We live in this world where we are taught to make everything seem perfect on the outside, where strangers shouldn’t know if you are having a bad day. Are you depressed, anxiety becoming too much, getting a divorce, having a miscarriage, or unhappy with your life in general? We are supposed to suppress and hide all of these feelings in public, so we seem strong and independent. As women, we have fought for so long to feel like an equal or to have a higher place in this world that if we show one sign of weakness, we think that everyone looks at us differently.
I recently went to the doctor to see about switching my birth control because I felt that might be why I feel so out of it. I wanted it to be a simple fix and go about my day. I now have to go back in a couple of weeks for blood work to see if my vitamin levels are off, but chances are they are on. He asked how I have been feeling? If I have been depressed? Sad? Feeling harmful? The standard question of do we need to call someone to watch you constantly. I’m not sad. I don’t want to die, but I feel distant to an extent and not toward my daughter in any way but a lot of other things. He thinks I might have anxiety, the thought of having anxiety gave me anxiety. I was not the person who had these issues. My sister had them all the time and still does. She goes through complete meltdowns and panic attacks. I was always the stronger sister in many ways, and I always had to get her to pull it back together. I went home that day and thought about it all day. Maybe I do have anxiety, perhaps the stress of things is getting to me, but I keep pushing it all down because I feel like there are better fish to fry.
I’ve had a lot of change this year; I started a new job and then quit about a month later because the company was horrible. I went back to my old job, launched a new virtual restaurant for them, and I’m in the process of getting some other stuff done for them. I’m struggling, though, and I need to find something that I am good at, and that will make me happy. I need my husband to stop trying to move across the country on hopes and dreams with no actual plan that will work. It’s becoming enormous stress, and I think that is a majority of why I feel the way I do. The more I think about things, the more I realize that it is anxiety; I almost had a full-blown panic attack the other night when we were arguing about it. I’m at a point where I’ve had to set boundaries with him, things we can and things we cannot talk about when he’s been drinking. We’ll see how it goes and if he follows suit. I’ve been a mom for almost a whole year at this point, and my kid is doing great, but I wonder how I am as a mom. I’ve got some mom friends showing the world how perfect they are with their coordinating outfits and the big fancy parties for babies. I’m over here trying to make sure her socks match and that she doesn’t smash herself with a baby gate. While we try not to compare ourselves constantly, it is what happens. We see things posted on social media and think how perfect their lives must be, not a hair out of place and a baby shirt without a stain. In all reality, shit is probably hitting the fan, literally.
I talked to my one friend, a doctor who specializes in mental health and has struggled with anxiety and depression. She told me talking to someone is an excellent place to start, and it isn’t an easy pill to swallow, but everyone needs help sometimes. It can help process different things in different ways, and while we all love our friends, they are bias to the situations. Even just talking about problems to people can help relieve some of the stress we hold.
So, in the end, I will probably need to see a therapist. I won’t ever be that perfect mom, my kid will probably never have matching socks, and my marriage won’t be perfect, but we at least work at our faults. Admitting that you need help is perhaps the most powerful thing any of us can do.