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Guest Post – She Speaks From the Dark to Give You the Light

I am posting a very special guest post by Stepping Into Motherhood. This post originally appeared on her blog. You can also see more by following her Facebook Page.

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Photo by Denys Nevozhai on Unsplash

I am continuously awed and inspired by the bravery, the grit, the courage, and the perseverance I see in the women of today. They are all around me. They are in the girls I use to go to school with, they are in the women I’ve worked with, they are in the moms of my children’s friends, they are in the women I call my closest friends, they are in the women I’ve met online that bravely share their stories, they are in the older women that came before us, and they are in my cousins and my sisters.

I’ve come to see the woman of today is a force to be reckoned with; there is a strength within her that outshines the outdated thinking of her inferiority. I’ve seen these women face down cancer, lose their parents at young ages, lose unborn babies sometimes more than once, struggle with mental health and eating disorders, raise their children alone, speak out against their abusers, and leave their cheating husbands.

I’ve seen them become leaders, become entrepreneurs, become teachers, become women of the military, become counselors and social workers, become speakers and writers, and the list of what they have done, what they have overcome, and what they can do goes on and on.

Maybe one of the most inspirational things of all is her place is no longer one of silence and submission. She bravely speaks her truth. Often she tells her stories from the dark places in life that could so easily swallow her into the abyss. A whole generation of woman have stepped forward to write and speak from the dark to give others the light when they find themselves lost in the very same darkness.

No matter the battle she faces, she owns it. There are moments meant to test her, sometimes break her, and in the very toughest moments meant to shatter her. But good or bad, she owns it, and rather than let it tear her down she will use it to rebuild herself back up. As she rebuilds herself out of that darkness you can bet she’s reaching her hand out to pull another lost in the same darkness up beside her.

She’s found there’s empowerment in sharing her stories, in speaking her truth loudly and boldly because despite those who may not want to hear it there is one that needed that lifeline back to the light.

As we raise the next generation of girls and women, we are paving the way for a future where she doesn’t doubt her strength, her power, or her place. Keep telling your stories, ladies, keep owning them, even in the hardest moments, because we are rewriting the story of the woman. She is no longer meant to be silent. She will tell her stories; she will tell her struggles; and she will tell her truth.

We are giving a voice to things like miscarriage and lost babies, mental health and eating disorders, breast cancer, abuse and sexual harassment, equality in our workplaces, in our homes, and in our society.

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Do Better

Hi, friends. Time for a mental health check-in.

It’s been six months since I started taking that little blue pill. Every night, 50 mg keeps my anxiety in check so I can function like a semi-normal person. What a blessing it has been.

I feel like I am able to enjoy my children, my husband, my life. Do I still get anxious sometimes? Heck, yes I do. But it’s not all-consuming. It doesn’t keep me in the house, afraid of what is waiting on the outside.

It doesn’t keep me up at night (I have a teething baby that does that for me). It doesn’t hold me back from pursuing my dreams, no matter how hard it tries to doubt me.

For the first time in a long time, I feel like my anxiety doesn’t control me.

But it hasn’t been easy. I miss coffee. Coffee and moms go hand in hand. I mean, for someone who is still only sleeping a couple hours at a time, how cruel is it that I can’t even get an energy boost from a warm cup of coffee in the morning?

Since I no longer drink regular coffee, I’ve been trying to fill that void with diet soda that past couple weeks. And it shows.

Between the stresses of work, life, and a grumpy teething baby, I’ve leaned on diet soda to be my crutch. So I’ve seen a resurgence of anxiety. I’ve also been ignoring my water intake, which has ultimately led to me feeling like crap. Dehydration causes fatigue so I’ve put myself in this vicious circle of being exhausted and needing an energy boost to further dehydrating myself.

So the truth is I haven’t been taking good care of myself in recent days, and that’s on me. I can’t expect this little pill to fix every part of my life. It’s a supplement. I need to remember that I need to take care of myself physically to help take care of myself mentally.

This is my reminder to do better.

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Just tired

I’m just tired. When I have no idea how to put my feelings into words, my go-to response is “I’m just tired.” That’s how I’ve been feeling the past few days.

A lack of sleep has a lot to do with it, I know that. Last night I clocked a whopping 5 hours and 13 minutes with nine interruptions during the night. The longest stretch of sleep I got was about two hours…

The baby has been in a mood. Ever since he caught a cold about a month ago, it’s thrown him off. Now it’s like he’s teething, yet no tooth has appeared. He hasn’t been napping well and daycare and just wants to be held. I wanted to transition him to his crib, but that hasn’t been going well because once he wakes for the first time, I’ve been too exhausted to stand in his room to comfort him, so back he comes to his bassinet in our room.

Our daycare is also going through some changes. Our favorite infant teacher’s last day is today, and the other teacher abruptly quit yesterday. I have a new center I would like to switch to, but it is more money and my older son seems content in his current room, so I hesitate to move him. Ugh.

And with Halloween being on a Wednesday really threw things off I think. We had a lot of fun and I’m not one of those people proposing Halloween be permanently moved to a Saturday, but it’s just made for an odd week. I was convinced today was Friday for about two hours after I woke up. Ahhhhhhh!

And, truthfully, my brain has just been difficult to focus since having a baby. Especially at work. I may have come back from my maternity leave, but mentally I feel like I didn’t completely come back. It’s required a lot of effort to sit down and focus on my work, when it used to come so easily. I realize a lot of this has to do with the stresses of a new baby and the changing dynamic that comes with it, but it is very frustrating.

And I was running behind on laundry, so the other day I had to wear my baggy, terribly ill-fitting work pants and was crowned Mayor of Frumpville. So that’s always a confidence killer.

I just seem to be in a little bit of a lull lately. Hopefully will be climbing out of it soon.