Are you totally intrigued by the title and wonder what I may have to confess?????
If you are then I have done my job by hooking you… if you aren’t then scroll on by.
May is Nation Mental Health Awareness Month and millions of Americans and even more world wide are affected by mental health issues. As someone who suffers from anxiety (my BIG confession) I am ever eager to help educate, acknowledge and support those who are also effected by mental health issues. To start I want to offer a few resources for individuals who may need extra support and then I will shed light on my own journey.
To preface I am not an expert on mental illness. This is about my journey and my story only. My hope is that someone find comfort, identifies with this or feels less alone. Furthermore, it is fairly theraputic for me to write this- I mean at the end of the day Pish to Posh is place where I have always felt free, confident and honest.
I was first diagnosed with anxiety in my mid-twenties and began seeing a therapist. My symptoms ranged from full blown panic attacks where I could not breath, I would be hysterical and flee the situation at any expense (emotionally, physically and monetarily) to a daily shortness of breath, to indulgence in alcohol and at times a lack of interest in just about eveything. My symptoms became over bearing and ruled my life and so I was encouraged to see a therapist. Through many sessions focusing on being true to myself, releasing myself from the pressures of others and allowing myself to feel respected and loved I began to feel much better and to have a handle of my life. My panic attacks stopped, my shortness of breath subsided and I began to feel passionate about my life. At that point in time I began and completed my Masters in Special Education and became a teacher.
Flash forward 8 years to after Declans birth. My anxiety returned only this time it was intertwined and coupled with severe postpartum depression. Recognizing the signs and triggers my mother accompanied my to my 6 week postpartum appointment where she spoke to my doctor about my mental health…. I was relieved and appreciative of this as I was only focusing on my inability to care for my medically challenged newborn son. At that moment I felt a sense of relief and a sense of support that I am forever grateful for. My mom knew I needed help and she knew I was too stubborn and too proud to admit I was no longer in control of my anxiety. I had worked so hard to learn my triggers, to understand my mental abilities but in that moment I was unable to see what was right in front of me.
Declan is now three years old and I am still dealing with my anxiety. Some days I use medication to enable myself to get through the tough times but most of the time I work on acknowledging and owning my triggers. My triggers, now, are almost identical to those from my early twenties… my need to please everyone, my fear of failing and my desire to have people accept me. I started Pish to Posh as an avenue to showcase the person I FEEL and know LIVES inside me as too often people saw me and thought of me as a weak over emotional person. I have friends who have no idea I suffer from this mental health condition (well they do know!).
I have been pretty tight lipped about it as to not paint a perception or image of someone or something I am not. Recently, I have made some changes in my life and been very intentional about who I surround myself with, who I confide in and who I trust. Over the last several years I have learned to hold my life close to my heart and to protect myself. Has this changed some of my relationships??? Yes, it certainly has. Has it changed my marriage?? Yes, it certainly has. Has it changed my life??? YES, it certainly has.
Some days are easier than others and some days are down right hard. That is the thing with mental health… I can try and try to control it and I can try and try to “overcome” it but the truth is that I have anxiety. Each day I am faced with the choice to let it overtake me and consume me or to work hard and change my life. Everyday I choose. Sometimes I make the easy choice and let it consume me, let it keep me away from social situations, let it rule my marriage and let it influence my parenting. But most days I choose to admit that I have anxiety, take a deep breath and challenge myself to make a small change that will help me feel free. Because that is the thing… I feel trapped. But only I can change that- through my actions, through my thoughts and through leaning on my support system.
This is me. For better or worse this is me.
This dress was gifted to me by the wonderful ladies at Shopstevie Colorado. Check out their website for the best summer casual looks. Their products are so easy to wear, fit perfectly and reasonably priced. This blue plaid gingham is less than $40. It is a flowyier fit but runs true to size. They have such a great selection of casual summer dress and ship all their products!
These Steve Madden platform sandals are slowly becoming my favorite summer sandals as they are ever comfortable and such a great neutral that they pair with anything. I wear them with shorts, dresses, skirts and denim. This floral bag is not as readily available anymore but I have linked several other bright floral bags and this same bag in a different color.
Have a great week everyone!! If you haven’t already make sure to subscribe to ensure you never miss a post.