When I started this blog, I did so with the intent on helping myself get through some trying times as a new mother. Writing was, and still is, therapy. What I found is that it was also a way to inspire women through my journey and my transparency. But I fought with myself for a while with opening up about this particular topic. "I'll come off weak", "It'll be bad for business", "I'm not sure I want people to know this part". But God kept pushing me. Because I've deleted this about three times lol He kept telling me to share in the event it helps someone else. So here we are....
My name is Dinai and I am struggling with “sadness” (because I can’t bring myself to say the D-word) & anxiety. At least, that's what I'm calling it, though I haven't been "clinically diagnosed" or anything. Sooooo yea, I haven’t posted in a while because I haven’t felt like I’ve had much to say, and honestly I just didn’t feel like it! Point blank. I wasn’t feeling very “inspiring”. I guess you can say I’ve been in a “mood”. A “mood” I thought I just needed to sleep or shower away. A mood that sometimes wakes up before I do. A mood I couldn’t quite put my finger on. A mood I couldn’t quite shake. Am I stressed? Yes. Tired? Of course! Overwhelmed? Ding, Ding! I’ve been stressed out before, overwhelmed and tired. But THIS is different. Was it because of the baby? Or because I completely depleted my savings to following a dream? Or hell a combination of both? Maybe, I’m having a hard time adjusting to this new life. For years I woke up and went to work. Went to a physical place where each day I had to prove myself and work toward tangible goals and new titles with larger salaries. Maybe I enjoyed “climbing the corporate ladder” and now I am the ladder. Maybe I'm not really about this struggle life. Too much for me! For months I’ve been questioning what was “IT”. Why am I not happy? Where is the “old me”. The me that felt cute. The me that prioritized showers and didn’t have to choose between that, eating, responding to e-mails or taking a nap. LOL The “happy” me. Where is she, because that’s who I’m looking for! Well a couple of weeks ago, I found her, lying in a hospital bed, exhausted and weighed down with feeling like she had to be everything to everybody, but herself! “Take time for yourself” they say. Yea, yea, yea. I know that! But I’m bout this money right now. Growing an empire. I’ll sleep when I’m dead. ‘Cuz that’s what “they” say, right?!? You'll sleep when you're dead.
Months of random, sudden headaches coupled with partial vision loss, should have been a huge red flag. But I disregarded it 3x and tried to self-diagnose and medicate. The fourth time, my vision had been compromised for 45min. I couldn’t make out words or numbers. I stood at that stove for minutes trying to make out what time it was. Still, I had to be coahxed into going to the ER. Once there, they admitted me. Feared that maybe I had had a mini stroke. The entire time I bitched and moaned because I had ish to do. I had a contract to send to a new client and a meeting in two days! Clothes needed to be folded, the kitchen was still a mess and here I am vacationing in the hospital lol Even then, with an IV in my wrist and a blood pressure cuff on my arm, I was thinking of everything and everyone else, but me! Looks like I need to re-read that Essentialism book (er… finish it for that matter)! LOL So for two days, I laid in that bed and tried to unplug and binge watch shows I otherwise would have NEVER caught up on. Day 2, they sent a behavioral health specialist to speak with me. I’m thinking in my head. “I’m not crazy ya'll! I’m OK, just let me get home to my kids.” But I wasn’t OK.
“How do you relax?” she asked….(ummm good question. I didn’t want to say drink wine because that opens the flood gates up and next think you know they’re sending me to AA)
“Do you get enough sleep?” (What constitutes as “enough sleep”, exactly?)
“What do you do in your spare time?” (Say what now? Spare time?)
“Are you stressed?” (Ah! One I can answer, YES!)
“What is stressing you out?” (Well that’s a loaded question ma’am, where do you want to start lol)
Following her one million questions, normal MRI and CT scans of my brain, a neurologist visit, and numerous blood tests to rule out practically every other serious disease and illness, it appears I have developed migraines brought on by stress/anxiety and exhaustion. I have never suffered from migraines, let alone headaches. So developing them at 29 seemed a bit strange to me. Did I do this to myself? I hear this all the time “take time for yourself”. And until I read another blog a few weeks ago, I thought that meant leaving the house to grab drinks, getting my hair and nails done etc. While these things are great and do make you look and feel better temporarily, the true meaning of this requires a complete shift in thinking. For me, it’s taking the time to have a glass of water in the morning before leaving the house so I’m not dying of thirst! It’s reminding myself that I am human and its OK if I don’t feel like playing with Barbie at that very moment and not shaming myself for my true feelings. It’s not comparing my journey or work to anyone else on Instagram. It's disconnecting from this social addiction of following what everyone else is doing, or "portraying" to do. It's eating, because Dinai you can not survive on PB&Js alone. It's taking time to rub some coconut oil in this dry a** hair of mine before leaving the house. It’s taking more of those long showers at night alone and not the ones I’ve grown accustomed too, which includes two children sitting on the bath mat all while listening to that God forsaken Paw Patrol. It’s waiting to respond to that e-mail or text because I’ve promised myself I would sit in silence for just 5mins to gather my thoughts. Its admitting when I need help and not trying to do it on my own, just for the simple fact of saying “I did it”. It's also being self aware. Knowing when I'm getting anxious, and learning how to manage that through relaxation and coping techniques. That is self-care. That is “taking time for yourself”.
I think overtime I’ve inched my way here. Trying to be that perfect [insert titles here]. But lets be clear, I am not complaining. I'll tell anyone, I am abundantly blessed and love this life my husband and I have created! However, this "mood" of mine has found its way in. This post is not a cry for help, nor am I looking for sympathy, a lecture, or pity, just your prayers. I am not the “warm and gooey center” type-person. I’m more like a Twix! (Or a Snickers, cuz I’m a nut! *cues cymbals for lame corny joke* lol) Opening up like this is hard. People tend to tell their stories in hindsight because it’s easier. It’s less embarrassing. It’s a “rags-to-riches” mentality. You don’t tell the story while you’re in the rags, you wait until you’re in the riches! Well I’m Raggedy a$$ Ann, and I’m working on me every single day to sit upon my riches. I am not the only Mommie who feels like this. It's so easy to "lose ourselves" in our husbands, our kids, our careers. And if you allow yourself to be lost for so long, you may find yourself in a "mood" you can't quite shake either.