I’ve had a pretty good mom-week so far, and I think it’s because of the news I received last week. Wednesday I had a pre-natal appointment for baby #2, where I found out that I don’t meet the criteria for a referral to the Reproductive Mental Health Unit here in Halifax to get (free) help with my postpartum depression (Um, like what is the criteria? Do I need to be suicidal to get help in this province?!). It was kind of strange to hear this news, but also a relief at the same time. I got a diagnosis of PPD in January, where they started me on antidepressants and told me they were going to send a referral to this special unit. I held this referral as a golden cow: the secret to my recovery, and the cure for the insomnia that has driven me to the brink of madness. After months of appointments with my family doctor, answering the same questions over and over (No I am still not sleeping. Yes I feel fine most of the time, except WHEN I CAN”T SLEEP) , and what has turned out to be a fairly ineffective stint with antidepressants, I really felt this referral was my last option for help with my sleeplessness.
But then it was gone.
Driving home from the appointment, I really did feel relief. Finally, I can stop holding out hope for someone else to come along to fix me. The outcomes for my health are on me now! I have no idea where this mantra came from, or why I started saying it. It just came out, and for 10 minutes on the ride home I repeated it, over and over: “I am resilient. I am strong. I am broken but I am not defeated!” It honestly sounds so silly when I write it down, but I think something changed in me that day.
Not long after that appointment and my decision to get better on my own (I’m still using medication though), my mind came up with another saying. During my days with Joseph, I would often feel defeated. Little things of course. Things that don’t matter. Going to the library and him pulling books off the shelf. Us at home and him wanting to play in the sink. Him feeding his muffin to our dog Penny. Not falling asleep when it is nap time and my work hours. Little defeats that would stick to me. But on Thursday, after every “defeat” I started to tell myself, “I am not sticky!” All of those little things, they just bounce right off. They will not get to me. I told Josh about this little mantra, and he perfected it by saying, “You are Gortex!” Haha!
It’s only been a week, and there have been moments where I have certainly felt defeated, but I am actually feeling quite positive. Josh has even commented on how positive I have been. In fact, the other night I tried to sleep without a sleeping aide for the first time in weeks and I actually slept! It was fairly restless, but I didn’t have to get up out of bed. My Fitbit registered that I got 4 hours (a “good” night is 5.5 hrs). For me, this is a big win.
I’ve decided that I am not weak. My mind is not weak. This will be overcome! I know mental illness isn’t just something we can decide we are better from, but positive thinking is good for so health. It even helps people who have physical ailments. My mind has stopped me from thinking positive naturally, but who is to say that artificial positive thinking can’t turn into something real?
I am resilient!
I am strong!
I am broken, but I am not defeated!
I am not sticky!
I am Gortex!