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    Community Voices

    Relationship triggers

    I’ve had depression and general anxiety for 7 yrs now. It started as postpartum depression. I’ve been on meds and many different kinds of therapy.
    My marriage broke right when my depression started. My ex n I still have bad relationship. He triggers my depression and anxiety. I get panic attacks when you I’m around him. My last suicide attempt was because of him. I avoid him. I’d like to get rid of him from my life but we co parent my son.
    I had to sacrifice so my son can grown up with both parents. It’s been hard.

    1 person is talking about this
    Community Voices

    Hi everyone! I'm so glad I found this group! I've been trying to find people and resources for parents with chronic illness and pain. Especially for people with young children. I have an amazing one-year-old. During the postpartum period I've been diagnosed with two different chronic illnesses, #Endometriosis and #Fibromyalgia along with having chronic pain from my C-section. I'll try to stay active but getting through the daily routine can be really challenging. Hoping to connect with people going through the same thing. #

    7 people are talking about this
    Community Voices

    Down Dog & Pass it On: Parental Benefits to Baby & Me Yoga

    <p>Down Dog & Pass it On: Parental Benefits to Baby & Me Yoga</p>
    Community Voices

    A New Reality in Mom Stress

    <p>A New Reality in Mom Stress</p>
    Community Voices

    Any tips for watching young kids all day when dealing with severe migraines?

    New here to the mighty! Recently graduated with my masters degree as a new father who has been dealing with and experiencing chronic migraines most my life. My partner is a gem and has been watching our son from home while working from home and while looking for a full time job, having both a blast and a challenge watching our son and spending more time with him. He’s so fast strong smart and adventurous and just turned 8-months, ahead a couple months on milestones. He’s crawling, standing up on his own and I bet walking any day now but this week has been a really rough one with migraines, my partner and I recently found out we’re expecting and dealing with postpartum and 1st trimester fatigue and I am trying to watch him even more than usual after she gets off work to help with this.Gratefully, he is getting much better at sleeping longer and in his crib 8-10 hours a night.Any tips for watching independent and adventurous little ones when struggling with migraines during the day? I meditate a lot and focus on showering myself with self love and compassion and patience when powering through but finding it especially hard when he doesn’t want to be held but is speeding around grabbing and touching and balancing off everything and I feel I need to shadow him so doesn’t bump his head, get into the cat food,etc. Any tips would be appreciated and to any fellow parents with chronic pain, I hear you,I support you and I’m so proud of you 😊!! #Parenting #chronicmigranes #self -love, #breathwork

    Amber Mendoza

    Treatment for Postpartum Depression Saved My Mental Health

    Mother’s Day 2010, the day I found out I was going to be a Mom. I remember the two pink lines on the pregnancy test and the immediate joy I felt to finally have them. Three years of trying and it was finally happening. Looking back, I think the first sign something wasn’t right was when they placed my 6 lb. 15oz little girl in my arms that I had been dying to meet for the last 38 weeks, I instantly started sobbing. Not necessarily tears of happiness, not exactly sadness. Just a pure sense of being overwhelmed. The day we went home from the hospital was the day it really started. What do I do now? How could the nurses really just send me home with her? I didn’t know what to do without them. I had such bad anxiety over everything, I had read so much about SIDS that I couldn’t fall asleep for more than 15 minutes without waking up convincing myself she wasn’t breathing. No sleep and prior mental health issues don’t bode well. I remember one morning after my now ex-husband had gotten home from work, it was probably 2:30-3 am, and was tired from being a new dad and having worked all night, I took the screaming baby to him and said “I can’t do this anymore, she cries and I can’t make her stop. I don’t want her anymore, just take her I can’t do it.” She cried all the time, I obviously wasn’t meant to be a Mom I told myself. She hated me. She would be better off without me, happier. It’s been 11 years since I said those words but I can still see his face in my mind clearly, as if it just happened today. The look of confusion, anger, disgust, hurt. We had planned this child, how could I not want her? I didn’t understand it myself, I couldn’t imagine how he must’ve felt. A mother, the mother of his newborn daughter saying this about a child we desperately wanted. I feel guilty even today for ever having said those things, thinking them. But I know that wasn’t me. Not the me I am today. I don’t remember much about the early days, I don’t know if it’s a blessing or a curse. I have pictures, but the person in them looks blank. Lost. Scared. I went for my 12 week appointment to get my stitches checked. Her birth was traumatic and I had to have an emergency episiotomy while my epidural had worn off. I talked to the doctor about how I was feeling and he told me this is common and that I would get better. That I should’ve spoken up sooner, with the complicated pregnancy, traumatic birth, and prior mental health issues that postpartum depression (PPD) was very likely to be occurring. But it would be better. I would get through this. In that moment I didn’t believe it. I couldn’t see past that minute, in that small office. I felt trapped. I can’t explain it, but I felt as if the walls were caving in on me and all I wanted to do was run so far from that room, away from my daughter, from my then husband, my then mother-in-law. Everything and everyone. It took until my daughter was 7-8 months old for me to even start bonding with her again. I’d always loved her, more than anything, but the bonding hadn’t been there at first. It pains me to admit that. To someone who hasn’t experienced it themselves, I’m sure it makes me sound terrible. I’m thankful I didn’t lose more time to PPD. Seven to 8 months felt like a lifetime. Being diagnosed with PPD really made me take charge and be proactive about the mental health issues I had neglected since my teens. I don’t know how it would’ve turned out had I not been forced to get the help in treating my PPD. I believe as terrible as it was, that it saved me. Today, my daughter is 11. She’s smart, funny, an amazing pitcher in softball; she’s beautiful. We have definitely come so far from those early days. I’m sad that I “missed out,” but I’m thankful I got the help I needed to be there for her now, when she’s old enough to realize if I wasn’t here supporting her. I’m the loudest at her games, her number one fan. Postpartum depression was and is one of the worst things that I’ve ever had to deal with, but we turned it around and made our ending better. I will forever be an advocate for women in the postpartum period. Postpartum depression is scary, you can feel alone. But you’re not alone. I hope we can end the stigma and help other Moms know they’re not alone.

    Community Voices

    Intro New Here

    Hi Everyone! I am new here. I have been diagnosed with endometriosis and fibromyalgia. I've received both after my baby was born. I faced fertility challenges leading up to this pregnancy.

    Postpartum has been very difficult physically for me and it seems like I'm the only one talking about it in my everyday life. I am a stay at home parent, so I am very active and have very little downtime during the day.

    Overall, I am just now really coming to terms what living with 2 chronic illnesses will be life. And I try to be optimistic and tell myself I will get to a point where my body feels good again. I have to believe that to get through the day.

    6 people are talking about this
    Community Voices
    Community Voices

    Bipolar Disorder and Striving for Stability

    Yesterday, I started writing at 3:30 a.m. I’d slept from 11 p.m. to 2 a.m. after getting drunk alone. Seems I’m still in a manic episode that has been going on for almost two weeks. I wrote about how I’ve thrown caution and self-care out the window for the past year. How I suddenly realized that I didn’t need to hold myself together for self-preservation. I’m finally in a safe space, where I can just spill my guts all over the floor and I won’t die in a pool of my own blood. I can see now how this has led to more frequent and severe cycles. I started medication again this year, and have repeatedly blamed my mood stabilizer for my cycles or the new severity. When really, it’s because I’ve done nothing else to help myself. So what am I going to do about it? I feel really blessed to be in a life where I have the resources for stability. I have a supportive husband. A mom who has battled her own bipolar disorder. A great therapist. Two friends I care dearly about and confide in. And two wonderful children. I live my dream of homeschooling. I keep my kids home with me where we can learn math, phonics, and the mysteries of the solar system together. We go to homeschool meetups, libraries, museums, and parks. We have the freedom and flexibility to run. And freedom and flexibility to lean into tablet time and long naps on days when I can’t manage much else. My husband has a good-paying job with excellent benefits (except for prescription coverage, which is absolutely abysmal). They pay for us to go to conferences in beautiful resorts. I’m afforded the opportunity to see places I’d never see otherwise. Experience things I never thought I’d experience. I live in the country with acreage. I delight in watching my chickens peck around for bugs in the warm summer sun. We go for walks down our long driveway. I spend hours at a time soaking up the heat as I mow the yard. I scream privilege. So some of the tools I’ll be using might not be accessible to everyone. It’s shitty and I’m sorry if you’re in that boat. This is what helps me: Psychiatry I denied psychiatric help from 2012 until 2021, despite having been diagnosed in 2010. It was only through very strict lifestyle management that I was able to survive those years. And tight lips about my paranoid delusions kept me out of the hospital. Nonetheless, they are mostly years devoid of true happiness. Now, I see that medication is integral to my stability. I actually saw my psychiatrist yesterday, were we tacked on another mood stabilizer and an as-needed sleep medication. This brings me to my next point. Limited Medication Access I’m one of the lucky ones who have nearly constant passive suicidality. I know how I’d do it. I don’t want to when I’m stable, but I know that I’m an emotionally reactive and impulsive person. Currently, my husband has my meds in a lockbox with two hidden keys. I get a week’s supply of my medication. With two emergencies doses in my car. Sometimes, seven days’ worth of medication still feels dangerous. So we’re trying… Hero Medication Dispenser I ordered this nifty device last night. It is a medication dispenser that holds a 90-day-supply of up to 10 medications and alerts you when it’s time to take them each day. The main point is that my husband can add a lock code, so I’m not allowed to dispense more than my daily dosage. This serves a few purposes. I’m nervous about having access to a week’s worth of medication. I don’t want to traumatize my family on impulse. I don’t like that my husband is so acutely aware of how close I may be to the edge. I don’t like him regularly dispensing my medication to be a part of our lives as often as it is. And, given my fears about how much medication I currently have on hand, we need to give me even more restricted access. If I’m honest, I’ll admit that having a flashy machine dispense my medication like a live-in nurse sounds like it’ll add a little spice to my medication routine. There are often deals where the machine is free using a coupon code. If you pay for a year in advance, it comes out to $300 for the app service. Which is definitely something we can swing. There is a 90-day return policy, and they pay for return shipping. Sleep Hygiene The severity of my episodes has made this particularly difficult. I’ve been alternating between a few hours of sleep and staying awake for 48-ish hours for almost two weeks. Some nights I take a heavy dose of Unisom and melatonin, just to spend the nights shaking but wide awake. There are a few days to help this though. Consistent sleep and wake times A solid bedtime routine A dark bedroom Light exercise early in the day Using things like Unisom, melatonin, and anti-depressants as needed. Blue Light Glasses As spring approaches, this will be extra important for me. Dr. Tracey Marks is a fantastic source on YouTube. But, basically, you wear blue-light-blocking glasses a few hours in the morning, and a few hours in the evening while actively manic. You wear them for a few hours (but slightly less), when stable as a preventative factor. Spring mania is real for me, so I have to order a pair this year. Diet I’ve recently read “The Fuck It Diet” by Caroline Dooner. I’d gained weight this year and needed a way to remind myself that my body is OK as it is. This book was freeing. So as I worked towards food neutrality, I was eating a lot of foods that are lovely and nutritious but don’t make me feel as good.I’m feeling ready to eat a more balanced diet, with an emphasis on pleasurable eating experiences without rules. Staying Sober This is a big one that I’ve been struggling with. I’ve made sure to be no less than tipsy most days in the past two weeks. Sometimes it’s a bottle of Prosecco mixed with lemonade, followed by two bottles of Angry Orchard. Some nights it’s a mix of lemonade and half a bottle of cherry Smirnoff vodka. Alcohol slows the bees. Truth be told, I’d rather just evict the bees. And alcohol + bipolar + bipolar meds = bad news. Part of my problem is that one drink always leads to four. And four drinks always leads to a crushing headache and equally crushing regret. I’m not an angry drunk, but I act extremely out of character. So I dumped my remaining two bottles of Angry Orchard yesterday morning. There is a bottle of whiskey in the freezer, but my body has instantly purged itself of dark liquor since I began drinking 11 years ago. This will include a few awkward conversations with friends and family. A minimum, I’ll just be saying I’m not drinking. Then I’ll choose between saying I’m on a medication that interacts with alcohol (true), or that I’m on something for depression. I’ve spiraled a lot in the past 12 months. I think this has been the worst year since I struggled with postpartum psychosis in 2016. And I have to take responsibility for my part in my own unraveling. Here’s to a new year of learning to care for me again.