It’s been brewing for quite some time, these “feeling overwhelmed” emotions, and it is getting worse.
You see, I’m in the mental health profession. I’ve been training to be a therapist for a while. I’m very close to the end of my program. I’ve dug deep into my personal life and healed what I could. But unfortunately, I still have lots of work to do.
I’ve had my own mental health therapist for the last four years. But I hadn’t been seeing one recently.
When I got pregnant with my last, I worked really hard to cope with getting ready to have my second child. When I mean cope, I don’t mean it in a bad way. I mean it as I was scared and excited and overwhelmed with anxiety. I had guilt that I would not have enough love for both my kiddos. I was worried it would change my marriage and that I would fall into depression.
I had anxiety about becoming a mother again. I was scared I would die or get severely sick to the point I could no longer take care of my children. But I desired to have another child. And it’s been such a blessing.
When I thought I had control, it started small. And it’s been oozing out slowly ever since the pandemic hit. In 2020 I was in survival mode. I was unable to go to counseling consistently or go to my favorite coffee shop to study and have “me” time. I couldn’t go to the gym, but I tried my best to keep up with my physical activity. I tried.
I’d have break downs where I’d cry, and one time I didn’t want to come home. I made excuses that it was because of the pandemic and it’s because of the isolation. But I knew better. I knew that the leak of emotions was getting bigger.
The next best thing was to incorporate “self-care.” I did. I tried. I figured I’d better practice what I preach. But it’s not enough.
As someone who works in the mental health profession, I was in denial to some extent. I knew I needed to go back to therapy even if that meant seeing someone else. But I also felt shame that I haven’t been able to help myself, knowing what I know. I feel like I’ve reached out for help. I’ve been vocal about how overwhelmed I am, how I get frustrated and agitated at the smallest things.
I am going through “functional depression.”
It’s hard to admit. Although I’ve said the words, “I’m feeling overwhelmed” or “I’m feeling a bit defeated,” and “I just want to be a better mom.” Those words may seem like it’s not a big deal. In my reality, that is a cry for help. I’ve done the self-care strategies that best fit my lifestyle and what I enjoy. Now I am trying to be honest with myself. This is not enough. The being vocal and the “self-care” is not enough. I need to see a mental health professional.
What to do when what you’re doing is not enough?
1. Yes, be vocal and ask for help from your support system.
2. Seek professional help from a mental health clinician. If you need more than therapy, they will refer you to a psychiatrist or psychologist. You can also seek help from your primary care physician.
3. Know your limits.
4. Know that it’s ok to not be ok.
5. Cry it out if you can, when you can.
6. Be honest with yourself.
If you or someone you know is going through a hard time too, here are some additional mental health resources.
Originally published April 2021.
The opinions expressed in this post are those of the author. They do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of ABQ Mom, its executive team, other contributors to the site, its sponsors or partners, or any organizations the aforementioned might be affiliated with.