Health, Mental Illness

One Day at a Time

A few weeks ago, I was lucky enough to spend the day with one of my best friends. We spent the day shopping and gossiping. Over lunch we sat and discussed everything from marriage to motherhood. In between stories of our children, a more serious topic came up. That topic was depression, more specifically how those without depression struggle to understand those who suffer from it. I have suffered from depression and anxiety since I was eleven years old. As a child, I hid my mental state from those outside my family. There is such a negative stigma when it comes to those suffering from depression or an anxiety disorder. Most people assume that those who are sick can not live a normal life and are weak. This is not the case. Explaining depression to those uninformed can be so frustrating. Over the last fifteen years, I have heard comments such as, “depression isn’t real, it’s just you trying to get attention.” Or “if you want to be happy you just need to think happy thoughts, since it is all in the mind.” These statements are false. To explain depression to someone who does not have it, I want you to imagine you are swimming in the ocean and a huge wave comes out of nowhere and pushes you down to the bottom of the ocean. You are so disoriented that when you try to swim to the top, you are actually swimming farther down. It takes a lot of work on your part and help from others, to finally get back to shore. This is how depression works. For me, depression consists of anxiety, sadness, loneliness and exhaustion. While these symptoms do not completely go away for me, I find relief through certain lifestyle choices. These choices include: getting exercise and spending time outside each day, talking about my emotions with someone I trust and taking medicine for depression and anxiety. I have also learned overtime, that my depression is worse during stressful situations, such as my parents divorce and the loss of my daughter. While it is impossible to avoid situations such as these, I found finding support from family and friends was the best way to ease me out of my depressive episodes. Like everyone, I have my good days and I have my bad days. On my bad days, I might just be a little more withdrawn and emotional than what is normal for those without depression. Though it is not easy living with a mental disease, and I never know when a wave of sadness is going to hit, I try to take it one day at a time. I am blessed to have an amazing husband who is there for me through my good days and bad days. My recommendation is for anyone who suffers from depression to find a support system who will lift you up on those bad days, and those who don’t, to become that support system that others so desperately need!

Love and blessings, 

Molly

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Health, Marriage, Motherhood

Self Care

From the moment you become a parent, your whole world changes. It isn’t all about you anymore. The focus is off you and now on your child. My son is almost a year old and it feels as if my life solely revolves around him. Sometimes to the point where I have neglected my physical, mental and emotional state. Over the past few months I have had to relearn how to take care of myself. For me, this means I have had to ask for help. If you know me personally, you understand how prideful I can be when it comes to asking for help. I have always wanted to appear as an independent young woman, who could carry her own weight in any situation. It wasn’t until I had Aidan and only getting a few hours of sleep, while also trying to keep up the household that I realized I couldn’t do it all on my own. I learned to lean more on my husband and stop trying to carry all the weight on my shoulders. This summer has presented many opportunities for me to rest and heal my mental and emotional state, while working on strengthening my physical state. On days Nathan is home with us, I am able to rely on him to watch Aidan while I take a nap. We came up with a system at the beginning of the summer where Nathan sleeps in, while I am up early with our son. I then get to take a long nap in the afternoon. These naps have allowed me to catch a few more hours of rest. When I am physically rested, my mental and emotional state is a lot healthier. I have also focused on taking time each day to get exercise. Through exercise I am producing endorphins which emotionally makes me happier, while also making me healthier. Besides getting more rest and exercise, I have learned how beneficial it is to take time for just myself. As adults, I feel it is very important for us to take a few hours a week just for ourselves. Whether it is spending an hour reading or drawing each day, or just walking through Walmart, having “Molly Time,” is something I need so I can mentally prepare for my roles as a mommy and wife. By neglecting my mental and emotional health, I know I cannot fulfill these roles to the best of my ability. I have had to learn over the past year the importance of self care and self love. As parents we need to take a step back from all the chaos of our lives and focus on ourselves once in a while. This does not mean we neglect our children or our responsibilities, but by doing so, we will be much happier and healthier human beings. By learning to love ourselves and take care of our mental, emotional and physical health, we can better care for our children and spouse! Remember your happiness and health is necessary and should always be a priority. 

Love and blessings, 

Molly

Christianity, Health, Motherhood

Loving Oneself

I always thought that as I grew older, I would become more comfortable in the body God designed for me. This isn’t always the case. The dreaded concerns of teenage acne and greasy hair, have been traded in for post pregnancy belly and stretch marks. Lately, I have been so unkind to myself. I look in the mirror and instead of seeing the healthy body I was given, I automatically see my flaws. It doesn’t help that as a woman, it feels as if there are societal expectations of what we should look like. These expectations consist of being a certain size and having flawless skin. Women who have had children, are judged if they have not shed the baby weight almost instantly. Television and social media shows us the actors and athletes who “bounce back” a month after giving birth.  Not all of us can afford personal trainers and nutritionists like BeyoncĂ© and other celebrities. I am almost 11 months post partum and I am still trying to lose some of the extra weight I put on while pregnant with my son. The fact is, as women we are too critical of ourselves. Instead of focusing on our flaws, we need to praise the fact we carried a human being for nine months. When looking in the mirror, instead of pointing out what we wish we could change, we need to celebrate the parts of us we love. God created each one of us specifically. He took his time designing all of his children and “so God created mankind in his own image.” Genesis 1:27. I pray one day humankind can be less critical of themselves, me included. It will take one day at a time to accept ourselves as we are. I will do my best to not judge my body for the changes I cannot always control, but for the miraculous abilities I have been given. Instead of idolizing a perfect image in my mind of what I wish I looked like, I will instead focus on maintaining a healthy mind, body and soul, while embracing my new curves and marks!


I want to dedicate this post to my husband, who reminded me that every curve and mark on my body is unique. I am like my own little snowflake. No one will ever look like me! 

Sending love from one snowflake to another, 

Molly