I suppose it’s an understatement to say I’m not entirely okay.
I hesitate to say I have postpartum depression or anxiety because I haven’t gotten a professional’s advice. But it sure feels like it. Tick the checkboxes.
The past six months have been wonderful, yes. Lucas is amazing and I love him so much. Oneal is an amazing father. I’m so lucky to have such a wonderful family.
And in the midst of all this joy, I’m often filled with so much doubt, fatigue, despair, loneliness and frustration.
I often feel like I’m losing myself, like there’s no space for everything I was or did before, because now I’m a mother. I often wonder if I’m still good at the things I do, if people still need or want me. I’ve been away for so long, and people seemed to function fine without me, so what am I good for?
Before I became a mother, I judged myself harshly, believing that I was only as good as my last byline, my last project, my last prop or costume build. And so I took on so many projects and writing assignments and clients and events and activities, and I never did anything half-assed. And if anything went wrong, didn’t go as planned, didn’t meet my standards or expectations, I beat myself up, agonized, stressed out and had panic attacks.
Now, I’m a mother, and motherhood takes up most of my mindspace. I barely have time or energy for work, much less the plethora of projects I used to take on. So if I’m not doing any of that, what am I good for, I keep wondering. What am I worth, if I’m not writing, or managing projects, or running events, or building costumes or props? I’m a mother, and while it’s an overwhelming role, I feel like if that’s all I’m doing, I’m not me anymore.
And so I try to ease back into things. Performing. Helping out at events. Writing. Socializing. I schedule things. I make plans. I click “Going.”
And then the weekend comes, and I’m so tired from mothering and working that I have no energy to do anything else. Because it takes so much effort. Because it’s easier to just stay at home and be sad.
So the rest of the week, especially now that we have no nanny, I’m at home, taking care of my beautiful boy, and squeezing in work when I can. And I go online and I see all the interesting things everyone else is doing, and I just feel sad because I used to do all those wonderful things and now I can’t because I’m just exhausted.
And I’m exhausted all the time.
I know I should see a professional, get a diagnosis, get therapy. But I’m just too tired, and far too often I completely forget the things I need–vitamins, OB appointments, dental check-up. And when I do remember them, I have no time or energy for them anymore.
So I’m not okay, and I need help.