Will We Ever Truly Know?

It is with a heavy heart and great sadness that I write today.

A woman I know, a mother, a wife, a successful business owner, and a beautiful and loving soul has gone to the other side.  Mental illness.  Suicide.

We were not close, in fact I barely knew her, but my heart aches so much that I feel sick to my stomach.

My heart aches for those who suffer from mental illness, and for those who are close to someone who suffers from mental illness.

The truth is, mental illness is so widespread among people in our society, but yet we seem to know next to nothing about it.  I am happy to see that more and more is coming out in social media about it, and that there is more acceptance; however, the information out there is so hard to come by.

As someone who has a mental illness, I can tell you that for years I felt “crazy”.  It did not help that in high school I could hear people say “she is crazy” about myself, and others as well.  In their defense, this is how I was perceived because to be quite honest, this is how I seemed to be!  We are ignorant, but this is not our fault.  It is difficult to change peoples mind set when society is so uneducated on the matter.

I hear it all the time as an educator; “too many kids are on medication now a days”, “our food is making kids crazy”, “vaccinations are causing mental illness”, “boys will be boys”, “it’s just a stage”, and so on and so forth.  I am not here to put people down for saying these things, rather, I want to bring a different perspective to the matter.  Medication is NOT always the answer, however, in certain situations it is EXTREMELY helpful and as someone who has benefited to it, it can literally save someones life.  Also, I do not see it as too many kids are being labelled these days and so on…I see it as more awareness is being brought to the attention of medical professionals about mental illness, and this is why we are seeing more children getting the help that most of them need.  This is a good thing is it not?  I would have loved to have gotten help as a child…but there was simply not enough awareness out there at the time.

There are so many ways that someone can get help, but awareness and acceptance needs to happen.  We need to continue sharing our stories with others.  What has helped you?  How did you know you were suffering from a mental illness?  How do you know if someone else is suffering?  How can you get help?  What can you do when someone needs help but isn’t getting it?  There are so many unanswered questions still!

My wish is that we never stop trying to find answers.  That we great each other with love, kindness, and acceptance; rather than judgement.

My heart breaks.

Please, lets work together to find some answers and to help others in the process.

 

Lost Minds

Mental illness, it is something I know oh too well.  Suffering from anxiety myself, working at a school with children who often cannot control their emotions in a positive way, and having close family members who have untreated mental illness weighs on my mind and heart each and every day.

To say that my sister’s mental illness does not anger me would be a lie.  The fact that she is unwilling to see, or take responsibility for, her actions frustrates me.

I will not allow her to continue hurting me like this.  The anger and the emotional abuse has got to stop.  I do understand that it is her mental illness and not who she truly is.  This is what has kept me in her life and wanting to help for years.  However, I now have my own two girls and a husband who I love and care for very much.  I simply cannot do it anymore.  I am mentally and physically exhausted.

I have tried again and again to speak this truth to her.  The words go unheard.  The blame is put back on to me….or another family…or anyone but herself.

I cannot continue to speak my truth to deaf ears.

I can no longer enable this “bad behaviour”.  She needs to seek out help herself.  I cannot save her.  I cannot help her.  I love her, but it is time to let go.  It’s time to take care of myself and my family.  This hurts, but I feel that I have done all I can at this point.  I need to stop feeling like it is my responsibility to help her and make her better.  This is not my responsibility.  Let it go, let it be, and just breathe.

Living in Love

As I sat and meditated this morning I was brought to tears.  The message was about healing yourself and loving yourself first.

I have been so hard on myself lately.  I try to take on everything and it leaves me feeling empty inside.  I have this deep feeling of sadness that wells up inside of me, but I do not have an understanding of where it is coming from and why it is there.

What do I want out of life?

What steps do I need to take to get where I want to be?

The answer is within me, I just need to continue to listen to my true self.

 

Dear Mom, I miss you

Dear Mom,

I feel so angry that you are gone.  It has been 17 years and it never gets any easier.

 

I am sorry.  I am sorry that you had no one to confide in other than dad, that you stayed st home day in and day out, and that your children were your life leaving no time for yourself.  I am sorry that it took me becoming a mom to realize just how much you sacrificed for your family.  I wish I knew.  I wish I got to know you more.  I wish that I wasn’t in the awkward and hormonal teenage years when you died.

Not having a mom around is hard.  Being a mom without a mom is hard.  I resent those who try to help because they are not you.

I am angry.  It is not fair.  Why were you taken away from me.

I miss you.  I love you.  This is so hard.

Love always

 

I’m back…

I just need to write.  To purge my feelings and let it all go.

I found that writing freely to an unknown audience was  empowering, and it allowed me to talk things through, and to get a better sense of my true self.

I am currently on maternity leave with my second child.  My anxiety is getting better but I still have days where negative thoughts overcome me.

Today it is that thought of losing my children.  Where does this fear come from?  Is it because I lost my mother at 16?  Is it my anxiety of the unknown?

Sometimes my love for them scares me.  It is a love that is unlike any other.  The thought of anything happening makes me feel sick to my stomach.

Why can I not just shut these feelings out and move on?

I close my eyes, breathe deeply and feel myself in the moment.  I can hear the calm breathing of my children on the intercoms.  I can feel myself becoming more calm, and more at peace.

This is what life is about.  Be in the moment!  Breathe in all that life has to offer.  Just be.

Air Energy

I picked up a book called “Sacred Pregnancy” and thought I would give the journaling activities a try.  For my first exercise I am to talk about the thoughts that keep me up at night with regard to becoming a mother and giving birth.  I will be honest and let it all out.  I will accept and release these thoughts.

I am afraid of hospitals and unnecessary medical involvement.  I want to have control over my body and the birth but I do accept that sometimes interventions are needed.  I will trust that my doula and midwife will guide me through this.

Losing a child is a huge fear of mine.  The thought of this makes me sick to my stomach.

Not having my mom here.  I miss her so much and wish that she was here to help me with my baby and to offer her support.  I have friends and other family, but it is just not the same…not even close.

Losing friends.  I have some friends who are supportive and I know that they will accept me as a mother and not judge.  Other friends, I am very unsure of.  One in particular is also pregnant and I do not want motherhood to be a competition.  This is not my nature and I will become very offended if this friend acts in this way.

Becoming unattractive.  It sounds very silly, I know, but it worries me to have my body change to a state where my husband is no longer attracted to me sexually.  He is in no way a shallow person, but still feeling sexy and confident is something that I do not want to lose.  Too many people tell me that nothing will EVER be the same.  I truly hope that they are wrong.

Not having a life.  Pretty much every person who is a friend and a parent makes me feel like I will not have a life at all.  Sure, I may not be a mother yet, however, I think that changing your life completely is a choice.  I know life will change.  I am not saying that it won’t.  However, I also know that I have a lot of support and that I will continue doing the things that I love too.  I wish others would just let me figure it out for myself.

Judgements and unwelcome advice and opinions.  I have the friends who are so supportive and I know that they will not do this to me, however, I do have friends and family that will constantly comment on my parenting style whether I ask for it or not.  I want to raise my child in a way that makes my husband and I happy.  Advice from others, even though deep inside is for a reason of wanting to help, can become very irritating and unwelcomed.  

Unwanted visitors constantly coming to see the baby.  I am one who really likes to be social but more so on my own terms.  There are times when I just want to be with my husband and no one else, not because I am selfish, but because I like that time to just be.  I am afraid that with a baby, I will not get that time to be with just my husband and child, I feel like family will be visiting constantly whether they are invited or not.   I love them and want a visit….just not all the time!

Failure.  I fear failing as a parent.  I will do the best I can, I know that is all I can do.

These are just some of the concerns that take up space in my mind as I lay awake at night.  I accept and I let go.

It’s been a while…

I feel so much guilt.   Trying to get pregnant for over a year and here I am pregnant, and it should be the happiest moment of my life.  So why do I feel like I’m on a downward spiral, backtracking to where I was at this time last year?   In six months I have only had two weeks where I have felt ok (not sick, in pain, etc.).   I am dedicating my time to getting back into taking care of myself.  I need to concentrate on this now.

I do not know how much longer I can last at work, but I need to stop worrying about it and trust in myself that when that time comes, where I know that I need to go off, I will trust my instincts and go off.  In the meantime, I will continue to see my chiropractor, and go to yoga once a week.  These are two things that make me happy.  Also, being around my positive and supportive friends and family.   In one more week it is the holidays and I will be off for two weeks.  During that time it is crucial that I really look deep inside myself and see what it is I truly need.  No more holding back, I will listen to what my body is telling me and I will take care of myself and my baby.

Are you my friend?

So often I hang onto things that no longer serve me.  I have a friend who has been in my life for over 20 years.  I have felt put down by this friend on several occasions and I have always felt like I had to watch what I say around her and be very cautious to not hurt her feelings.  Over the past few years, our relationship changed, and I felt better around her.   She seemed to be there for me more often, and I no longer felt hurt by her.

Since my wedding, which happened 2 years ago, I felt a real change.  I felt extremely hurt.  For my wedding I had my 2 sisters stand up with me, and my husband had his 2 brothers.  My friend was to do my makeup.  I had her involved as much as possible as I knew that she would be hurt that she was not in the wedding.  My wedding day arrived and she did the makeup and was there for me in the morning.  I spent over $200 on her gift (I know, the amount does not matter, but I need to get this off my chest). 

The next day, as we are going through our gifts together, I notice that I did not receive anything from her and her boyfriend (note: this is the same couple I went to Miami with).  At first I thought, oh well, she got me something on my Bachelorette and we always said there was no need for more than one gift.  

Then her boyfriend brought it up one day.  He asked my friend what she bought for us.  She said “I did her makeup”.  He then asked “Did you buy something for Laura?” (whose wedding she was in last year and she also did her makeup), and my friend replied “Yea.” 

Now, I am beginning to feel hurt.  So many emotions are happening but I can’t let them out, out of fear of making her angry…which is always a very hurtful situation for me.  She was then asked to be in a wedding of someone who she was not close to.  Her and her boyfriend took them to Miami and paid for them to stay in a hotel that cost $350 for the night. 

Why is this so hurtful?  Why do I hang onto this relationship that is so hurtful to me?  I feel like whenever I bring anything up that hurts me, I am not listened to.  Rather, she becomes very defensive and blames me for it.  As a result, I start to think, maybe I’m the problem.  Maybe I’m a horrible friend. 

I feel so hurt by this friend, and I have felt hurt on so many occasions.  I just have such a hard time letting go.  Even now, that I am pregnant, I feel like I should let her know or else she will be mad at me.  How childish and silly does this sound?  I really do not know how to let go of this.  I have to admit that this is something that is truly stressful to me.

Failure…no thank-you!

I have said it once and I will say it again, I am constantly fearful of failing.  I do not want to hurt anybody or let anyone down, which at times makes me seem like a bit of a push over.  It seems so silly really, how often I do things to please others even if it means making myself feel worse.

For example, today a friend messaged me about a book she found that focuses on trying to conceive.  I did not have the heart to tell her that I am pregnant so I simply said “that book sounds great!  I am hopeful that something will happen soon.”  She is a close friend of mine who has been trying to conceive for almost 10 years.  She now has a son who she adopted and he is beautiful and she is such an amazing mother.  Obviously she still feels great pain that she has not been able to conceive, and the doctor has given her no medical reason as to why this may be.  She is very interested in everything I have been doing with my counsellor and naturopath and I am eager to offer her the information that I have.  I guess I feel some weird sort of guilt.  Why me and not her?   Why not both of us?

This fear of putting others down is completely taking over the way that I live my life and it is time for me to move on.  I am going to be a mom and I need to celebrate this with my husband!  It is such a beautiful thing!  I feel guilty that I haven’t told one of my closest friends (although, I am questioning whether or not she is a close friend or not). I realize it is not so much guilt but fear of letting her down.  When she feels let down she really lets me know and it makes me feel quite bad about myself.  I don’t want to feel like I need to defend myself.

I am just writing my thoughts down here…sometimes they are a little mixed up but I find this to be quite therapeutic for me. 

I cannot control others thoughts and feelings.  I need to use this mantra and realize that I do the best I can, and accept that it is enough.  I know that I will get  a lot of people telling me how to raise my child one day and putting me down for things that I do, but I need to always remember I am doing the best I can.  I will love this child with all of my heart and soul.