In all the chaos that is my life with a husband and 5 kids, I often forget to be me. I forget to take care of me, to take those 5 minutes when I’m about to blow up for the 35,682nd time that day because someone spilled something or someone is whining AGAIN. I often forget I am a person and not just a wife or mom. This is when the struggle with my mental health takes a turn for the worse and starts to rule my life.
Through the years I have dealt with so much. Sickness and many health issues. Depression, anxiety, pain. Ups and downs. I have become a mother 5 times over. And throughout all of this, I have learned who I am but I have also lost that person over and over again.
know I am a fighter.
will not give up.
am…so many things.
But now, first and above anything else, I am a mom. Those tiny little humans come first in everything. They are my world and my life is meant for making theirs amazing. Because of this, because of the love and devotion I have for my children, I have lost who I truly am as a person.
But I’m trying to find her again.
Finding Help Again
Just by chance I ran across a Facebook post. I know, good old FB, where you can find anything you’re looking for and even things you’re not. Well this is where I found E. (At this point we’ll just call her E because I don’t have her consent to use her name, after I talk to her this may change.)
E is a psychotherapist, a behavioral therapist. I’m not sure her exact title. She’s a therapist. And even though I have tried a hundred different therapists, counselors, psychiatrists, psychologists, etc etc etc, none of which have ever helped, I still thought that I do need help so why not try again. I contacted E and got an appointment that week.
Reliving Anxiety of a First Meeting
I was nervous because I didn’t know what she would be like, how her therapy would go, what she would think of me when I just started talking. I was anxious and panicked and almost cancelled the appointment. The thought of getting dressed, going there, meeting her, and then telling her my problems…well, it was enough to make me physically sick.
But I went and now I couldn’t be happier that I made that decision.
E is the type of person who doesn’t seem like she’s your doctor or therapist or counselor. It seems like you’re just talking to a friend and they’re helping you get through things. She listens but then talks back to you, gives you suggestions, and most of all tells you exactly what she’s thinking and feeling.
She has told me I am amazing. That I am so strong. That I blow her mind. She has cried while we talk. She has told me that she honestly doesn’t know how I do everything that I do.
E, in a word, is amazing.
She has changed the way I think about myself, the way I view the world, the way I deal with my problems. I can text or email her anytime of day or night and she’s there. We text back and forth for long periods of time when I’m going through something and she ALWAYS gets me through it.
Before I found E I was falling back in my deep, dark depression. I was feeling useless. I didn’t want to get up and do anything. My motivation and drive were fading. I was sad and angry all the time. I didn’t know how to deal with anything.
Now if I can’t handle something or my problems are getting to be too much, then I just talk to E. She can always say something to bring everything back into perspective. She can always make me feel better.
Taking a Hiatus
Life happens, things come up. I couldn’t afford to visit E for over a month, but that didn’t stop her from texting me to see how I was and answering my insane ramblings. Things got chaotic. I had too much on my plate, I felt as though I was doing it all and I could feel my breaking point coming. A mental breakdown or an explosion of massive proportions or a mixture of the two was nearing. I knew I had to talk to E and that she could calm me down and together we would work through it all.
Getting Back in the Swing of Things
Texting E I said, “Remember that one appointment I came in and was at a 9? Well today I’m at a 15. About ready to throw in the towel and give up.”.
E flat-out told me to stop abusing myself, that I had to come see her, and that I was at a point that wasn’t something to be messing with. I went to see her 2 days later.
I explained everything that had been going on, what I was dealing with, and how I just couldn’t handle it all being on my shoulders anymore. Of course in true E style she was blunt and honest with me and told me she didn’t know how I could be functioning at this high of a stress level for such a long period of time. I honestly didn’t know how I was doing it either, all I knew is that things had to be done and I HAD to do them.
That hour with E went by quickly, it always does, especially when you have so many problems and things bothering you that you want to talk about. We talked about the most dire and important stuff and together we figured out how to start the process of de-stressing and relinquishing some of the responsibilities in my life.
Find Your Own E
E never fails me. When I walk out of her office I feel like at least some weight has been lifted off of my shoulders and that maybe I’ not totally and completely insane. She lets me know that I am seriously strong and smart and that anything I am dealing with is something that we can work through together. E is not only a therapist for me, she has become a friend and someone who I can confide in with anything that I have going on. Without her, I’m not sure that my mental stability would be where it is now. I appreciate everything she does for me and everything she says especially when it’s blunt, brutal, and completely honest.
For more information on mental health disorders and mental illness visit Mental Health Center.
If you or someone you know needs help with depression, stress, anxiety, or any kind of mental health or illness issues, please seek help. Visit NAMI: Find Support or NIH: Help for Mental Illnesses for resources.