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This is the first post of a 3 part series about counseling
“Don’t cry, don’t cry, don’t cry.” I would chant to myself upon getting out of bed. As I maneuvered around the house, getting breakfast for my little one, feeding the cat and picking up the house, I would tell myself not to start in, knowing once I did, it’s hard to stop.
Knowing the heavy loneliness that awaited each day seemed to be getting more and more unbearable. I didn’t really know why I was so sad, or why I couldn’t shake it.
Was it me?
Or was it my circumstances?
All I did know is it’s like getting out of bed and a cloud hovered over me no matter where I would go, there was no escaping it.
I would guilt myself every step of the way, shaming myself for being so sad when I had a dream life compared to some people.
I didn’t have to rush out the door to work. I got to stay home, own the day and make it mine. Run my own schedule, play with a baby all day and chat with a teenager in the afternoons. I could recognize all the good I had going for me so why wasn’t I feeling it?
I was healthy, we all were healthy. We have roof over our head and vehicles in the drive. What is my problem!
God didn’t want me to live like this. He has given me so many blessings, yet I was miserable.
I think deep down I knew what my problem was. I just couldn’t seem to fix it by myself. I was so fed up. I knew I needed to learn some coping skills. Because I couldn’t change my circumstances but I could figure out how to live with them.
I was angry!
When I wasn’t crying all the time, I was furious.
At the time, I was weaning from breastfeeding and it was seriously messing with my hormones which resulted in my emotions all over the place. I know that contributed to a lot of the issues.
But the main thing weighing me down was crippling loneliness!
Not just in absence of the physical presence of people, although that was a huge factor, but a loss in connection to everyone around me.
I mean I had a few people in my life it’s not like I was completely physically alone, although sometimes it did feel like it. The alone feeling primarily came from not being able to connect with anyone. No one understanding or being able to relate to.
Being a stay at home mom is lonely. Most everyone you know is at work. Just me and the kids. Always.
Their dad worked nights at that time. Sleeping all day and gone for 12-hour nights.
I live in a very small town, very small. No mommy and me playgroups around here. I tried, oh did I try. Which was a super hard feat for me being an introvert.
Plus, when you are that low and stuck in your head, your confidence is non-existent, and the gumption to actually do things seems so so hard and not worth the struggle to plan, pack, get out the door and travel.
A battle went on in my head everyday not wanting to be vulnerable or look desperate but longing for another adult to interact with.
Where is my village?
I would get so burnt out. Everyday the same thing.
Looking at my phone and realizing on some days it hadn’t made a noise the entire day. Does anyone out there know I exist?
It was such a misfortunate time and unfortunate circumstances that landed me in such a dark place of isolation.
I’m not sure if at that time I was suffering from postpartum depression. Obviously, I know that I cried a lot and I know that I felt so utterly lonely. But I could still have good days, happy days, I wasn’t bed ridden by any means, not like that was an option anyway.
I just tried to hide from actually putting a label on it. Because putting a label on it meant that I was not in control of my body or emotions (even though clearly, I wasn’t) and that would trigger my anxiety. I didn’t need the anxiety to deal with too.
So many things were a contributing factor.
I was growing so angry, bitter and resentful. I felt like how could my family not care. How can they not do something, what very little there were of them left in my extended family.
It seemed everyone went on about their daily lives. Busy, apathetic and uninterested. After all, they weren’t living this. When someone would offer their time or stop by for a visit, it was never nearly as satisfying or filling as I needed it to be.
In my family we don’t talk about emotions, you must never ever at any cost seem weak.
I literally felt trapped in a cage.
So, where did that leave me……
A Pivotal Moment
I stood at the sink doing dishes one day while the baby was napping and my son was at school and cried out hard to God for help. I asked him to give me some insight on what I should do, knowing I couldn’t go on like this. I pleaded for a new perspective on this situation, knowing I couldn’t change most the circumstances but needed to see things in a new light. I needed to know if I was selfish and crazy for feeling so alone all the time or if my feelings were valid.
I got my answer!
I immediately jumped on the phone to see about counseling. I had considered this a dead end before because I had done counseling in the past but never got much out of it, and it is expensive and spending that amount of money every week just wasn’t an option.
What I was told on the other end of the phone was my saving grace. They had an intern about to graduate that was welcoming new clients to finish out his credits, charging less than half of what an already licensed therapist charges.
Better than nothing!
I’ll take it!
Read Part 2: My Experience In Counseling Here