Self-care is all the rave these days. From spa days to yoga with friends, I love that women everywhere are stepping back to notice we often put ourselves last. And that is ESPECIALLY true for moms. Maybe it is the stigma that if we put ourselves before anyone in our family, we’re “bad moms”. Maybe it’s a lack of time. Or maybe it is just our nature and we don’t mean for it to happen, but it does.
What is often left out of the self-care prescription, though, is mental health. Ironically enough, it is probably the most important and the one I just so happened to ignore after I had my son 14 months ago.
You see, it all started when I had my daughter. She was an easy pregnancy, a breeze of a labor, but the second I got home, I froze. WHY DID NO ONE TELL ME NEWBORN BABIES BREATHE SUPER FAST?! I was sure she had some sort of condition the pediatricians and all 651 nurses (we had a long stay but that’s a different story) missed. Surely if I closed my eyes for two seconds too long, she would stop breathing. And so it started.
It continued through the years, disguising itself as “helicopter mom” or me being “grumpy” or “I must be tired”…or…or…or.
Then came the miscarriages. Boy o boy did those add to the fun. So when I finally got a sticky bun and my son was growing I hate to admit but at least once a day, every single day of my pregnancy, I thought “is he ok? is still alive?” Then the big G-D. Gestational diabetes or pregnancy related diabetes, if you’re unfamiliar. Some people brushed off my diagnosis stating they had it too and ate everything anyway and their kid came out fine. Mine got worse. I dieted and it was still terrible, so I was started on insulin and the fears escalated. A whole new set of worries about my placenta shutting down, about the baby being born with extremely low blood sugar and having to stay in NICU. Thank God, none of that came to existence, but it was mentally a rough pregnancy and a ROUGH labor. I’ll leave that one for another day too.
Fast forward six months and all of those original “new mom” fears made their way into my brain. And then came some others. Plane ride? Definitely going to fall from the sky. Car ride? Everyone is drunk and you’re going to be the next news story. Time to try peanut butter? My baby is going to have a deathly allergy so maybe I should park in front of a hospital to let him try it, just in case. And I’m fully aware this shit is irrational y’all. I don’t WANT to think these things, you know?
It started affecting other things. My sleep. My marriage (because I was ALWAYS on edge and had real bad separation anxiety with my kids). My focus on this new exciting blog I wanted to launch for so long. My weight.
“IT” was anxiety. And in November 2018, I finally did it. I finally admitted that this new “me” wasn’t normal and I was suffering from postpartum anxiety. I finally caved and sought help.
But the doctor’s “solution” was a typical one. And I’m not shaming doctors. Yes, I try to avoid them not because I have a fear, but because I have this idea that you become whatever diagnosis they pin on you, even it is wrong. Anyway, my doctor prescribed meds. So I ever so willingly went into Target and picked them up. I took them for a good month and was told it would take at least a couple weeks to feel the effects. For 40 days I had headaches. I ignored them right – because that’s the type of person I am – but they were there and they were SO annoying. So much that I finally had enough and said I’m not taking this shit anymore. Not to mention that I’m already not a big meds person either. I believe in sweating out colds and sucking up what I’ve got. Chicken soup, orange juice and rest are my cure-alls. So this quite literally felt like I was poisoning my body. I mean really – the warning label for ANXIETY medicine says “WARNING, MAY CAUSE ANXIETY.” …..Que?!?
In comes Dr. Maria. She googles a lot and finds solutions – usually involving essential oils these days (thanks Kim), but also all kinds of other things. Ginger, teas, whatevs. And I came across an interesting article that said CBD oil is super effective for anxiety/depression and other mental health ailments. I thought “hmmm….so, am I going to walk around high all day?” Wrong. CBD is made out of hemp, but does not contain the THC that gives the “high” you’re thinking of. The following is a diagram from the Sky Naturals CBD website that breaks down the differences.
When looking for a CBD provider I started with two criteria: local and trustworthy (as to ingredients/process/etc.). After all, if I was going to try it, I wanted it to be the best of the best and feel like I understood it all before just putting something in my body. A short search later, I came across Sky Naturals CBD. A couple of things about Sky Naturals stood out to me:
I read about their process and filtration system and felt confident that I was in good hands. And I am.
I reached out to Sky Naturals and Juan was kind enough to give me a brief explanation for how long it might take for my body to respond. A couple of days later a care package arrived at my doorstep and just two months later, I am a believer. There is no magical moment after taking it that I feel like “ahh ok, it’s kicking in”, but my nights are more restful. My moments of frustration at work are a little more tame and I don’t feel like yelling in frustration when my kid spills a drink for the second time.
I can totally tell when I’ve forgotten to take CBD for a couple of days. My anxiety creeps back up. I get irritable, short tempered and of course the fears come back – in new creative forms depending on the last scary story I saw on Facebook. And I’m not saying all of this to say that CBD has “cured” me because thats not realistic. I still freak out before big trips and I’m still grumpy when I’m exhausted. The gym also helps me a TON mentally, but there are days where I just don’t have the energy or the time so I’ve got to have a dependable method running in the background at all time.
I know that the societal ideal is to be ok in and of yourself. To be at peace with prayer, exercise and meditation alone. But you know, I’m ok with needing a little bit of help. And I hope that you – you out there who might be feeling the same or understand just where I’m coming from – I hope that this post gave YOU some hope. Do your research and see if CBD might be a beneficial natural remedy for you and if it might be, I’d can’t say enough how much I trust Sky Naturals CBD.