Disclaimer: If you or someone you know is struggling with depression or suicidal thoughts, please call the Suicide Prevention Hotline at 1-800-273-8255 or text HOME to 741741. You are not alone.
Definition: fearless; adventurous
Synonyms: unafraid, bold, daring, gallant, audacious, heroic, dynamic, spirited
This is my all time favorite word. Everyone has a favorite word. If you don’t, I encourage you to find the closest thing you have to a dictionary, and pick one. Here’s why I love this word: it absolutely could NEVER be used in a negative connotation. Think about it. How are you going to call someone fearless in a negative way? YOU. CAN’T. This word describes me. I think my photo is actually listed under this definition in at least one of the Webster dictionaries. I constantly think of this word. I constantly want to live up to this word. And I honestly think, that’s why I have been able to avoid suffering from depression.
Full disclosure: I am well aware that there are things in this post that will ruffle some feathers. As I’ve stated in my previous posts, these thoughts are mine and mine only. That’s the beauty of me having my own blog to write is that I can say whatever the fuck I want too– and if you disagree the only thing you have to do is click that liitttllleeeee red “X” on the top right (or left if you’re a Mac user), and simply go about your day. So at this point, you’ve been clearly warned and if you don’t turn back now you have no reason to bitch.
Here’s the thing. What’s the freaking deal with using the word depression every. single. time. we are sad? Do people realize every time they use that word out of context you are offending someone with a severe chemical imbalance that they actually need to be medicated for? Oh, Susan you got a parking ticket? You’re SAD. NOT depressed. You know who has a right to say they are depressed? Every single person who has gone to a medical professional and has had the proper diagnosis. You know who has a right to say they are depressed? Those individuals who take their medication, go to their regularly scheduled shrink visits, and make changes in their lives. THOSE ARE THE ONLY PEOPLE.
You can’t be half way depressed. You can’t only get medication and do absolutely nothing else and expect to get better. Those that do that, sorry, but when I hear you complain and whine about how much your life sucks but you’re literally doing nothing positive… like, what the fuck are you expecting? Stop feeling sorry for yourself. I know people who have lost babies, or spouses– a hell of a lot worse than getting a freaking parking ticket– and they pick themselves up by their big girl panties and get shit done. Now, that’s not to say they don’t hurt. My goodness, half of the people on my Facebook timeline have gone through SOME SHIT and ALL I want to do is pick them up and squeeze them. But you know what I see them doing? They go on about their lives. Because that’s honestly all life is. One constant motion. And it’s about how we adjust to the flow of things that defines us.
Now, I myself can only speak from an outside perspective. I’ve never struggled from depression because FOR ME it’s totally a mind over matter thing. I was taught, by my mom when I was little and would get “an upset belly” (anxious), to make a list of what was bothering me. And then pick 5 things off that list and organize them from what’s bothering me the least amount to what’s bothering me the most. And I was ONLY allowed to focus on those 5 things. If it wasn’t on the list, basically I had to forget about it until my current list was dwindled down to nothing and I needed to start over. Do you know how much that helped me? I learned two things from making those lists:
- A LOT of my problems were/are self inflicted (i.e not paying a bill on time, or not turning in a homework assignment, gaining weight, etc)
- Anything that WASN’T self inflicted, was out of my control and I needed to let the universe handle it (death in the family, break up)
And this is what I mean by mind over matter. By making a list, you can LITERALLY see what’s causing your emotional roller coaster. It is THAT SIMPLE. So then this brings me to the REAL topic of this post (and this part really only pertains to moms but feel free to read it anyways!)
You really CAN avoid Postpartum Depression. Absolutely 100% avoid it.
First, find your word. There are 171,476 words in the English Language and baby, ONE of those is for you. Find it, embrace it, love it. Let it define you.
Second, stop saying you don’t have enough time. I still need to work on this. We make time for what’s important to us. Stop saying “you didn’t have time to shower because of the baby” or “you didn’t have time to clean the house because of the baby”. Because that’s a bold faced lie. You CHOSE to not clean your house or shower BECAUSE you wanted to snuggle your baby instead. There is NOTHING wrong with that. It’s actually really sad that we, as moms, who are just trying to enjoy every second with our babies feel like we have to justify not doing simple everyday things over being with our babies. But own it. I currently am sitting in day old jammies with old makeup still on my face as I write this because all morning I’ve been watching movies with my little. That was more important to me than showering. And, I probably won’t be showered by the time my husband gets home either. And because he’s a fucking good ass partner, he won’t even bat an eye because he knows that I’ve prioritized my time to the best of my ability today. (Remember in my first post I said we have two jobs as a mom; to keep ourselves alive so we can keep our babies alive? Almost 3 months later I STILL live religiously by that!)
Third, don’t forget about yourself. Let your baby cry while you put on makeup. Let them sit in a poopy diaper for another 10, 15, 20 minutes while you finish blow drying your hair. I pinkie swear it will NOT kill them! Don’t hold them if you don’t feel like it! (And if you say “I don’t ever feel like not holding my baby” you’re absolutely lying and I promise I’ll find out.) You need to be YOU first. Point blank. Another amazing piece of advice I received from an old co-worker of mine who is not only a kick ass mother but also a bad ass wife, was that when a baby comes into your life, THEY adapt. THEY fit in where they belong. If you completely change your entire way of life because you feel like you “need” to have your life revolve solely around your child, I’m not going to tell you that’s wrong because we don’t mom shame here, but I will tell you that later on down the road that may lead to some emptiness/regret inside.
Fourth, stop feeling sorry for yourself. Because guess what, your child can sense that. Stop being emotionally unavailable to them. You are doing yourself, and them a complete injustice. All they want and need is to be loved. They really don’t care about anything else. So you and your partner split up after you had the baby? News flash. It probably was never going to work, the baby just made it easier for them to leave. And while I CANNOT imagine what that’s like, use that to your advantage to work on yourself. Because the relationship was probably unhealthy from the start and you just either A. love drama or B. don’t believe enough in yourself and think you don’t deserve better. In every relationship, someone is always the garden, and someone is always the gardener. It flip flops. But chances are if you were/are in an unhealthy relationship, you have been playing both roles for a long time and DAMMIT WOMAN it’s time to let yourself be the garden for once. This also goes for partners who stick around after an affair. Are you joking me? Cut that shit out right now. Khloe Kardasian doesn’t even make that shit look glamorous, WHY in God’s name do you think you can LMAO. Also, stop giving yourself a pity party because your body “didn’t bounce back”. LISTEN TO ME RIGHT NOW. You were either cut in half or pushed a watermelon through something that is the size of a captain crunch berry. Not to mention you grew, and fed, and cared for a human being that you hadn’t even met yet! (It’s true when they say it’s the only blind date where you’re guaranteed to meet the love of your life!) Bouncing back is a myth. Do you know how many BeachBody coaches I’ve had messaging me asking if I’m ready to “lose that pesky baby weight?” I literally LAUGH in their DM’s. Why is it just assumed that moms are supposed to have body issues after giving birth? I sure as hell don’t. You shouldn’t either.
Fifth, find your god damn tribe. They ARE out there. Find your support system. I promise you, having a partner who’s not afraid to stay with the baby so you can get some alone time, friends who love to babysit or parents who love to keep them over night, WILL FILL YOUR BUCKET BUTTERCUP. I hate when I see those posts on Facebook that say “you realize who your true friends are after you have a baby.” And then proceed to say that no one ever comes over or no one offers this or that. Here’s the thing. Relationships are a two way street. You ALSO need to invite people over. Before I had kids, I would have NEVER just invited myself over to someones house after having a baby. Because I would’ve assumed they needed their rest or wanted to be with their new family. Do you know that because I’ve actually communicated with people and not locked myself in a dungeon that every single person who said they wanted to come see my baby, actually has? I haven’t “lost friends” because of having a baby. Jesus Christ if anyone actually HAS then you should probably look in the mirror because I guarantee you having a baby isn’t why they aren’t sticking around.
Listen. I know it’s super easy to stay in bed all day. I’m the Captain of Lazy Town. My bed is my kingdom and my pillows are my royal subjects. I know it’s easy for me to sit here and say, as someone who has never suffered from any type of depression before, that it’s easy to snap out of it. But that’s not at all what I’m saying, and if you somehow got that out of this post the you need to brush up on your comprehension skills my friend. I’ve simply given you ways that have helped ME avoid it. Maybe they’ll work for you, maybe they won’t. What is the harm in giving them a try, if that means a happier, healthier you/baby/family? Just remember, you are not alone. Even if sometimes it may feel like it. You have a zillion people who have never even met you that have felt/are feeling the same things as you are. But you can’t let it define you. Let your word define you instead.
“You are intrepid. You carry on.”
Until next time, Divas