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Mental Health

Mental Health: A Journey

Today we’re going to talk about something a little bit different, mental health. I was diagnosed with bipolar disorder when I was in college. This was back in 2013. Since then, I’ve been in and out of different doctor’s offices. So, I haven’t gotten the proper care and treatment I should be getting. This is also something I’ve talked about openly twice, well three times. Once was to my husband, second was in a group chat specifically geared towards mental health, and the third is now.

It’s been so long since I’ve genuinely talked to a psychiatrist or even a regular doctor about my mental health concerns. So, it’s possible that I could have been misdiagnosed all those years ago. However, I’m operating under the assumption that it was a correct diagnosis.

The reason I wanted to talk about this today is because it’s important. It’s important to seek help when you need it. I also feel myself slipping into a depression. This is when I tend to be more serious about seeking help for myself.

Another reason I want to be so open about this is because of my daughter. I didn’t have an open relationship with my parents. I’m not sure why, but I never really felt like I could go to them with things. I don’t feel like I can open up to anyone really. I get physically uncomfortable when I share things really personal to me to anyone.

My husband is also one of those people who thinks that if someone wants to be happy, then they should choose to be happy instead of sad. Despite him thinking this, when I told him I was bipolar, he didn’t tell me to just be happy. Since then he’s also been more understanding of my moods. So, we’re working on his attitudes with mental health.

My point here is, I don’t want my daughter to grow up and live feeling she can’t open up about things. So, I’m starting to try and be open. Where else is she supposed to learn if my husband and I don’t model the behavior?

If you have any concerns regarding your mental health, please find someone to help you. I know (in America at least), that this can be very hard. Some people don’t have health insurance or your health insurance doesn’t cover therapy (or it’s just too expensive). If this is the case for you, please reach out to the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA). Their national hotline is 1-800-662-HELP (4357).

You’re not alone. There are people feeling similarly to you.
There are also people who can help.

Let me know what you think. I’m sorry if this post seemed a bit scattered. My thought process was quite literally “mental health, share”. So, thank you for sticking through this.

Thank you for stopping by and I will see you next time.

SAMHSA. “National Helpline”. http://www.samhsa.gov/find-help/national-helpline

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Mental Health, Postpartum and Beyond

Not Mine

Last week I had a difficult thought. My body is not my own.

I wake up every day and I get my daughter dressed and ready for the day. I feed her, clean the house, and play with her. Generally I’m cleaning while holding her or trying to keep her busy. I hold her until she sleeps and some days while she sleeps. I get bit, scratched, and have my attention demanded for all day. Then, I bathe her and help her to bed.

Then, my husband comes home or he’s already home, and now he wants to cuddle, be sexual, or in general just have some sort of physical contact. In general, all of those things are great. After a long day of having to care for someone else, it can make my skin crawl to even think about more physical contact at the end of the day.

I feel terrible writing it out. I’m a mom now. If my daughter or house (as in any cleaning to be done) needs something then I take care of them first. It should be easy to take care of my daughter and house all day and not feel used up at the end of the day. It’s not though. It can be draining and even violating to be constantly touched and needed by someone all day.

This is a feeling and thought that should be discussed more. It should also be normalized. I know I’m a good mom. I know I try my best every day. The days when I feel gross when someone touches me makes me feel like I’m a failure, a bad mom, and a bad wife.

I’m none of those things and if you’ve felt similarly to me, neither are you. It’s normal to feel used up after taking care of someone else all day. It’s also normal to want to not feel like sex is being expected at the end of a long day like that. If we’re cuddling or hugging (specifically my husband and I), is the butt and/or boob grab necessary?

Well, it’s okay. It’s okay if you’re feeling like you want to be in a no touch bubble. It’s okay if you don’t want to have sex. It’s okay and you’re doing good.

Remember to vocalize to your partner how you’re doing. Vocalize to a friend or family that some days you just feel exhausted of being touched all the time. A chat with your partner can help put you on a track to where you will feel sexual again. It will at least stop the unwanted grabs that instantly turn you off at least. A chat with a friend/family will help you get everything off your chest. They may even be able to related to you so you’ll know that you’re not alone in feeling like this.

To the parents feeling like their body doesn’t belong to them, you’re not alone and it’s okay. Things will get better and until they do, do not feel like you’re not good enough.

Did anyone you know warn you that you may experience any of these feelings? During my pregnancy I don’t think anyone gave me that warning. It was all just “you’re never going to sleep again” comments and general “your life will be so different”.

As always, let me know what you think! Would telling an expecting parent that these feelings may come be helpful or just scare them?

Thank you for stopping by and I will see you next time!

Challenges

Revisiting: Exercise Challenge

A few weeks ago I challenged myself to exercise for fifteen minutes every day. I was successful and then decided to see how I handled an entire month. Now that we are in early May, let’s take a look back and see how I did.

I didn’t do terribly, but I wish it went better.

The week of the 14th I just wasn’t feeling myself, and I used that as an excuse to take a few days off from exercising. Towards the end of the week, I remembered that exercising does make me feel good and I should try to do at least something. For the rest of the time I was able to do a yoga routine every other day.

There were times when I was only doing five-minute routines. Those days I tried to do multiple throughout the day. While those aren’t the workouts I necessarily like, it was nice to get a few minutes to stretch. I didn’t realize how tight my muscles get throughout the day.

Another thing I did this month was a few shorter, but harder routines. I did these shorter so I wouldn’t get frustrated. The poses were more difficult and I want to master them, but I need to practice in shorter bursts. As time progresses I’ll be able to increase the time and see some body improvements.

I’m a little disappointed in how I did with the month long challenge. I really want to get into the routine of waking up, exercising, and then getting Little P up and ready for the day. Even though this month didn’t go as well as I had hoped, I am going to keep at it! I’m determined to make this a part of my daily routine.

Updates

May: A Look Ahead

Hi Venturers! Today we’re going to be taking a look at goals and things I want to be improving for the month of May. Here we go.

Goals

  • Social media. This month I want to be increasing my social media presence. I want to create a Pinterest and keep working on my Twitter. Ultimately, (for Twitter) I’d like to have a nice balance of personal tweets as well as promotion.
  • Increase weekly view count. This month I’m trying to get my weekly views in the 100 range. We’re doing about half of that right now and I think we can reach more people.
  • Increase personal engagement. I follow so many wonderful blogs and I want to show them some love as well! This month I’m dedicating time every week where I go onto others’ sites and interact with them. I truly love what I read from others and I want to show them that this month.
  • Keep consistency and planning up!
  • I need to revamp Venture News (our newsletter). I need to find something exciting to do with it.

To Improve

  • Site look and functionality. I want to improve the overall look and feel of the site. Nothing too crazy, just a fresh paint of coat.
  • Quality. Again, I just want to make sure I’m putting out good content.
  • Posting time. I want a consistent time I put out my posts. So, I want to see if a specific time seems to work better this month.

I don’t have a fun challenge for this month. We’re also moving, so I guess if you want a fun challenge, then mine is to successfully pack and move without losing my mind. I hate moving.

Anyway. Let me know what you all think! What are your goals for the month?

As always, thank you so much for being here and I will see you next time!

Updates

April: A Look Back

Hello Venturers! Can you believe April is finished already? If you were here at the beginning of the month, you’ll know that I listed out some goals and things I wanted to improve on. So, let’s take a look back and see how we did for the month!

Fun Challenge

Completed! I actually completely forgot that I had set this kind of goal for myself. I ended up doing an Easter “photoshoot” with Little P. I will accept this win.

Improvements

I did pretty well on prewriting my posts this month. There were a couple of times when I did just write and post because I let myself get behind. Overall though, I stayed ahead of the game. Another win for us.

Interaction… A definite loss for me. I let myself up swept up in my moods of “I want to talk to everyone” and “everyone better leave me alone”. This is something we will need to address for May.

Goals

Increase daily view count was a success. This month we nearly doubled our monthly views and our average daily view is double this month than it was in March. That’s so exciting! Thank you all so much for helping me achieve this goal. I’m so grateful.

Consistency was so great this month! There may have been a day or two where I posted late, but it got out the next day. I would like to look at my newsletter and find ways to improve that. A half win on this. Big win for the blog and needs improvement on the newsletter.

Quality, this one is kind of hard to judge for me. I love to write, but a lot of the time I think it’s absolutely terrible. For April I had posts that I was so excited and proud about and others where I wondered why I was even trying.

Interaction (because it was a goal and needs improvement), see above.

Reflection

As a whole, I’m super excited about April. We had our highest view day ever this month, thank you all so much for that! We gained 12 new followers and even have a few people subscribed to the weekly newsletter. Again thank you so much!! I am absolutely blown away that you are all even stopping by let alone subscribing. So, a million thank yous to you this month!

As always, let me know what you think. Did you hit your goals for April? How can I help you reach your goals in the future?