Mental Health and Motherhood:: The “Something” is in the Work.

Mental Health and Motherhood:: The "Something" is in the Work | Houston Moms Blog

One day, I looked at myself in the mirror and I knew…something had to change. I hadn’t been able to see myself for so long, but in that moment I was able to reach in and grab what was left of me. With tears streaming down my face and the dark aching in my eyes, there lay the evidence that my mental health was not ok; I was not ok. I couldn’t put my finger on what that “something” would be. I just knew if I didn’t start digging and figuring, my life would take a drastic turn and there would be irrevocable damage. 

It took some time to understand the walk {mostly crawl} I would need to take to get myself into a place of discovery, and honestly I still have days when I’m not too certain that I’ve found my “cure all”. The steps I’ve taken have been mostly forward moving in the right direction, with a few steps back and circles, many circles around the horn. Eventually, I realign and begin again at a pace that seems excruciatingly slow one day and full-speed ahead the next. 

Answer the Question

Are you healthy?

Easy enough, right? Every moms answer:: Yeah, I’m pretty healthy. I should work out more and maybe slow down on the cookies, but I’m good.

What about this question ::

Are you mentally healthy?

Every moms answer :: Uhm, excuse me? What? So rude {smh}. Instant insult. 

It’s a hard question to answer. It’s a hard question to ask.

Side note :: Do not, under any circumstances ask your girlfriends, your sister, your mama this question. You’ll be down an amigo. 

This is a question for you, from you. This is a question of self that only your truest self, can answer. 

Warning :: She may also refuse to speak to you for awhile, but don’t give up. She is depending on you.

It’s a tough pill to swallow. It goes down like a flamin’ cactus gripin’ at your throat, begging for rejection. Take it anyway. Ask it. 

Answer it Honestly

If there is someone that could give you all the excuses for the reasons why she is the way she is, it would be me. They would range mostly from childhood trauma, faith crisis and ill prepared marital woes of the young and stupid. Those excuses even now don’t feel like cop-outs. However, I hung on to them with some extreme force to justify the irrationality of my “mood swings” for a long time {level up…I’m still cray, but the fun kind}. 

I haven’t had a picture-perfect life {has anyone really?}. There have been some really difficult times that have embedded themselves into the fiber of my being and others, that have exasperated those trials to the tenth degree. There have been times that I have been crippled by fear, mistrust, lack of understanding and have felt so impaired, I wasn’t certain that my existence even mattered. There has had to be a great amount of validation that has taken place, reconciled one by one. Every ounce of it has been handled like a glass egg, given the appreciation for the lessons I’ve learned within them and then placed right where they belong:: in the past. In the past as an experience I had, but not a defining experience of who I am or who I am capable of becoming {true therapy talk there}.

Its rare, even now when the words “mental health” are thrown around in the trendiest forms by the biggest faces we know publicly, to find people who truly understand what those letters squeezed together into two seemingly small words, really mean. It’s difficult to speak of my own mental health in an open honest forum and not be afraid of the backlash from possibly offending those around me and while protecting myself against judgement. There is still a stigma and belief that “that kind of health” isn’t really a thing. Is it? Or, “It’s good for you, but not for me”, attitude. Shame and embarrassment forever attached to its hip.

Do the Work

While it may be true that many may not benefit in the same way that I have from doing a condensed intense introspection {by way of a professional therapist} of their whole life span, it’s hard to believe that one would want to deny themselves of growth and opportunity to become better by taking a deeper look at their personal mental well-being, because they are afraid of the answer. It’s quite possible that it’s easy for me to feel this way now, because of how far I’ve come. There was a time that I was too terrified and hurt to even imagine looking at myself as a possible source of my own pain. No one wants to believe that they are the “problem”. I kicked and screamed and clawed myself out of believing that I was the one hurting myself, until I was the only one left in the equation. It was much easier to look back, point and place blame on the negligence of those around me, the ones that were suppose to protect and care for me. Why did I have to endure the hardship of survival and ALSO fight the difficulty of dredging it up, staring it in the face and working continuously to overcome the things I didn’t choose?

Many find physical health as a pathway to stronger mental health and some find spiritual health leading them on that same walkway of solidity and peace mentally, because of it. However, there are many that choose to ignore it {mental health} all together. Choosing instead to live a life half lived because of fear. Personal experience allows me to share with you that a fear based decision will only lead you deeper into the depths of self-deception, anger, resentment and loneliness. 

Every aspect of our health is divinely intimately intertwined. We may try to separate each from the other and get ourselves to believe they aren’t connected. Telling ourselves that our emotional neglect inward has nothing to do with our inability to take  care of our bodies outwardly. Show me a woman who is physically fit and we will stand in awe of her mental strength. Give me a woman who is spiritually sound and I will present that same woman who has emotional stamina. Tell me about a female with poor eating habits and an overall refusal to love her body, and I’ll wage a penny or two that she is even more unkempt in her soul, fighting everyday for survival. 

It’s time to stop surviving. Health {physical, mental, spiritual} it isn’t something you hope for or look for. It isn’t something you wait for or stay still for. It’s something you create. Creation at it’s core is the process of bringing “something” into existence and at it’s bones, creation is work. You are worth the work. Get to it. 


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One Response to Mental Health and Motherhood:: The “Something” is in the Work.

  1. Avatar
    Helen Trefrey May 21, 2019 at 11:30 am #

    I have suffered all my life with depression. I was born in 1938 , so I am 80 yrs now . It was not until 1995 that my Dr. gave me Medicine to stop my crying. I did try some herbs , they did not work for me . I know I must stay on my Medication to feel good !!!’

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