Today I’m thinking about mental health. It started because I was thinking about my child’s happiness and coping…but now I’m thinking about my own mental health as I sit in layers of sweaters and cozy socks, possibly in an unconscious effort to wrap myself in a warm hug. This morning I went for a run in the pouring rain. I let the rain pour over me. I didn’t wear a hat. I wanted to feel the rain on my skin. I wanted to be out in nature, immersed in nature, exposing all of my senses to the elements. No headset, no phone, no kids, no conversation, no obsessive thoughts or analysis. This run was not about speed or distance, but it was time carved out for me to be in my body and on my time, to focus only on avoiding the puddles and wiping the rain from my face; a meditation. Because I don’t have room to reflect about my child’s emotional wellness if I don’t make room for mine.
I wrote the above over the weekend when I was feeling awash with emotions. I did the things I know I need and it filled me up. It gave me power to charge up my kids. Today, I feel awash with emotions again. I’m tired. I’m overwhelmed. I feel paralyzed. Things are going on with my kids but there are always things, right? Sometimes more than others. Sometimes the laundry piling bothers me more than others. In this case, the details of what’s going on with my kids doesn’t matter. I’ve done the things I know I need to help me cope, but here I sit, unable to clear my mind enough to move forward in any direction. Stuck.
When your child is angry, and it makes your other kids angry, and there are tantrums, or freak outs or meltdowns or whatever it looks like for your family, and that makes you late for school, which makes you late for a meeting, which means you snap at your husband, which makes him shut down, and that sets an emotional trigger off in you, and now one kid needs to stay home from school…but you had a huge list of things you needed to do today that didn’t include children because you’re so behind and now you’re trying to connect to work but all you’re really doing is thinking about what everyone needs and how you can make that happen….because above all else, you care about their well-being first and you know it’s your top priority… but it all just feels like too much. And like you’re not enough. And you remember, you can do it. But you need things, too.
Today is a new day. And tomorrow we’re going to meet with the specialists. I can’t do this alone. I don’t need to.
I am thinking of all of you today, whether you are sitting in your car for an extended time fighting off tears before walking into work or if you’re just back from a run and feeling like you’re ready to take on the day, whatever it holds. A friend messaged me this morning to remind me, “we’re in this together, Mama”. And I’m passing that message on to you. You’re not alone. Trust me, you’re not alone.