Ready For a Change
Scared of the Next Step

I am a 25 year old *Proud* mother of 2 beautiful young girls, a full time stay at home wife/mother. I have been silently questioning my change of moods, lack of energy, constant sadness{for no apparent reason at times} and my outgoing personality dropping to more of a "hermit" type, for years now.


I'm at the point that I feel like I've lost somehow, and so tired of feeling the way I do everyday. I told myself years ago that I was just being silly, to just keep positive and it will be just fine, but now over 6 years later, I just feel stupid and scared, and maybe a bit ashamed.

I love my children, and love spending every second with them, and feel so ashamed for not just glowing and smiling, and thankful or overjoyed everyday with my kids. We don't struggle to eat or pay bills and we have a nice stable life.

Other than everyday normal stress, I just feel like I take it for granted when I'm not in a "happy" mood-which is almost all the time. I take good care of my kids everyday, there's no negligence or negative interaction with them. I just don't do the extra things I used to do with them. I loved doing crafts, pretend play, dressing up, making treasure maps and hiding pirate treasure for them to hunt, or making extravagant fun meals or formal tea parties. We were constantly busy with something fun and interactive. But now I struggle with daily routines and feel exhausted after one chore around the house or preparing a meal.

I'm usually very creative, upbeat, always positive and smiling, acting silly and always ready for an adventure or enjoying the company of friends and family. I used to love my personality and was proud of who I was. Now I almost despise myself at times. I have extremely low self confidence - about my personality and my looks. I used to feel pretty, very athletic, toned with a nice body. However, I gained over 110 pounds with my first pregnancy, and still trying to lose it. I feel fat and ugly, wishing I looked like I did before.

I've not enjoyed, participated or wanted to do any of these and now feel alone, and nobody likes me or thinks I'm dull and no fun to be around. I feel forgotten and left out - almost a nuisance sometimes. I've also noticed I'm easily frustrated and temperamental and that my moods often change like a light switch. One week I'm down in the dumps for a while, then suddenly Im energetic and overly enthusiastic. But one tiny thing someone says or does can make me instantly feel sad or mad or hurt and I'm down inthe dumps again.

I'm so confused, and could go on... I think my question is am I depressed, or just being a nagging nancy? I've been to afraid to talk to my family Dr with fears of him either thinking I'm suicidal-WHICH I'M NOT- or think I can't properly take care of my kids, or that I'm just faking it wanting attention or meds, or that I'm just crazy!

Another fear is the medications- are antidepressants safe? Do you have to take them the rest of your life? If you stop them will it make you worst?

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Amanda ~ So sorry for the delayed response. I never got the notice of your submission. So, in spite of the delay in getting back to you, I hope that my response is still timely for you and will speak to you in the place where you are on your journey.

I do a lot of therapy with SAHM's and I, myself, am a mother. So, I know first hand how much goes into being a good mother. However, I also know some of the common things that we do to sabatoge ourselves as individuals.

First, we tend to put all our energy into everyone else and, in the process, we neglect ourselves. In order for us to have all the energy it takes to give to others we must give to ourselves first! Yes, I said first. So many people rely on us that we need to charge our own batteries first before we can give what we need to others. So, what can you do each day to give to yourself? Soak in a tub with a glass of wine, go for a long walk, find time to exercise, read a chapter of a great book, take 5 minutes to meditate, pray or write in a journal. There are countless ways you can charge your batteries, pamper yourself and re-ignite the spirit inside you!

On another note, you seem to put so much pressure on yourself to be happy, upbeat, and positive all the time. Stop putting yourself under so much pressure! You are not infallible. Give yourself permission to just be who you are. When I meet clients that coin themselves as "always happy or positive" I usually find that this is there mask. It is the way they learned to present themselves to the world in order to be accepted, liked, respected. Eventually, we have to learn to let go of that mask and embrace who we really all, the good, bad and the ugly!

Speaking of ugly...as mothers we all gain weight, our bodies change and we will probably never be in the young shape that we used to be in. That is a fact. However, we can be the best we can be in the bodies that we have now. Realize it's how beautiful you are on the inside that counts. If you really want to change how you look, set goals, establish a plan and go for it! No excuses! The only thing getting in your way is YOU.

Bottom line, don't be so hard on yourself. What you are going through is so common for us mothers. What I find helpful is to always remember that I am ME before I am a mother, a wife, a friend, a daughter. "I am a powerful, strong, capable woman" and I have no doubts you are too! In fact, I'd encourage you to write affirmations (like the one I say above) that you can read, say out loud and embrace to start changing your thoughts and beliefs about yourself. They don't take a lot of time or effort and they are very powerful!

Regarding your question about depression. It really does not sound like you are truly, clinically depressed. If you feel this might be the case, take a depression test to learn more.

Stay away from the meds unless you are formally diagnosed by a mental health specialist and the recommend it. While your family Dr may prescribe it, he/she is not qualified to diagnose so you may be taking it when its not needed.

Again, sorry for the delay. Please come back if you have other questions. I promise a prompt reply!!!

From one mother to another... you are AMAZING!!

Dana

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