The type of mom that society deems “unfit”. The mom that other moms whisper about behind her back. The mom who’s judged by others wondering if she should have been a parent at all.
I was “that” mom that stuck her baby in a crib to let him “cry it out”. I was that mom who put her baby in front of an iPad for 40 minutes because she needed a break. I was that mom that let her baby muddle around on the living room floor while she took a 10 minute break on Instagram. I was “that” mom.
Well, no not really, but it’s a fantastic outlet that helps me find the words to express the sometimes jumbled-up feelings inside my head when my anxiety is running wild or my depression is leaving me feeling speechless.
Now that we’re living during uncertain times because of the Covid-19 pandemic, anxieties and panic are running high. While my anxiety isn’t necessarily going a-wall over contracting the virus, my mental health has taken a huge hit as I self-isolate with my baby and husband.
As the days begin to countdown, far too quickly in my opinion, and we rush to finish last-minute wedding plans, making sure all our affairs are in order – gifts bought, cake topper selected, heckling people for late RSVP’s – I can’t help but take a moment to reflect back on how far we have come, of all that we have been through and to be hopeful in all we have yet to see.
And even though we have our ceremony planned and songs picked to walk down the aisle to, there are still some vows that I won’t get the chance to say to you on our wedding day. There are some promises that I don’t have the courage to say out loud to you, in front of all our friends and family. For these vows are too hard, and too deep, for me to recite to you.
But even though I don’t have the strength to say them to you out loud, I still want you to hear them, because I mean every single word; for these vows are as precious to me as the ring you placed on my finger.
With everything that I am, I make these silent vows to you.
If you’re a person who changes their outfit five times before heading out the door, raise your hand.
Now before anyone starts pointing fingers, I’m not judging. I am also picky about the clothes I wear, despite always reverting back to ol’ faithful (a tee-shirt and skinny jeans). As an adult woman, there is nothing wrong with this. Sometimes it depends on the occasion, sometimes it depends on my mood, and sometimes it depends on the weather pouring out of the heavens. (It’s hard to wear skits and dresses in a place where it can get up to -30°C without freezing to death.)
And while I have the potential to throw on five to ten different outfits before heading out the door – ignoring the eye rolls and the endless “You’re beautiful no matter what you wear!” from my fiancé – is not always warranted from being “just picky”. It sometimes stems from something greater, something more profound.
Sometimes my PTSD is the demon lurking in my closet (and in my fashion choices).
Putting my own story out there was both the scariest and greatest thing I could have ever done. Opening up about my battle with PTSD and GAD has been both a solace and a therapeutic experience for me.
And while I am proud to stand up and fight for all those out there still suffering in silence, I realize there are days where I need the same support. There are days where I need someone to advocate for me.
I take a great deal of pride in being the first line of defence, someone brave enough to put their own pain in the spotlight to help make a difference, to help someone suffering in silence. It is a heavy burden and the ultimate reward to voice my opinions and to turn my own suffering into something positive. Being this vulnerable (and exposed) while walking this path has been humbling, but there is a price to be paid for putting my pain on display. There are sacrifices to be made in order to help someone else.
But the bigger question is this: Would someone else do it for me? Keep Reading!
By finishing another manuscript to one of the many novels I am working on. (Cue loud cheering!) After months of hunkering down and locking myself up in my writing den, I finally finished my NL novel, which is now officially titled, Where the Land Meets the Sea. Hopefully, with much luck and wishful thinking, I can get it published later this year.
But besides finishing another novel that I poured my blood, sweat, and tears into, I’m sure like many of you, I too sat down and wrote out some New Year resolutions and some goals I wanted to have completed by the end of 2018, both personal and professional.
And while maybe I have already broken a few of them (cutting back on Tim Horton’s ice capps…I am failing miserably so far!), there are some things in my life, no matter now much I plot and plan for, I have no control over.
This time next week, the big man in the red suit will start making his rounds around the world, delivering treats and presents to everyone who was good this year. Kids will be leaving out milk and cookies (and maybe some carrots for the reindeer), and parents will be scrambling to wrap last minutes gifts and stock stuffers. (Ahem…I mean for the gifts that Santa won’t be bringing ;)!)
These next seven days are probably going to bring around chaos, both at work, at home, and of course stores and malls will be jammed packed with people who leave their shopping to the last possible minute. Homes will be bustling with laughter and cheer, while kitchens bubble with aromas of Christmas baked goods and preparations for large holiday feasts.
And while there is enjoyment in the chaos, these last ditch-efforts to prepare for a perfect holiday experience can be overwhelming. And if you’re like me, living with a mental illness that prevents you from processing stress on a normal-functioning level, these chaotic moments are severely overwhelming. It only takes one little thing to go wrong, or too much noise, or sensing someone else’s frustrations or tension to make me waver. It takes virtually nothing to send my brain into overdrive and suddenly I’m an anxious mess. Keep Reading!