Well hello again! Did you see my last post that laid the foundation for different forms of self-care? If you missed it, you can read it here. Also…that is really a picture of me holding my son. Look at those tiny toes!!!
So therapy…it can be one of those taboo subjects that people can be uncomfortable about. Do you want to know my opinion? I don’t care. We’re on this earth for a small amount of time. Let’s spend our lives trying to be the best versions of ourselves. Don’t let silly stigmas about therapy stop you from getting help. Plus, let’s be honest…we could all use a little therapy;) Therapy isn’t just for dramatic moments in your life. Now I talk to my therapist about my goals and what I think could be obstacles in my life getting in the way of achieving those goals. I also talk about being a mom, wife, friend, family member and work…in every area of our lives we can have struggles come up. Therapy is good and can cover both difficult or every-day circumstances that come up for us.
If you are going through something difficult in your life, therapy can be a great way to navigate through your struggles. I started seeing a therapist about 2 years ago when my second child was about 6 months old. I had experienced so many hormonal swings during both of my two pregnancies. After my first child (my son) was born, it was hard for me to navigate my feelings. I didn’t know what was normal. My life changed so drastically in such a short amount of time. I knew that I loved my son, but it also felt very lonely being home alone with him for much of the day while my husband was at work. I was still working part-time, but the days that I was home alone all day felt very long and lonely sometimes.
I had so much fun playing with my son all day, but sometimes you just want some adult conversation;) I slowly started finding ways to get connected in with other moms on the days that I was home, but it definitely took time. Navigating female friendships can be tricky. I had to be willing to put myself out there and ask someone if they might want to get together and let our kids “play” together too. I felt like this was a little bit harder before my son turned one-year-old, because he couldn’t really play with other kids very well yet. Some of the people I met had older kids so it was hard to figure out what to do together with all of the different ages.
When I started experiencing some very low lows after my daughter was born, I had had enough. I decided that I would not let this continue without doing anything about it. I wouldn’t deal with postpartum a second time and not get the help that I needed. It felt scary saying some of my struggles aloud. I’m used to feeling capable and having the attitude that I can overcome any struggle with some time and effort. I felt like I needed to “buck up” and persevere.
Enough is enough…getting help
This postpartum was different though, because I had been through this before. This time I knew what being a mom looked like for me specifically. I had experienced myself as a mom during low lows and during good times when I really felt happy and myself. It took time for me to figure out how to still be myself while adding in the dynamic of being a mom. Being a mom made life seem better, but it also added new challenges to schedules and routines. The main thing that was difficult for me was that everything had to be so planned out once I became a mom. I couldn’t just spontaneously meet my friend for dinner without first making sure my husband would be home to put our son to bed and stay home with him while I was gone. I felt the loss of the glorious freedom that I’d had being taken away.
Therapy has been very freeing for me and I just might continue therapy indefinitely. It’s helpful to verbally process the very minute or very important details of your life to someone on a consistent basis. With friends or family, it’s hard for me to only talk about myself for so long, but that is literally the job of your therapist. They are supposed to listen to you and help you process what you’re going through and help you to navigate your life. They can help you see things clearly or more objectively because they are more removed from your life and the people in your life. I 100% recommend making this part of your self-care practice. You don’t have to see your therapist every week. You can schedule appointments once/month or twice/month or whatever schedule feels right for you.
-There are even newer therapy services like Talkspace where you can send a message to a therapist via text, video or voice and you can continue the therapy sessions when you are available instead of trying to fit it into a specific time slot. I haven’t tried it myself since I was already seeing a therapist who I like, but it sounds like a great option. I do like getting to meet my therapist virtually though. That started during COVID and has saved me quite a bit of time not having to drive for sessions. You can check out Talkspace HERE.
-My therapist was recommended to me by someone, but I also utilized the website psychologytoday.com that is almost like Facebook for therapists, They have a profile about what they specialize in and some personal details about the therapists as well. So many people are doing virtual therapy now, but if you still want to meet face-to-face, you can also search for therapists close to you. I would also recommend looking for someone who you know has experience with your specific struggles. I specifically wanted a therapist who was also a mom who had been through pregnancy and could relate to the topic of postpartum depression. Check out psychologytoday.com.
-Did you know that depression can happen during your pregancy as well? I didn’t know that during my first pregnancy. I was wondering why I felt like I was struggling so much, and then I realized what was going on during my second pregnancy. All of these changes in your body and emotions can be tough to navigate, and sometimes you just know that something doesn’t feel right but you don’t really know what. Don’t feel bad about calling a nurse, doctor, therapist and friends and family to see what they think. I just kept thinking it would get better if I just kept trying during my first pregnancy and had a strange sense of shame over how I was feeling. During my second pregnancy that shame was gone and I was over it. I just wanted to get some help so I could feel more myself and have more stable hormones and emotions so I could be the best mom I could possibly be for my kids. I also wanted to feel good about myself and feel like I was doing ok emotionally. The March of Dimes has a great resource about postpartum depression that you can check out HERE. There is also Postpartum Support International that has resources and has a hotline that you can help to ask questions or get help. Here is the website: https://www.postpartum.net and hotline number: Postpartum Support International, 800-944-4PPD (4773)
Also, feel free to message me if you have any questions about this. Both pregnancies were tough for me so it is of course something that is close to my heart and I would love to help if anyone wants help.