Joy of Motherhood
We hear all about it while we are pregnant: The joy of motherhood, the unconditional love. How tired you will be, your body will never be the same, your baby will always come first now, you may even forget to eat and shower (or be too tired too). They tell us to look out for signs of Post Par-tum Depression (PPD) and signs of anxiety. Are we prepared for it? No. But we are keenly aware that it could happen? Yes. We look out for signs of PPD. Do I love my baby enough? Am I depressed? Or am I just super tired? Am I angry or just cranky? Maybe I just am hungry and that’s why I am so annoyed (hangry if you will). What no one talks about is the loneliness… and no one can prepare you for that.
Loneliness of Motherhood
You may think.. lonely? How are you lonely? You are constantly with someone. If anything you are the opposite of alone. Yes I am never alone but I am lonely. Something I have never admitted out loud before was that I didn’t feel that initial unconditional love. I loved my baby but it wasn’t some magical feeling that I thought would be thrust upon me. I thought I was broken. That something was wrong with me. Maybe that was part of PPD (not that I ever got checked for that or reached out to anyone). I had been diagnosed with depression in my early 20s so I figured I would suffer PPD and just get through it myself like I get through everything. For whatever reason that is how I like to deal with things. ON MY OWN.
But how would I get through the loneliness on my own when literally the problem was feeling alone. I managed. I joined a weekly playgroup. I went to work part time. I went to the gym as much as I could so I still had something for me. But I was in Florida away from all my family and friends. My boyfriend worked full time and we worked opposite schedules to avoid putting and having to pay for our daughter in daycare.
It just wasn’t enough. I still felt lonely. My boyfriend and I made the decision to move back up north to be closer to everyone. That would surely fix the problem right?
Reality of Motherhood
I moved up here with all these expectations. I will see my old friends all the time. I will make all these new friends. I will find my career. Life will be great. At first it was but then it just got lonely again; even more so than before. It’s true when they say no matter where you go you will always be there. No matter where I moved and went that wasn’t going to change my mental and emotional state. It took me over a year to truly realize that. I started talk therapy about 4 months after I moved back up and even that wasn’t enough. I needed to change me. I joined an app to meet local moms, and if there was one major thing I learned from that: motherhood can really be lonely at times. Whether your close to friends and family, whether your far away, whether you have a million friends or one friend, your dream career or not, motherhood can be lonely. I’ve been in therapy now for over year, starting on some medications to FINALLY deal with my depression and anxiety and have been putting myself out there more to meet more people. I may not be exactly where I want to be but I am closer than I was a year ago.
How did motherhood change you? Was it a lonely experience? Or was your experience different? If it was lonely, what have you done to combat that? Let me know in the comments!
In the midst of the mess around us, the mental drain, missing friends and family, the dread of not knowing when this will all end, lives being put on hold, parties and weddings being postponed and cancelled, are the handful of us who feel our whole future is on hold.
Every Tuesday I meet with my therapist, currently via tele-health, to discuss the weeks happenings, how everything is affecting me. Before all this happened we had goals and plans lined up. And I was really putting the work in to attain those goals then Quarantine happened..
The problem is, a lot of my goals involved an outside world. It involved me doing more than going back and forth to an office (my boss refuses to let me work from home) and sitting home on weekends trying to find ways to keep my toddler entertained (not that I really mind that). It involved more than just catching up on my DVR or reading books by the week.
This year was supposed to be about being more social, growing a circle of local friends. Getting a new job, no a CAREER, that I didn’t mind waking up to go to everyday. A career that paid better so that one day I could own a house. I was re-connecting with an old friend from high school. The weather was getting nicer and things actually felt like they were looking up for me.
Now I wake up everyday and feel like I’ve taken a hundred steps back. My depression hit a low that I felt it hadn’t been at in years. My job feels as miserable as ever. I am trying to be as social as possible via text but even that feels like a strain most days. I know everyone’s world is on hold right now but my whole future feels on hold right now.
The scary part: what will happen when it’s all over?
Do I pick up where I left off? Do I start from the beginning? Will anyone be able to get back to “normal”? What is “normal”?
How has the quarantine affected you? Your life now? Your future dreams?
Let me know!
The first time I remember feeling depressed was in high school. Did it start before that? Possibly. But the first time I remember feeling that low, how can I feel and live like this forever feeling was sophomore year.
Nothing had happened to make me feel that way. I had friends, was doing okay in school, family life was normal. I do remember asking my mom to talk to someone but for whatever reason, maybe she was in denial about her child feeling that way, she said no and I let it go.
At this point I just needed some escape so I turned to music. After school, late at night and weekends would be full of me listening to music that I could relate too. Mostly alternative rock, punk rock and emo music (I was in HS when it emerged and was all the rage. Do people even make emo music anymore?).
Music was my saving grace in high school. I honestly don’t know if I would have made it out alive if it weren’t for it.
During that time, music was the only way for me to deal with the feelings. I also began to write poems to get out feelings but they were filled with lyrics from songs that I was listening to. I wrote down every single lyric that I related to in a separate notebook so I could look back on it when I was feeling down.
Lately, I have fallen back into that routine of listening to music to get though the day and night. I can’t listen to it as much because of my daughter but when I am working it’s my background noise. I have found new songs but also rely heavily on old songs. My boyfriend laughs at me because I listen to the same music I did in high school but I am pretty sure no one makes emo music anymore (LOL). I am glad that I can always rely on music and the artists that speak to me in ways no one else can.
Do you listen to music to get yourself through tough times? What other healthy habits do you have? Have you had to altered your healthly habits during this time? Let me know in the comments
Hi! Welcome to my blog. Background: I have been struggling with depression and anxiety for most of my life. I have never managed in a healthy manner but after becoming a mother I knew things had to change. I have been in therapy for the past year and just started on medications. With everything going on in the world it has become harder to manage the depression and anxiety and I am sure there are others who are struggling just as much. I am hoping with my story and my coping mechanisms I can help others navigate through the world of motherhood while suffering from mental illness.