I’ve been struggling lately, and I was debating even sharing this here. But I feel like I need to. And I’m hoping this helps someone else too.
My body wants to be in equilibrium but instead it’s always being pulled in all directions- wobbly and unsteady, never truly at peace.
My mind wants to be calm, but it’s running a million miles a minute, never stopping, always worried or anxious or thinking about something- someone. Constantly.
My body feels foreign, like it belongs to someone else. I’m uncomfortable in my own skin most days.
I’m the happiest I’ve ever been- so overwhelmingly grateful and full of joy. And yet, I can’t feel calm.
I love this life we’ve created, these babies that belong to us, and yet, I’m always a little bit on edge.
So that’s where I’m at. If we were having coffee right now, and you asked how I’m doing, that’s it. It’s confusing and it’s not quite right but it’s not terrible either, and I don’t know what to do with it, but here it is.
Right now, I’m seeing the problem and I’m doing what I can to help it: I’m going to start meditating, I’m speaking truth into myself each morning (words are so powerful!), I’m journaling (because writing has always been therapeutic for me) and I’m finally starting to regularly exercise again (something I’ve learned that I need in order to feel empowered and like myself again). Those endorphins make me HAPPY. So I’m making a plan to take care of myself as well.
And I’m talking about it, a lot. Thankfully I’ve got the best husband who is always here to listen. I’ve got a plan. I’m ready. And I’m just taking it one step at a time. With so much grace surrounding me, always. Just sharing this already feels like I’m headed in the right direction.
If you have experienced anything like this and have any advice, or something that you’ve found to be helpful, please share in the comments. I’m sure it would help so many, including myself.
Postpartum is hard and tricky and your hormones are alllll out of whack. It’s normal to feel “off” but that doesn’t mean it has to stay this way. We’ve got some little ones depending on us to be the best we can be. For them, but also for US. Because we are worthy and important and we deserve it.
Prayers of peace for you. I did not experience postpartum anxiety but I did have a strange case of PTSD and anxiety about 5 years ago. The way you described your body as being foreign to you is exactly how I felt (that is the best description of what I felt) It is hard when you know you are blessed and happy and grateful and thankful. I thought, why am I feeling this way. It was horrible.
I am a believer and very spiritual so I knew what I was feeling was not right and was not how I was supposed to feel. I was also very aware of what was happening to me and I did all I could to pull myself out of it. I prayed, I thought positive, I would make myself live life and not be stuck under a horrible dark cloud. You will get through this and you are being smart by talking about it and getting it out. Talking to people about how I felt helped me tremendously (p.s. my doctor tried to put me on anxiety meds but they did not help me and only made it worse. I think that was a saving grace for me so that I could face it head on without the medication. Though everyone is different and if the meds had helped me, I would have kept taking them.) I feel “normal” and have been, I got through it. I know this is not exactly what you went through but just know that it will get better as long as you continue to be strong like you are now but to also depend on your husband and friends and family to help you through it. (ps, my blog is way old. I need to take a class on doing blog posts and making some money at it. Work and life gets in the way. So kudos to you for doing a great job at blogging and raising kiddos and be successful at it)
Oh, Terri, I’m so sorry you went through so much sadness and difficulty- life can be a wild ride sometimes. Thank you for sharing. It’s amazing how strong we really are, when we are faced with trials. So glad to hear you got through it all! And thank you for the prayers- praying for you as well! I love what you said about making yourself LIVE LIFE. It really is so important- sometimes hard, but always worth it.
I commend you for being brave and speaking out publicly about this. Anxiety is a tough thing to deal with if you’ve never experienced it so profoundly before. That was me 3 years ago. Only now am I learning what works and what doesn’t for me (along with autoimmune thyroid issues that were uncovered). Definitely fight for self care…whatever that is for you. And talk. Get outside. Make time for things you enjoy. And if necessary, talk to your doctor and get help, and don’t you dare be ashamed about it. :) Praying for you, Katie.
Love all of those tips. Thank you for sharing!! “Fight for self care”- I LOVE THAT. It’s so important for overall health.
Thank you so much! I am feeling very similar after my fourth child. Not depression but definitely anxiety! Especially the part about wanting to be calm but being pulled in so many different directions. It’s a very happy, but also hard time. Thank you for sharing!
Thank you for sharing too! Yes, being pulled in so many different ways is so hard and unnatural feeling, but finding a sense of calm is what’s been so helpful for me. To snap me back into the present. Lots of love to you!
❤️❤️taking magnesium, fish oil and vitamin d helps too!!
I take all of those! Yes, yes yes!
Thank you for your bravery in speaking about this. So many new moms experience postpartum depression and/or anxiety. My twins are now 11 but I remember how you feel. I felt so anxious, I couldn’t sleep, I felt like I was crawling out of my skin. I ended up going to a counselor for talk therapy and then taking anxiety medication. Part of it I think was hormonal (I felt like I was on speed!) so the medication stabilized me. We bottle fed them which let my husband take over night shifts when he was off work and I could finally get some sleep.
When you’re in the moment it feels like it will last forever. Looking back I was hugely improved by 3ish months, and close to 100% by 6-9 months. It’s a huge change in your life. Hang in there mama, it will get better soon. Xo
Thank you for sharing your experience, and for the encouragement! It’s so nice to hear from mamas who’ve been through it before. Yes, talking has helped me SO MUCH. Just getting these feelings out is huge.
Talking about it is what really helped me. Mine wasn’t so bad after my first, but my second was pretty bad. Praying, asking for help journaling, and alone time. It was hard to ask for help and express how I was feeling. Talking with my cousin who had two kids and also my friend who is a NICU nurse and they helped me find the words to use for my husband for him to understand.
My husband was always helpful and supportive, it’s hard to have help but feeling like you are alone. I’m sorry that you are going through this season, but the good news is it will be over and it will seem like a distant memory-at least that’s how it felt for me. Thank you for being brave and saying something.
Amazing- having that support system who you can talk to and relay your feelings off of is HUGE. So glad you had that, too! It really is hard in the moment, but it’s been so relieving just sharing and also finding what is working for me. Thank you for your sweet words.
Good for you. I would wake up to check doors and windows and feel my kids bellies a couple times a night. I was overwhelmed and exhausted. I was so in the moment I did not notice WhT I was doing wasn’t healthy for me. I feel we all live so in the moment with little babies and so wrapped up in family it is hard to recognized the signs.
YES, absolutely. It’s so hard, this entire journey!
I commented on this post and felt a little sad that you did not publish it.
I even took out the part where my first child, Jake, was stillborn at 37 1/2 weeks due to an undiagnosed condition and how that grief was paralyzing. I did not want to say how my deep sadness could have, years later, created my strange PTSD and anxiety. I tried to give encouraging advice and I guess I got too deep.
I read your blog all the time and love keeping up with you and your beautiful family. I wish you all the best..
No, not at all! I just saw that the comment was pending and I just needed to approve it- there were many comments and it was still waiting for approval, that’s all! I just approved it and will be replying shortly. Lots of love to you. I can’t imagine that sadness that brought with it.
Thank you for sharing. I also had trouble after my 3rd. My children are kindergarten, 3 and 1. Right after my third was born, I left my career, became a SAHM and we moved across the country away from family and friends. When the baby was about 7 months, I just started feeling off. I felt weird headaches and head pressure and constantly felt like I needed to crawl out of my skin. Every task seemed overwhelming. It was terrifying. I saw multiple new doctors, and finally one suggested anxiety. I literally had convinced myself I was dying. Like you, I never felt I could relax or feel calm. I had to keep moving or leave the house, which is tough with 3 small kids. Once the doctor suggested anxiety, I decided I needed to focus on self care. I joined a gym and focused on resting some. I eventually added in medication, because working out would help for a bit but the racing in my head would return soon after. Now my baby is 18 months, and I feel back to normal for the most part! I try to do my devotional daily, workout almost every day, eat well and keep involved socially. Not every day is perfect, but if I implement these things, I have felt great! Good luck to you, and I hope you find your normal again soon.
I LOVE that- thank you so much for sharing! Daily devotional, working out, eating well and staying social- YES to all of that! I’ve found those are crucial for myself as well. Thanks girl.