So as a mental health blogger and survivor of postpartum depression and postpartum anxiety, attending BlogHer will be a test of my coping strategies. I had my first pre-conference meltdown yesterday. This was brought on by a weekend chock full of obligations and activities. As my husband remarked yesterday, “We really packed it all in this weekend”. My little Skeeter did not nap well or sleep well this weekend. I forgot to take my medication (my patience pills) as I refer to them for two whole days. This combination led to a panic attack from me as my girls hurtled themselves around our living room with lollipops in their mouths. I told them that i was either going to have a heart attack or a panic attack. Clearly this was not my finest parenting moment.
My sweet husband could sense how triggered I was. I started second guessing my decision to attend the conference. I became terrified imagining scenarios where my girls would get hurt and I would have to wait at the train station to get back home to my babies. I know that I was catastrophizing. The nonchalant manner in which Munch swings from our bannister down the stairs makes me fear for her safety every time she swings down the stairs. Both girls get plenty of exercise and outdoor play time. Munch attends dance class for an hour where she learns ballet, tap and tumbling. I have repeated ad nauseam that “our house is not a jungle gym”. The girls’ absolute disregard for their own safety triggered me last night.
After everyone was in bed, I started writing. After some time, the tears came, and I felt the cathartic release of all my feelings. I know that this will be a great opportunity for my husband and my girls to have one on one time and for him to repay me for solo parenting earlier this year. I get to meet so many friends that I talk to online and just get a chance to feed my brain and soul with creativity and ideas.
For my sweet roommate, Jen, I promise I will double and triple check that I have packed all my medication, including my anti-anxiety medication that I will likely need to take every day in order to keep the anxious thoughts at bay. As the amazing Stephanie Dulli describes it, anxiety screams at you. when I take my medication, it soothes those screaming voices.