Normally when I hear this song by Natasha Bedingfield, I am instantly taken back to the days of sitting in my bedroom waiting for The Hills to come on.
But not today.
Because when it came on, I was on my way to my first counseling session.
Now, if you haven’t heard the song, basically it’s about turning over to a new, clean page and looking forward to a fresh start at your life. It’s a song that you belt out as you’re driving in your car- whether happy as can be, without a care in the world or sobbing as you reflect on your life, wishing for that fresh page to be turned.
I was the second one today.
I’ll be honest and say that I wasn’t planning on sharing about having to go to counseling, as it was something I was embarrassed, and even ashamed of having to do.
But there was that little whisper in my ear telling me that somebody out there is feeling the same as you. Somebody out there needs to hear your story. So here I am.
It all started a little over a year ago, after I had our daughter Iris. After a few weeks of bringing her home and attempting to get used to our new life with two kids, something just didn’t feel right. It’s hard to describe. It was like there was an emptiness inside of me that couldn’t be fulfilled. I was sad but coudn’t say why. I yelled, screamed at the littlest things… and then would sob over doing that.
I tried to blame it on everything I could. The hormones. The lack of sleep. The getting used to two kids instead of one. Stress from work. I thought it would just go away eventually. We would get used to this life, my hormones would get back to normal and I would be fixed.
It’s been over a year, and it hasn’t been fixed. It’s gotten worse, actually. Except now I am more aware of it. I am open to finding out the cause of it. I am trying to get myself better; I am trying to make myself whole again.
So when I finally opened up to my doctor about it, she referred me to a counselor. I didn’t know what to expect going into it. I guess I thought of the stereotypical lying on a cot and sobbing over my story while a stranger sat and listened, and then I would leave and feel better. Or should tell me that I’m crazy and put me on medication to fix my emotions. Obviously my lack of knowledge about this whole thing should have been taken care of before going.
But it wasn’t like any of those. I sat in a normal chair and had a normal conversation with a kind woman about my life in general. She asked questions, I answered them, she gave suggesstions, and so on. Surprisingly, there was little tears from me. Just a lot of sweat ( I tend to get red and warm when talking about my insecurities.) We agreed to meet again once a week for awhile. And that was that.
But one thing she did ask me struck a cord and has left me questioning even more.
She asked if I had ever felt depressed or had anxiety before.
And I didn’t know the answer to that. My first thought would have been no, but after sitting and thinking, I guess I didn’t even know what those felt like.
I have never talked about my emotions. I am not good at digging deep into the pit of my heart and mind and why I feel the way I feel. I am not good at opening up.
What I do know is that there are times where I’m driving in the car and I randomly start sobbing. What I do know is that almost every night I have to apologize to our son for yelling at him for wanting to change the channel, and then him telling me that “It’s okay, mom.” Even though I know it’s not. I know that there are times, and I hate, hate, hate even admitting this, that I sit and think what life would be like without my kids. I hate saying it like that because I love my kids and my family to death, and would do anything for them. But every now and then I get to thinking “If my kids weren’t here, I would be able to travel the world. I would be able to spend money on this. I would be able to go out and do this.” and so on. I think about all of the “What Ifs.” What if I didn’t get married so young, have kids so young, and didn’t have to grow up so fast. What if I had gone to college right away, then I would be able to support our family already. What if I had grown up like a freaking Kardashian… that one’s a stretch, but I do think about it sometimes.
And then after thinking those thoughts, I start crying, or cussing at myself. How could I even think about not having my kids and husband?! What is wrong with me?! Why am I the way that I am?!
So yeah, maybe I am depressed. But I just don’t understand why. Why am I depressed when I have a supportive husband as my best friend, two beautiful babies, a roof over my head, the ability to have a job and go to school. Why would I feel so empty when I have all of these things?
Unfortunalty, I still don’t have the answer to that.
But I’m taking steps to figure it out. I’m taking steps to understand why I have good days and bad days. I’m taking these steps because I don’t want my kids to look back and think of their mom as yelling and crying all of the time. I’m taking these steps because my husband deserves a spouse who is there with him. I’m taking these steps for the girl who writes these posts. Because she deserves more than this emptiness. She deserves to find the beauty in life again.
“Today is where your book begins. The rest is still unwritten.”