Its now 5.34 am and I’ve already been up for an hour. With all 3 girls now under the weather with colds and a cough its been a rough night with around 2 hours sleep in total. Through a night mare in there too this mumma needs a XL double shot latte this morning! The past week and a half we have had so much going on and so many little things on – my plate has just been FULL. A full plate means my anxiety has crept back in.
Those signs for me include:
Hot Flush begins
Heart start to race
Breathing rapidly increases
Quick to turn grumpy
Cant turn my brain off from overdrive
Bloating and upset tummy
Nightmares happen over night
As soon these signs start I know I have hit my limit and need to step back and re asses. Over the past month I felt in a good place to start weaning off my Anti Depressants (alongside my GP) but after less then 5 days off them I wasn’t ready. I am not sure if it just was the timing of coming off with so many things happening at once – we all have those weeks, but I just wasn’t coping. So back on them I went. I am happy to say I have halved my initial dose though and I am ok with staying on this amount now until I feel ready to try time off them again in the future. There is no right or wrong time to decide you don’t need that extra support of medication and I am learning to accept that it is OK if I need that support for the foreseeable future. It is so important to be kind to yourself no matter what you have been through and what the reason is you may be on medication for, it does not make you weak. In fact it makes you stronger for being able to face your anxiety or depression head on and get help. I’ve said it many times before and will continue to say it but I wish I reached out for help sooner rather then crashing into a brick wall at 150km/h. A year ago I thought I was coping ok with everything my body had been through with the pregnancy, early traumatic delivery and only 12 weeks in the NICU so far with many more weeks to come but I really wasn’t. I was hiding the fact I was not ok. It wasn’t until we took Hanna home and had to leave Riley for just over another 5 weeks in hospital I couldn’t do it any more. I needed help STAT. Unfortunately for me the Dr gave me a script I later that night found out I was allergic too and ended up in hospital – so please be careful and to find the medication that works for you may take trial and error – so always be in contact with your GP.
I always thought so negatively about taking Anti Depressants as I personally had never suffered from PTSD, PND, PNA or general depression/anxiety. After Adelyn I had no PND so after the twins it was a shock but expected after everything we had just been through. As a mother we must look after ourselves before we can look after our children and this includes mentally and emotionally not only physically. Please take time to have those few minutes or hours if you can to yourselves, reach out to a friend, have time away from the kids if possible to reconnect with yourself, teach yourself the importance of self love and over all be kind to yourself. Your body has just been through something totally amazing and it should be cherished.
Things I find to help keep my anxiety controlled other then medication:
Getting a workout in even if its 15 mins of physical exercise
Get outside into the fresh air
Give some one you trust and love a call such as your partner or a friend
Essential oil blends specifically for calming
Let out the tears
Writing down those feelings
Playing my favourite music
Doing simple self love things such as sitting and having a cuppa or painting my nails
If I am with the kids and feel an anxiety attack coming I make sure they are in a safe place and go outside to sit, breathe and re asses my feelings and see what I can control and not control
Try to remind myself I cannot control everything and that is OK!
So please mummas be kind to yourself and never feel weak for reaching out for help. Being a parent is a tough gig and we need to all support each other and not judge each other over our choices. We are all doing the best we can in the moment.
It is important to always remember that mental health matters! Please contact your GP if you feel you may need help coping with your anxiety or depression, it is never to late to get the help and support you may need.