My journey as a mom has been like a rollercoaster ride.
I’m happy to say that right now I feel like I’m coming to a smooth part of the ride. The part that’s after the thrill where you can sit back and enjoy the adrenaline high. The part where you don’t want it to end, but you know you’ll have to get off soon.
You might be wondering how this could be possible when we’re in the middle of a pandemic. Our world is filled with so much uncertainty, yet I’m feeling so good.
Back in March, this was definitely not the case. When quarantine started I was feeling ok. My 5-year-old had just broken his arm and needed surgery. We were stuck at home and I was forced to homeschool my kids.
My daily routine of getting up at 6:30, taking the kids to school, coming home to make a nice breakfast, going for a run or to a class at the gym, spending a few hours writing, cleaning up, and doing some laundry had all been thrown out the window.
I wasn’t even going to the grocery store anymore. I’d lost my girls’ nights out and couldn’t’ see my friends at playgroups or PTA meetings.
Despite all of this, I was still surviving and remained optimistic. I was getting my runs in when I could, but they slowly turned into walks.
Taking A Turn For The Worse
At some point, I started to have less energy. I’d drag myself out of bed in the morning, but I immediately couldn’t stop thinking about how good it would feel to go back to bed later that day.
I had no interest in playing with my kids. As the weeks went by, I was still going for my walks, but the whole time I was out walking I’d dread having to go back home.
I kept hearing from other moms and parenting experts that I needed to find a routine. They were saying that it would help us get through virtual learning and would help me feel better. I just didn’t have the energy to do it.
Then I started to dread everything. It felt like there’d never be anything to look forward to again. I felt so hopeless. I’m not going to say I lost hope, but I could see how some people in my situation could have.
Even though I had people all around me telling me how much they loved me, I just felt so sad.
Luckily, I had started going to a therapist right before all of this happened. So I had already built a relationship with her.
She had mentioned medication a few times in January when we first met. But I told her it wasn’t something I wanted to try. I’d tried medication before and didn’t like the way it made me feel.
As a good therapist should, she persisted. Finally one day, she pointed out that taking medication would be like giving me training wheels. It could help give me just enough motivation and energy to use the tools we were practicing during therapy.
How One Phone Call Can Mean So Much
Then a good friend called me. She’d noticed that I wasn’t the same and told me about her experience with medication. She told me how much it had helped her and gave me the name of her doctor.
I was able to get in the same week, and was started on an antidepressant right away. After just a few days, I started to have energy again. Then after a few weeks of taking it, I felt like another person.
During my therapy sessions, I started noticing myself falling into negative or anxious thought patterns again. This time my reaction was different though. I noticed when I was doing it and was able to stop myself. It finally dawned on me how that is the whole point of going to counseling!
There’s no magic pill that will solve all your problems. Taking medication was life-changing for me though.
Fighting The Resistance
It’s not easy to share my story with the world. But I know how long I resisted taking medications and how much it ended up helping me once I finally gave it another try. The only regret I have now is that I didn’t try it sooner.
Over the past few days, I’ve been hearing story after story of other moms struggling. I realized that if I let my fear of being vulnerable stop me from sharing, then I may be missing out on helping someone who really needs to hear that they aren’t alone.
Moms are struggling now more than ever! Experts agree that coronavirus is taking a larger toll on women, especially moms.
On top of all our regular motherly duties we are juggling virtual learning, keeping our kids’ safe, making sure the masks are always clean, and trying to figure out a way to maintain a socially distant social life.
I don’t know what I would have done without my husband a few months ago. Not only did he remind me that my family needed me, but he took on many of the household tasks I usually did.
I can’t imagine how much harder it would have been if I was working a full-time job on top of everything else.
It may seem like it’s easy for someone like me who is a former therapist to say how much it can help. But I’ve seen so many different counselors over the years, and it wasn’t until a few months ago that I really felt like it was helping.
Part of that could be that it wasn’t the right fit. Or maybe I wasn’t doing the homework that I needed to really change. But I think this time, the medication really did give me the extra boost that I needed to move forward.
I’m not going to say that I’m completely cured. Medication isn’t the end all be all. There will still be hard days. Especially right now, with a pandemic that isn’t going away anytime soon.
My kids are going to be little for a while and are going to be needy. My free time will be limited and there will be other bumps and turns on the roller coaster along the way. There may even be times where the ride malfunctions and I’ll have to call for back up.
At least now I have this period where I’m feeling good to look back on. If I do start to spiral again, I’ll know that there is hope. I’ll be able to really say to myself this too shall pass and believe it.
If you or someone you know is struggling, please reach out for help. Even if you’ve tried getting help before and it didn’t seem to work. Try again!
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