I thought maybe I was done with the blog. It had served its purpose. It helped me get through some tough times. And hopeful it helped others in the process.
But now I’m thinking it might have a little more time left.
Our little miracle, Dominic Michael, came into the world on November 23, 2014.
Having a baby changes everything. I could write and write about the wonderful and terrifying experiences of being a mom. But there are much better mom-bloggers out there doing the job.
I’ve had up and down moments with my mental health since that day. More down than up…but the ups trump the downs 100 times over.
Subconsciously, I was hoping to be forever cured of all things depression, anxiety, and eating disorder related after having a baby. Unfortunately, that has not been the case. I was hoping that becoming a mom would ultimately fulfill my destiny and, therefore, motivate me to be that better person I want to be. Not that that was the reason I wanted to have a baby – I just had underlying expectations of myself.
But I’m still me, I’m still human, and I’m still struggling with the same-old-same-old.
Having a baby challenges both parents, yet the mom takes the brunt of it early on – especially if she breastfeeds. For the dad, his life is changed in the fact that something is added. His life generally stays the same except for his new little “addition”…literally.
For the mom, her life is completely changed. Nothing is the same. The smallest tasks become difficult. Showering is a luxury. Even going the bathroom has to be properly timed.
For someone who struggles with depression and anxiety, the demands of motherhood can be extra challenging. It’s so much harder to take care of yourself.
I know it will get better with time and experience…but, true to my nature, I am caught up in the “its-going-to-be-like-this-forever” thought.
The fear of not being able keep up causes me all kinds of anxiety. Instead of just taking it one day at a time, I'm getting overwhelmed by all the days to come. I don't know what it's going to be like tomorrow or next week or next month, but I imagine the worst case scenario. I'll never get to do anything ever again. I'll never feel like a normal person ever again. I'll never get more than two hours of sleep put together ever again...
I'm afraid of failing my son. I’m afraid he won't trust me if I let him cry. I'm afraid of making mistakes and causing him to be scarred for life. This little tiny person, who I love so much, scares me to death.
Living with all this anxiety can be debilitating if I let it get out of control.
I hate the catchphrase "God won't give you anything you can't handle". It's not true. He certainly does allow things to happen to you that you can't handle. It happens all the time all over the world...on a much more dramatic scale of course. You can’t say that line to a person living in a country stricken with famine and war. You can’t say that to someone who lost a loved one in car crash cause by a drunk driver. You can’t say that to a women who has been raped and beaten. No, God doesn’t expect us to handle our problems on our own.
More accurately, “God won’t give you any trial to handle that you can’t ask Him to help you with.”
My little problems are nothing in comparison to what some people have to go through. However, I still struggle with what I have been given. God allows me to struggle because good will come from it - even though I can't see it now.
Feeling so helpless and out of control makes me pray more, ask God for help more often, and put everything in His hands because I can't do it any other way.
It’s easier if I lower my expectations. I tell myself that I don't have to do anything else besides take care of Dominic's needs. If I don't expect anything more then I won't be so disappointed when I can’t get to the dishes or the laundry or the countless other things I want to do.
“Lord, help me let go of control. Through the intercession of Mother Teresa, help me get done today the things that you want me to get done. And help me to let go of the rest so that my mind can be free of anxiety and stress. Fill me with your peace."