Thursday, July 28, 2016, I proceeded to go through with a decision that took a HUGE weight off of my shoulders, literally and figuratively; a reduction mammoplasty. For those women who have been endowed with certain physical assets that are more of a nuisance then a gift, I’m sure you can empathize with my decision. Days leading up to such a life altering procedure, I voiced internally and externally, my need for a break. I have often said the words ‘I’m tired’, mostly because I am simply mentally tired from my daily fight with depression, and physically tired from juggling all of my responsibilities of motherhood, wife hood, and just life hood. I just needed a break; what I would give for 24 hours of no responsibility and a day to just do nothing, sleep a lot, and just concentrate on myself (well it probably wouldn’t be good to feed into the depression and sleep a lot, but many naps would be nice).
I just wanted a break, and who would have ever thought that as I lay here in my bed, alone, listening to the classical music my mom has set up on the radio at my bedside, as I focus on breathing through the discomfort of my wounds that prescription pain pills have not been able to touch, that this would finally be my BIG break I’ve been yearning for. It sucks that the break had to come as a result of healing in my body that needed to take place, but sometimes we don’t realize that it’s not just the physical wounds that need healing, but also the invisible wounds. To say that I have not enjoyed being able to not think about what the kids need to eat or when I will give them a bath, etc., would be a complete and utter lie (I do love them dearly though). Self-care is so important. I’m guilty of not doing enough of it, but if you think about how much your mind would benefit from silence, no outside stress, and people or things not having an influence on your mood, I wonder whether the intensity of the fight with depression would lessen?
Well, with three days into finally getting a BIG break, I can personally tell you that I have experienced no extreme feelings of lowness and I have had a clear mind to think about wanting to just be present in the moment. Being in a semi debilitated state, with drains still attached from surgery and the inability to lift greater than five pounds, all I’ve had to do was think about myself and what I want to do. Suddenly, the thought of watching hgtv, something I loved to do BD on a Saturday just cause, turned from a thought of boredom, to a thought of ‘why not indulge, what else are you going to do?!’. I wanted to just sit and watch my kids play together as my mom took care of their every need; I was free to stay and interact, and when I didn’t feel like do anything, I could just retreat to my personal space for a time of mindful stillness.
With all of this time to just sit and be me, I haven’t had to combat negative thoughts or try to hold back from soaking my pillows in tears from the torture of dealing with life in the midst of having depression, I just have been able to reflect on how important self care is to your mental health, even if you don’t have a mental illness. Being a very busy, successful, career driven person, whether your a stay at home mom or head honcho in corporate America, it’s hard to get a good amount of quality self care. So how do we change this? Because, saying that ‘I’m tired’, is a call for help, a call for action, to take seriously and take the time to invest in your mental health.
I love how writing has become an easy go to for self care for me, while juggling all of my responsibilities, but there are so many more things that we can do through out the day, to try to make self care a part of our life and not just a part of our life when we are tired. Try to take a much needed break everyday.