How did I get here?” You have to remove yourself from the situation, and reflect on “How did I come to the point of breaking today… “
If you’ve been there, then you realize that if you actually trace back to find out what altered your emotions, most of the time you will find that
it wasn’t one event that got you here…
It was probably a string of events (both small/silly & validated) + entirely too much negative self talk … so much that it ended with you crying on the floor…
So how did I get there?
This past week has been pretty good for me. I have been happy, I’ve been with my little family, Brad was off work, and I had help with the kiddos.. I mean I was feeling GREAT!
Thursday is the day that began my depression snowball… The crazy part about it was it was supposed to be my self care day, but instead I let negative thought get to me and self sabotaged not only that day, but the days following it.
I won’t go into full detail about my day Thursday, I’ll just say that Starbucks was out of sandwiches, my chiropractor appointment was scheduled wrong, I almost missed my ultrasound appointment due to the crazy rain I was driving through and ended up not getting the ultrasound video that I paid for… mix all of that with pregnancy hormones, PPD & PPA and I left Lafayette a WRECK.
Sure I was able to see my perfect baby on the big screen, I got through the horrible weather safely, I was still able to get some coffee and I picked up my newly cleaned and calibrated camera… but
I let the negative talk take over my mind.
All I could focus on was how much I wanted that sandwich… how much I really needed that chiropractic adjustment and how I wouldn’t have a video of our new baby to show to Natalie… and naturally everything was everyone else’s fault…
I tried to speak positively to myself, I really did.. I had my husband, mom and grandmother speaking positive to me, yet the negative talk in my head kept settling in and ruined what should have been a relaxing day.
Why do we let negative talk take over our minds?
Did you know that as humans it is actually EASIER for our brains to make negative connections than it is for it to make positive connections? Be positive is something that we have to be intentional about, and believe me… it’s hard sometimes.
I was convinced I could make Friday a better day. I scheduled ANOTHER ultrasound and I made sure that it was guaranteed that I would receive the video I wanted. I was super excited.
But as you know in parenthood, things hardly ever go like you expect them to.
Turns out our little stinker decided that he was snug as could be with his face buried right in the placenta. The ultrasound tech was wonderful and we tried different positions, sugar, stretching and walking but nothing changed his position. At the end she asked if I was okay, I’m sure disappointment was written all over my face. It took all of me to not break down in tears at the true answer to that question… No, I’m not okay. But of course I said I was fine and we left with some okay pictures and a video, but I couldn’t help but feel extremely disappointed. Once again, I let those negative thoughts creep into my day and turn something that should have been exciting into something that was disappointing.
You see, I’m a PRO at talking down to myself. It causes me to be impatient, irritable, and extremely emotional… it’s actually annoying how good I am at it.
So then why don’t I speak positive to myself?
Sometimes I literally don’t feel like I know how… But I am thankful that I am able to acknowledge my shortcomings and that I have an amazing therapist to help me sort through the thoughts and emotions and learn how to recognize them before they hit!
I can’t wait until I am able to get to the point where I can crush my depression before it becomes a snowball.
Where are you at?
Are you regularly speaking negatively to yourself?
Do you often find yourself in the middle of a depression snowball and you don’t know how to get yourself out?
Find someone to talk to,
someone who will understand your feelings, but not let you sit in self-pity.
Make time to rest.
Even if that means putting the kiddos to bed early, you need that time to recharge.
And know that it’s ok to cry,
studies show that crying helps us release that negative emotion that we are so good at bottling up… so GET IT OUT.
And the last thing that I found helpful for me is Journaling. Occupy the kiddos with a movie, grab your journal and write it all out. Even if it feels silly, selfish, pathetic or whiney. GET IT OUT.
Sometimes the depression snowball is inevitable, we start it without thinking, and then we feel stuck. It happens, especially in postpartum… but crush that snowball and keep it going!
You can do it!
I believe in you and your ability to be intentionally positive.
Until Next Time,
The health benefit of tears:
The Negativity Bias