June 20, 2013 by Marj Hatzell
I recently started seeing a therapist.
A few years ago, when the boys were three and one, I started seeing an awesome therapist. I had some post-partum depression and some anxiety (lack of sleep, kids who don’t hit developmental milestones, etc, etc) and she really helped me sort it out. I eventually found support groups and other parents like myself and it helped tremendously. But insurance only pays for it for so long so after about eighteen months I stopped. But I kept up with the support groups and parents and I did ok.
Things have been very stressful the past few months, as you know. Dead parents, family crises, disabled children, you know, the usual stuff? I finally got to the point where I had to say to Myself, “I can’t handle this. And that’s ok! I can find someone to help me.” Admitting that was HARD. I’m so used to being awesome and perfect (tough job but someone has to do it, right?) and I place these ridiculous demands and expectations on Myself. I’m my own worst critic. And when I’m feeling vulnerable and feeling as though the world is judging my parenting, it’s really a reflection of how I’m feeling about Myself.
And right now, I’m not feeling so good about Myself.
See, I’m feeling like I’m lost. Like I’m treading water and barely keeping my head above water. I’m feeling as though I can’t exhale. I feel numb. I can’t sort out my feelings. I cannot make decisions, not even “paper or plastic” or “brown gravy or white gravy” or “water or tea.” I don’t feel like I’m an awesome parent. Or Wife. Or sister or aunt or cousin or friend or neighbor.
I’m just not Myself.
So I started seeing a therapist a few weeks ago. He’s helping me get back on track. He’s helping me learn to be ok with Myself and to love Myself again. Because due to everything that has transpired the past few years, I’ve sorta kinda lost Myself in there. I know Myself is around SOMEWHERE and I’ll find Myself. I just need the time and to allow Myself to do it.
The first step? Taking care of Myself. See, I can’t be awesome and perfect and supermom if I can’t take care of Myself. I’m out of f*cks to give, people. If I’m not feeling good about where I am in life right now, how can I help others? And helping others and being there for others is one of the most important things to me. I feel as though I have talents and love and guidance and advice to share and I want to help others as much as possible. But unless I refill that positive energy and happiness that has been waning I’m not going to be any use to anyone. Certainly not any use to Myself. Or my family.
So here goes nothing. And…exhale.