Losing yourself and finding your way back
It's been slightly over a year since I truly started my journey to recovery from Post-Partum Anxiety. Since then, I've written several times about my experience recovering from post-partum anxiety.
When you are in the midst of losing yourself, all you want to do is find a way back to who you know yourself to be.
In my previous post, I mentioned how my mom intervened with support. Well, she took me to the emergency room where they prescribed medication and gave me the number of local doctors who might be able to help. Well guess what, no one took my insurance! Due to being out of work, I received insurance through Obamacare, which helped me meet my basic needs but didn't cover therapists other than the ones available at a clinic.
I felt stuck. I was diligent about my medication and started being more open with my family about what was going on but it wasn't enough. I went to a local clinic to receive help but the people there were dismissive. Since I didn't have suicidal or harmful thoughts towards anyone, I wasn't considered a priority. Here I was day in and day out with an infant and these sad thoughts, and I wasn't considered a priority and couldn't be seen. It was hurtful! I felt even more ashamed for feeling how I felt!
Unfortunately, it happens all too often. You realize that something is wrong and you want the help but the resources aren't available to you. You aren't alone! I think that one of the most important things to realize when you feel you are losing yourself: YOU AREN'T ALONE! There are people who want to help. You would be surprised how many of your friends and family would step right up once they know!
There came a point where I was just tired of not feeling like myself. I wanted to enjoy life again. After reading so much on the subject, I knew that what I was going through was normal. Some women don't ever experience post-partum symptoms in this way, some experience them for a short amount of time and some of us for a bit longer. Here is the thing, it is all ok! Just like our birth stories are all different (I'll share mind down the road), our recovery story is different as well!
I wanted to get back to work! I knew I would miss my little guy but I enjoy working, I always have. Staying home for any longer wouldn't help me in my recovery because I felt stuck. My career was on hold, my finances were shaky and this left me feeling insecure. I also wanted my "mojo" back. I had very little desires to be playful, flirty or intimate. I knew enough was enough!
These were the steps that helped me in my recovery:
1. Journaling. I know we hear about journaling all the time but never make it a priority. Well, this is the time to do so! I incorporated an approach I've heard of time and time again but never tried. Morning Pages! What is that you ask??? It comes from the book "The Artists Way" and it's presented as a way to release all the clutter that is in your mind and open the door to creativity. In this same vein, I used it to release all the junk circling in my mind and chose to leave it on those pages. By writing three pages of random thoughts down, closing the book and focusing on my day, I opened doors to healthier, positive thinking.
2. Research. I looked up all I could about Post-Partum anxiety. I spent a good part of my day looking up treatment options and seeking support. I read about the struggles other women went through and their journeys. Once I found the information I needed, it was a breath of fresh air. I was excited to know that I wasn't the only person going through this and there is a community of people available to listen, who have gone through it as well. Here are some of the resources I used:
3. Quality Medical Care. It took me almost five months but I found a General Practitioner and Therapist who have watched over my care. Again, I had to search and advocate for myself but am so glad that I did. I called my medical provider and worked with the customer service agents to find people who took my insurance in or near my area. I spoke to the couple of options I had and settled on someone who made me feel safe and cared for. When you feel you are losing yourself, please seek medical attention.
I am not suddenly in a magical place. I need to work at it every day. I still wake up and complete my morning pages. I still use my various resources of support and because of these steps, I am happier and healthier for myself and my family.
How are you losing yourself?
Lesson Learned: Choose yourself, find the help you need and advocate for support.
In the next post, I will detail how my steps to recovery led me back to feeling comfortable in my own skin and what it really took to get my "mojo" back!
Thank you so much for reading! Please let me know in the comments about your journey to recovery! The more we share, the more people we can help! And if this post touched you somehow I would appreciate it if you could share with your friends. Feel free to also follow the conversation on my Facebook Group. Join so you can be the first to get my latest updates!
Also, if you’d love to learn how to blog; how to share your story and connect with your audience, check out the mentoring program I’m a part of. Katherine’s given me some tools to be able to share my story with you all. Here’s the link for more info: http://www.katherinehiraldo.com/create-to-incorporate/