“When do I get to put myself back together again?” I sobbed to my husband after an intense anxiety attack finally subsided. Its 3 months after the birth of my 2nd child…a beautiful boy with a litany of health problems. In a matter of months, I’d dealt with a rough pregnancy, postpartum recovery from a csection, substantial health issues for both kids, numerous hospital stays and being laid off from a job where I consistently gave 110%. Plus, my postpartum depression/anxiety was raging full blast in my head. The combination of all this had rocked me to the core and pushed me beyond my limits. Like many moms after having a 2nd child – I have no idea how to do this. To be everything to everyone, split myself between the needs of two kids and a husband, keep the family train on the tracks….the feeling that I had splintered into a million pieces would not subside. I use the word splintered and not broken because I was somehow still moving forward. I was teetering dangerously close to being broken to the point of not functioning. I would gain a day of respite (catch my balance) and the universe would drop something else. That feeling when the chaos and the negative become more familiar than the calm. The fact that you have more certainty that the “calm” you may be experiencing on that given day is most definitely the one before the storm.
You see, I’m a child of chaos and a fixer. I learned from a young age to function, fix and exceed expectations while standing at the center of a storm. The louder the storm raged…the tighter I held on and the harder I worked to persevere despite it. It was my “go to” way of functioning. Then why wasn’t it working this time? Every day was a battle and the tighter I held on, trying to fix things, the more the universe ripped my hands off.
The ability to fix something is deeply rooted in the ability to control it. It took me a long time to understand that I can’t control everything and everyone around me. I was finally met with such a barrage of things that were out of my control that I had no choice but to concede. Hysterically crying, in a heap on the kitchen floor – I waved the white flag at the universe as the tears came down and my heart grieved the loss of control.
As difficult as it was – there was something freeing about waving that flag. It reminded me that although I can’t control what happens around me – I do have control of my actions. I have the ability to bring something new into existence. Create a person who is resilient instead of controlling. Create a person who is not concerned with pleasing and fixing. Create a person who is deeply happy and satisfied with her life. It won’t happen overnight but I’m ready for the conversation with myself to create what this new version of me looks like.
So when do I get to put myself back together? Right now. I hope you’ll come along for the ride…..