Postpartum Joy and Anxiety

75% of new mothers struggle with anxiety.

SEVENTY FIVE.

It’s time to stop pretending that this is a phenomenon and start treating mothers with Love and Care.

Truth: you might have a beautiful birth story and still have trauma from it.

Truth: you might have had a perfect pregnancy and still feel off.

Truth: you might have a wonderful relationship with your new baby and still have crippling fear.

If we assume behind those eyes that she is “ok,” we are greatly under serving her and the family she is in.

For me, I was afraid to tell people of my crippling anxiety, and I didn’t really have a word for it. I didn’t know I was in the pits of extreme mental issues, and I was afraid to tell people because I didn’t want anyone to think I wasn’t happy to be a new mother.

What I didn’t understand was that I could be a good mother and a happy mother and still struggle with mental health.

And I feel like if anyone had told me that and given me the tools to get through it, I would have been a better mother to my young children. Instead, I struggled, without vocabulary to describe what the struggle was, for years. It started with mental health issues of young adulthood, became paralyzing anxiety and depression postpartum, multiplied by having multiple tiny people in my house, and wasn’t broken until I did a lot of digging on my own.

If mothers have the language and the tools, imagine the healthier, happier homes we could create.

New mother protocol should include:
– actual postpartum medical care
– physical therapy
– mental and emotional therapies
– help with the new baby and existing family

It’s not too much to ask. It’s essential.

Have you ever thought You are the Ornament?

Have you ever thought that you were just there to be the ornament?

That you needed to be plastic, fake, covered in glitter, and personality-less?
Maybe you thought:
– they will like me if I look a certain way
– I will be safe if I stay quiet
– if I fit in with the other ornaments in the room, I will be safe an accepted .

It’s an adaptation that we have made to be safe. Because in our world history, standing out or being different could get your thrown out of the tribe.. or burned. Or stoned.

But how does being an ornament serve you and the world today?

Does it elevate your life? Does it elevate the experience of the world? Does it accomplish a mission of trust, kindness, and humanity?

So the next time you feel like you’re in a space where you feel you won’t be safe unless you smile and nod, just ask empowering questions.

What brings me into this space?
Who am I here to empower?
What am I to say and to whom?

Break free from being an ornament and become the stable, strong, life-giving tree.

You are the Art

 

Edited in Prisma app with Leya

Can you see yourself as the artwork?

Have you accepted that you were made in a specific way on purpose for purpose?

I want to remind you today that

  1. You are beautiful and lovable exactly as you are in this moment
  2. You can love yourself totally and completely and still seek self improvement
  3. True self improvement can only come from a space of Love

Have you ever tried to work on an aspect of yourself out of self loathing?

How did that go?

Typically, going from a place of self loathing leads to 2 outcomes:

  1. More self loathing
  2. Temporary results

But here’s what I also know. I know that you can’t wake up from years of negative self talk and suddenly have positive self talk. You especially can’t believe yourself if you look in the mirror and your brain is thinking one thing, but you say another. That’s called being out of alignment, and it doesn’t lead to self Love.

Basically, you’ll call yourself a liar, which leads to more self loathing.

So, instead, we take bite sized pieces. We start small.

We focus on one thing we can be in alignment with.

For instance, I really like my eye color.

That’s day one. Eye color. I have pretty eyes. And when your brain goes to “yeah, but your wrinkles…” you stop and go back to the eyes.

Then, you start catching yourself with these thoughts that might be on a loop cycle in your head, things like “you can’t succeed because…” or “you’re not worth it because…”

OK; stop those and correct them because God didn’t make a slouch, and She gave you everything you need to be the person She intended to be on this planet.

Take the time to get to know yourself, your strengths, and what you can identify as lovely. Keep adding to that list every day.

You’ll start to see a shift, because you’re seeing what you already believe.

Then, you can see the magic in store for you.

How Nurtured is that Seed?

You are seeing what you already believe.

About yourself, the world, others, life…

So, events, people, actions, etc, have all placed seeds of belief in your mind. And you see the seedling or the result of what it is that was planted.

But what if you decided to see the plant differently?

What if the plant wasn’t a weed at all, but an interesting, fruitful plant? What if it gave life? What if it were robust and amazing? But you spent all these years with the belief that it was something else.

What then?

What if you could dissect that plant? Look at it from a cellular level?

Who planted this here? And why?

I think we have some digging up to do.

I think it’s pretty painful. But, like the song says,

Can’t go over it. Can’t go under it. Can’t go around it. Gotta go through it.

Let’s think of an example.

Look in the mirror. What do you see? Be honest.

Most of us immediately see “flaws” that don’t exist, other than in our own minds. Wrinkles, fat, unevenness, etc.

What if you questioned what you saw? What if you asked that thought “How did you get here?”

And let the answer come.

You might be surprised.

I work with a lot of women who carry body shame.

And I have been that woman.

When I looked in the mirror after giving birth, I could not see the miracle that stood before me. I could not see that I was the vessel for someone’s life. I could not see the work this body went through to make another life.

All I saw was a mistake.

In fact, I physically couldn’t reconcile with the woman in the mirror.

In fact, I couldn’t even call her a woman in the mirror.

I was hyper critical of her, tore her down, shamed her, and carried it.

It took me years to find out that I didn’t have to think that way or feel that way.

It took me years to find out that I could choose to see all of me in a completely different way.

It’s available to you, too.

I recommend The High Five Habit by Mel Robbins for extra help in this area, and I recommend meditations by Marisa Peer to go deeper into those seeds that were planted, mostly before you could recognize how or why they were ever put there.

You’re not alone. We all go through it. And we all must help each other pull out of it.

Ready?

I am fearlessly and wonderfully made.

I am made in Her image.

I am a powerful force of nature.

I am a vessel for life.

A brief mental health moment…

 

My name is Carrie and I struggled with paralyzing anxiety for 25 years.

The kind where I would completely forget to breathe and have to remind myself to breathe… or pass out. And I did pass out on occasion.

Most people had no idea what struggle I was in. I got really good at pretending I was all confidence.

I set myself free from this constant state of fear about 11 years ago…

It tries to sneak back in to my brain every so often, usually when stuff is being piled onto my plate… especially when that stuff is out of my direct control.

The way out is to release control. Remind myself to breathe. Take a gratitude break. Remember who I am, why I am here, and who I serve.

And to remember Who sent me.

So if you’re struggling and up at night, I hear you and I understand. If you struggle to breathe at times, I will be here breathing on your behalf.

We are not meant to carry this; in fact, we have been instructed not to.

Ready? 💨 breathe in. 💨 breathe out
Today I am grateful for:
Today, I release the control of:
Today, I take one step at a time.