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Coping Mechanisms

Updated: Mar 15, 2023

Postpartum depression is no joke! And only very recently have we really started to recognise it and acknowledge it.

I went through it hard after my second child. But I didn't tell anyone until I broke down to my ex one day. You have this mindset that you don't want to burden people or sound weak or what have you. "Everything's ok, motherhood is great!" blah blah, I call bullsh@#. But you can't make it go away by pretending it's not there. Which I learned the hard way.

Not only was I dealing with the depression, but my ex was not around much. He was working to support us at home, yes, BUT it meant I had no brakes from my motherly profession. And I say Profession because that's what it is. A full time job with no pay and very little recognition.

I love my kids, of course, goes without saying. But we all need time to decompress; feel ourselves again. Because as mothers, in those first few years, our bodies/minds/emotions/time becomes our children's property. It just does. You can't deny that. It's in our makeup to forfeit that. There's a reason for it within nature to ensure the child has all the things they need to survive and thrive. But it depletes us as mothers. And in extreme situations (like my own) it leaves you hollow and completely lost.

I am ashamed to say that I reached for a vice. I became an alcoholic for a while. It was not the right thing to do, but it temporarily took away the edge. But not only was I dealing with the depression, I was also dealing with a failing marriage. So I was trying to cope. At that point I thought divorce was not an option and I was doomed to live unhappy and frustrated for the rest of my life. I know, a dramatic thought, but was my reality and what I felt. So I went to the old poisonous friend of alcohol. Not my shining moment.

But....Someone very dear to me said, when I was at my lowest, "Life is too short to be miserable." And for some reason that stuck in my brain. It infested my every thought for the following days after that. And that's when I began my path to becoming myself again.

It came with bumps, and regressions, and trial, and error... ALL of that! But I eventually got myself away from what made me need that coping mechanism. BUT it still took time to let go of that vice, even though I was away from him. I gave myself this excuse before. But now I didn't have it. It was time to work hard on myself and be the best I can for my boys. Not going through the motions just making it through the day.

I should also mention... I had an alarm that went off every night at midnight. It was my "made it through another day" alarm. Well if that doesn't tell you're miserable I don't know what else would. HA!

Also, when you leave a toxic relationship that involves children, it doesn't end there. I may have physically left, but we are intertwined for life. So sometimes the toxicity doesn't end there. So these patterns and crutches we use to feel just OK are hard to let go of. I'm not saying I don't drink anymore....BUT I drink in the appropriate amount now. Not a glass of wine in my coffee mug at noon. Yep I did that.

My point is.... we are HUMAN! We have FEELINGS! And we certainly all make mistakes. Things that we shouldn't be afraid to talk about or feel ashamed of.

How have you felt or coped with your separation? Did you lean on something?

single mom, new life, on my own

Luv you mama's!

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