Friday Thoughts & Feelings
It’s easy to make yourself believe that you’re not good enough or that your body is failing you. The negatives are always easier to comprehend because why would something good happen to you, right? Or when something good does happen, we feel like we don’t deserve it. We deserve suffering over joy. I’m not sure where exactly that philosophy was instilled into our brains, but we need to stop it from taking over somehow.
Right now it’s Friday, and I’m bawling my eyes out. Why? Because all I keep telling myself is that my body is failing me, which is making me a failure. I took a happy moment and allowed it to trigger me into a pit of sadness. Let me repeat that: I (me) took a happy moment and allowed it to trigger me into a pit of sadness. My mind did that in a matter of a millisecond.
I struggled with PPD/PPA for the longest time after Leo was born and if I’m being frank, I still struggle with depression and anxiety. I always have. Some days are worse than others.
It all starts with a thought. A thought that I control and for some reason I play that thought out to the end where I find myself on the kitchen floor, crying my eyes out over a scenario that never really happened. Or a moment that triggers me into past, depressing situations that I had placed in a filing cabinet in my brain… but apparently forgot to lock.
These triggering situations have also left me crying on the kitchen floor thinking or telling myself I’m not good enough, my body isn’t capable, what’s the purpose of the life I’m living, etc. It gets real dark, real fast.
It’s around this time I see my son out of the corner of my eye. I cry even harder. I never intend on him seeing me in such a dark place, but it’s hard to do, especially since I’m with him 24/7. My eyes fill up with tears as he comes over to me and points to my eyes and then wraps his arms around me so tight. He sits in my lap, hugging me and allowing me to be present with the pain I’m experiencing.
Gosh, you guys. The tears just pour out of me. So many emotions all at once, I don’t even know what to do besides sit and be still. I can’t run away from the hurting and the pain; I have to process it. I have to breathe. I have to show Leo that it’s okay to have feelings and it’s okay to cry. I try to explain to him why I’m crying, but sometimes all I can say is, “Mommy is a little sad today, but you make my day so much brighter, and I’m so blessed God put you in my life.”
I’ve touched on my fertility journey a little bit but not entirely. I’ve had many miscarriages. When I found out I was pregnant with Leo, I knew it was different. I could feel it… but negativity swept in quickly.
I had complications early on to where I thought, “this is the end… again. I’m failing the life I’m carrying.” But luckily with lots of praying and leaning on God, it was resolved, and he was just fine. Then we found out he had a small hole on his heart… negativity swept back in, and I thought of myself as a failure for not being able to carry my baby properly. Once again I had to tell myself that it’s out of my hands and all I could do was pray. It was resolved, and he was just fine.
Fast forward to when he was born. He came out not breathing. I got to hold him for a few seconds and then they took him away where a team could work on him. I couldn’t even process what was happening because it was happening so fast. All I knew how to do was pretend I was okay. But I wasn’t. I thought I had failed my newborn.
I cried the hardest I’ve ever cried in my life when I was wheeled to see him on my way to my room. My mothering instinct kicked in, and a part of me was terrified he wasn’t going to make it even though they kept telling me he was going to be okay and I needed to rest.
You see, when I say Leo is a miracle, I mean it. After struggling with miscarriages and being told to look into other options because it was clear my body was incapable of holding a baby, I started to say to myself that I was, in fact, a failure. I lived in that pain and darkness. I lost myself in that pain. And that made me afraid to get too attached to Leo in fear of losing him.
A lot of you don’t know this, but I lost someone when I was younger that I loved deeply and had opened my whole heart to. Then when I met Adam, I was so afraid to let my guard down and give him my heart because I feared something would happen to him. This is where my anxiety surrounding death stemmed from.
So each time I got pregnant I didn’t attach myself to the concept because my past pregnancies had ended just as quickly as they began. So all of these emotions, triggers, and thoughts were inside of me when they brought Leo into my room and let me hold him for the first time, and within seconds he had my whole heart. Something I had kept guarded and protected for so long was given to my son in a matter of seconds.
It was at that moment, for the first time in my life, I told myself I did it. I didn’t fail. He’s here, and he’s perfect.
So when I let the dark thoughts and sadness pile up on top of me and listen to the voices telling me that I’m a failure, I think back to Leo’s story and am reminded of how much of a failure I’m NOT. Timing is everything. I have to remind myself of that daily because it helps me get through the tough times.
Anyway, I just wanted to share that because it’s easy to get down on yourself and it’s hard to pick yourself up off the floor, and it’s hard to open up to people and share such vulnerable stories… but you never know who might need to hear it. And I’m here to tell you that it’s HARD. Processing pain and suffering are hard. It’s hard to put on a happy face after dealing with so much loss. But it is possible. Through the grace of God and lots of hard work, which I’m still working on… it IS possible.