healing, Self Acceptance, Self-Care, Self-Love, sharing our story, Speaking our truth

My Practise in the Art of Self-Care

First of all, I want to credit a lovely and inspiring women named: Kori Leigh. I took her course called: A Ritual in the Art of Self Care, and it really propelled me into my journey of sharing and speaking my truth on this blog. If you are interested in her work and her courses, please visit her site: http://www.korileigh.com/cultivate-wellness-8-week-telecourse/

In order for us to begin the practise of self-care, we must first explore the concept of self-love. When we lack self-love, we carry the belief that we are not worthy and therefore we do feel like we can care for ourselves.

For me, I grew up in a dysfunctional home. I became a people-pleaser and developed the core belief, that “Everyone else’s needs mattered more than my own.” I went through many experiences that created my lack of love for myself.

My Postpartum Anxiety & OCD experience was what really propelled me into a journey of finding myself, accepting myself and loving myself. I went from hating myself and drowning within, to realizing that I needed help. I needed to figure out some way to live with myself and that’s where I decided to find compassion and that I needed to begin to love myself.

My introduction to practising self-love, was from a woman named, Louise Hay. She developed a practise called: Mirror work. Mirror work, is a technique where you look in the mirror and you tell yourself that you love yourself. The first time I did this I cried. I cried because I felt like I was lying to myself.

This is where my journey began. It expanded into doing inner-child work. I had to look deep within in order to get to know myself. I figured out that I needed to go backwards and visit my past traumas in order to heal. I also needed to give my child self a voice. I found out that she needed to be acknowledged. All of the emotions that I was trying to escape from were a signal to me that something was wrong, and I needed to address it.

I realized how fragmented I was. There were so many aspects of myself, the more that I acknowledged these fragmented aspects of myself, the more I felt put back together.

Later on in my journey, my sister gifted me with Kori Leigh’s virtual course called: A Course in the Ritual of Self-Care. (http://www.korileigh.com/cultivate-wellness-8-week-telecourse/) She developed a facebook group that gathered a tribe of women and taught me and reminded me of how important it was to to cultivate and keep practising self-care for myself.

with all of this work and practise that I’ve been doing, I began to experience actual compassion for myself. The little girl I used to be, is still me. She needed to be healed. I have slowly begun the act of self-love. And little by little, I believe that I am worth it and that I need to care for myself.

I want to share my experience with you in case any of you are feeling the same way or have gone through a similar experience as me. You may have never asked yourself if you really truly loved yourself and maybe, like me you are having trouble caring for yourself.

I believe without self-love you can’t work towards self-care. If we set our intention to learn to love ourselves, our ability to provide a self-care practise will evolve and grow.

self-care word abstract in wood type
self-care word abstract in vintage letterpress wood type
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Speaking our truth

Inner-Child Work, Really Works!

I love the innocence in this picture of my daughter. She put her boots on the wrong feet. I look at it now and I think, it’s a great reminder to think of ourselves as young children. We were all this innocent once.

I think we need to acknowledge our child-selves more and embrace that innocence. It is a reminder to find compassion for our adult-selves and to not be too hard on ourselves.

Especially, as parents. We tend to be so hard on ourselves and we put so much pressure on ourselves. We then fill ourselves up with guilt/shame when we make mistakes or lose our tempers.

When we treat ourselves, like the young children we used to be, we become compassionate and understanding towards ourselves. We then find peace within and begin to love ourselves again. I promise you, it’s true.

I’ve been doing a lot of inner-child work and I have to say that I am seriously beginning to treat myself with kindness. My negative self-talk has lessened. I bounce back after a shame/guilt spiral much faster then I used to before the inner-child work.

Confession Time: I can be very impatient with my two young ones. I lose my temper, lose it like an adult child who doesn’t know how to control his or her own emotions (I never learned how to regulate, growing up in a dysfunctional home). But ever since I began the inner-child work, I have gained more compassion for myself. I don’t lose it as often on my kids. I still do, don’t get me wrong, but not nearly as often as before.

It’s a relief, I never envisioned myself as a mom who lost her temper all of the time. Before I had kids, I imagined myself to be a compassionate, kind, maternal, loving kind of mom. The reality after having kids, was that they helped to resurface all of my childhood trauma and the negative beliefs that I held about myself.

In my most turbulent times, I felt so out-of-control. When you have little ones they do what they want. They’re their own being and they’ve got their own personalities. You really can’t control them, nor would you want to. But I would find myself desperate to control their behaviour, especially in public, but they have their own agendas and there is absolutely nothing you can do about it. It was a huge learning experience for me. I’m sure all of you Type A personalities and micro-managers, can relate to when I say the kids have taught me to loosen up and It has been liberating for me.

I have begun to work on myself more than ever, I feel it is so important for me to dive deep and challenge my negative belief system. Look at the things in my life that I am doing that doesn’t serve me anymore. I don’t want to make the same mistakes as my parents did to me. I am still working on my relationships with my mom and dad. I’m still very angry and resentful, but there are days when I can look and find perspective and think about how they were raised and how they didn’t know what they were doing. They grew up in a time where you did not express your feelings. You put on a smile and you didn’t dare tell the truth, not on your life. At least, I know this was the case for my parents.

So back to the inner-child work, I have been reintegrating several ages within me (for more information on reintegration, I highly recommend Teal Swan’s book: The Completion Process) I feel that I don’t self-hate as often anymore. This is a huge step in the right direction for me. I used to hate myself and tell myself that my kids didn’t deserve such a horrible mom like me. I actually believed this for a time and I was miserable. I was grumpier with my kids; because I believed that I was so terrible at being a mom, that I should just give up. I’ve left this negative black hole within me now. I am so sad for the person that thought she was undeserving and unworthy of anything good. When I think about my child-self, I begin to cry. I was once an innocent child and that part still lives within me. I am fragmented. There are many aspects within. So for me as a 35-year-old mom, to speak to myself with such hatred… it breaks my heart.

So if anyone out there is self-hating right now, I encourage you to look deeper, within. Look to the child part within you. Speak to him or her. Imagine cuddling that child and speaking kindly and quietly towards them. Help them to regulate. Tell them it’s okay to be angry and sad. You are now with them, as the adult part of you.

I promise you, once you begin this practice you will be so surprised to see the results. The kinder and more compassionate you will be towards yourself.

Good luck on your inner-child work and I am sending you so much love and support. I am with you on this journey. You are not alone. Self-hate, no more!

awareness, healing, sharing our story, Speaking our truth

Learning to Be Authentic and Showing Up as Our True Selves in Relationships

There are many people who know me, that think that they have me all figured out. They think that I am just a “nice” girl. I want to share some insight into why they are completely wrong about me and how you may be able to relate.

In the past, when attending social events, with certain friends, I’d often feel like I was too boring to be around. I didn’t have anything to talk about with these friends. Aside from the debilitating social anxiety that I was experiencing, I felt like there must be something wrong with me and that was the reason why. At the time, I didn’t know it yet, but it was because I didn’t show up as myself, I showed up as the person I thought that they wanted me to be. I was being, in essence, completely inauthentic.

For the most part, I would describe myself as being the friend who will ask only how you are doing and deflect at any time the conversation turns over to me. I would become so uncomfortable when we would discuss ‘me’ because I was unable to see past the mundane things that I was doing on the daily & never thought that anyone would be interested to hear about my experiences with depression or anxiety and how this was affecting me. How my past had a significant part to play in all of this. I believed that if I shared my experiences, it would expose all of my flaws and this would ultimately bring my friends moods down, so I thought, why bother telling them any of this? Just show up as the happy, positive friend, that they needed to have, right at this moment.

There have been people who have tried to take advantage of me, for my inability to say no to them and or whatever they were asking of me. I have to be very careful about who I give my time to now and that has been a hard lesson learned.

During a time, when I had just become a new mom, a friend warned me that I was going to have to become a disciplinarian and that it had to be shared between my husband and I. My husband shouldn’t be the only one to take in that role. I remember that this really bothered me. Unfortunately, I wasn’t able to express this to her. I just thought to myself; Wow, she really doesn’t know me at all, and how could that be? We’ve known each other for almost 10 years now.

This was the first time, in a long time that I felt like I really needed to examine my relationships with others. I had to ask myself, why did it bother me so much, that she was so sure that she knew what I was all about? I must be presenting myself in some way that makes others feel like they’ve got me pegged and figured out. I was presenting myself in such a way: that I was a simple-being, too nice and I had no depth. I had always been agreeable. I would never offer my opinion about anything. I played it safe. If I agreed with everything you were telling me, then you would think I was a nice person and I would have secured you as a friend. Upon reflection, it seemed as though I was being manipulative…

The truth is, I’ve never allowed anyone to know ‘who’ I truly am inside. My dysfunctional upbringing shaped the way that I presented myself to others. How I showed up in relationships. The fact is, I threw-away ‘who I really am’ a very long time ago. As a child, I was trained to be a good girl. I was taught to be the bigger person, when other children would bully me. I was taught to listen and to obey. This was the beginning of a core belief forming, that I didn’t matter. As long as I was well-behaved, I wouldn’t get in trouble. This all had to do with the fact that my mother suffers from alcoholism and I feel like she loved me conditionally. So, from childhood on, I didn’t really know who I was.

I am beginning to find myself though. I am opening up and sharing my experiences, the good and the bad. Sharing all that I’ve been learning, for example, how I’ve been taking care of myself. Sharing anything that I believe, could be helpful to others, going through similar experiences.

During my experience of healing myself, by finding out who I am authentically, I’ve come to realize that maybe I don’t know others, as well as I think, they don’t know me. I’ve had a very difficult time cultivating relationships, beyond a surface level. I now know that it is because of my lack of trust in them. One of my core beliefs that I am working on, is that if I open up too much, they will abandon me. They will not like what they see and leave me. Therefore, I must not share who I really am, in order to protect myself from being abandoned. The funny thing is, I had already abandoned ME, in the process. It has taken me a lot of therapy, to realize this about myself. (Yet again, this belief is a by-product of my upbringing.)

As my awareness grows, now when I interact with others, I can see myself in them. The people who seem to have it all together. All done up, eating healthy, working out, managing a job and the kids, flawlessly. I find that most often these are the people, that really don’t have it all together. Especially, the way that they present themselves on social media. It feels like a lie and it feels this way to me, because I too, was once, this way. I would show up and present myself as that nice, happy person. But, I was wearing a mask. I hid my true feelings. It was all a lie. I feel like the people that I am describing may not even know this about themselves (or be able to admit it, to themselves), but I can sense the sadness within them. All I want to do is, give them a hug and tell them that they can drop the act. They don’t have to put up appearances and be the person that they think everyone wants them to be. It is okay to share your vulnerable self.

I truly believe, that when we show up as our true selves and share our difficult past and show that we have flaws, we become our most authentic self. (If you haven’t read Brené Brown, I recommend that you read her books. She describes what it is to be your true authentic self, like know other.) We begin to get to know ourselves to a degree that is so deep, within the core, that it hurts. It hurts because of how much we suppress ourselves, when we act a certain way for others. And when we decide to show up as ourselves we can cultivate deeper relationships and more meaningful friendships. We build trust in others, as well as build trust within ourselves.

The purpose that I intended to have for this blog post, is that, I want people to realize that it is okay to be you. Simply, unapologetically, authentically, you. I encourage you, because just as I have found for me, I believe that you will find the freedom you seek, when you show up as ’you’ in relationships with others, as well as showing up as ‘you’ for yourself.
You. Will. Become. Unstoppable!

Now all we need to do is practise! I am in the process of doing just this. It scares the hell out of me, yet I am filled with excitement. I’m challanging my beliefs, putting myself out there and I am beginning to reap the rewards. I am no longer ashamed of who I really am. If the people that I am surrounded with don’t like my authentic self, then they are not meant to be the people I surround myself with anyway. Simple as that!

I am sending so much love and gratitude to each and everyone who is reading this post right now. Thank you for reading and for your support. Big HUGE hugs to you all xo

Be Authentic written on desert road

awareness, healing, sharing our story, Sobriety, Speaking our truth

Clean, for 50 Days and Counting

I am proud to say that today, marks 50 days of sobriety, for me. It hasn’t been an easy journey, I suffer from both, anxiety and depression. There have been moments, where I have felt desperate to buy a bottle of wine, in order to find some relief from my uncomfortable emotions. But I’ve been able to avoid the temptation.

I’ve been on antidepressants since August, 2016, in order to find some relief, from my postpartum mood disorder. In October of this year, I noticed a shift in my mood. I began to experience thoughts of hopelessness. I was falling deep, into a depression. The antidepressants weren’t working as they had been, before. In December, I wasn’t coping well, at all. I wasn’t able to keep up with the household chores, follow a proper nighttime routine and get the babies to bed. I was exhausted. I had zero motivation to eat healthy or to workout. I was in a bad state.

I began to drink a glass of wine in the evenings, in order to relax. I felt like I became a fun mom, when I drank a glass of wine. I felt relaxed and I was able to go to sleep. One glass of wine per night, turned into two and as we entered the holidays, I was drinking one bottle of wine, per night. Day-drinking was acceptable during the holidays, right? Well, I was deep in it and the holidays, were a perfect excuse to enable my drinking habits.

Still taking my antidepressants, I was well aware that you aren’t supposed to mix alcohol with antidepressants. I easily ignored this and kept doing my thing. Eventually, the depression worsened, hopelessness persisted and my irritability increased.

Luckily, I shared this information with my sister, who works in the mental health sector. She was able to fast-track me in, to see a psychiatrist, who would send my GP a report and advise her that I needed to switch my antidepressants. She also told me that I needed to get a handle on my drinking.

My lowest point was while sitting in the bathtub, after losing my temper on my little ones, thoughts entered my mind, like: “You are a horrible mother”, “Your children don’t deserve such a terrible mother, like you are.”, “Everyone would be better off, if you were dead.”

Thankfully, I knew that these thoughts, weren’t normal and I promptly went to a walk-in counselling centre. Where they helped me through that dark time. Not long after this, I had scheduled an appointment to see my GP. She helped me get a handle on my meds and touched on my drinking. I lied to her about how much I had been drinking during the week. I finally realized, just how much the alcohol was affecting me, in a negative way.

On another note, my mother suffers from alcoholism. I’ve always known that I need to be aware of my drinking and keep it in check. It is always in the back of my mind. At every social occasion, it weighs heavily on my mind. At every event, I am triggered. I am reminded about, just how much my life has been negatively impacted by alcohol. Everything, reminds me about the disease that has stolen my childhood away.

Thank you for allowing me to share my story with you. Thank you for joining me on my journey into healing myself. I am so grateful to each and everyone of you.

With love;

heather

image1

awareness, healing, mental illness, resistance, social media, Speaking our truth

Social Media, Resistance & Mental Illness

I learned a big lesson today & I wanted to share it with you all.

I have been using social media as a way to express my true-being & to heal myself, by sharing my story.

I also follow others who are sharing their stories and like to comment and send support when I feel it is resonating with me.

Today, I commented on someone’s post, my comment was met with some resistance. I said ”you are not flawed 💕” to a person who was dealing with bipolar disorder, who had been feeling like she was flawed. The comment I received back, said: “hunny, this effects more than just her…” At first, I felt embarrassed, like did I just say something completely offensive? I quickly deleted my post… (regrettably) I felt taken-aback, annoyed & bothered by the fact that I felt bad. I don’t even know this person.

I came to realize that this person is triggering me for a reason. I needed to revisit what I posted in order to find some compassion for this person, who I’ve obviously triggered as well.

I came to find out that she suffers from the same mental illness. She didn’t like what I was saying, about this poster, not being flawed. She continued to comment to the original poster: “I’ve read these comments about how there is nothing wrong with you… We both know there’s something wrong…” She also said, “to ignore the ignorant…”

I don’t disagree with her perspective, I don’t know anything about what she, or the person who wrote the post, is going through. So who am I to say anything about it. But I disagree, with what the commenter was saying, about ignoring the ignorant. When we have offended someone or we have been misinformed about a subject, we need to address it and educate others. Otherwise, we perpetuate a dysfunctional, cycle, within society.

I thanked her for calling me out on my comment. My intention was to send kindness to a person who was suffering, but I didn’t mean any harm by it. But the fact that it was taken harmfully, I felt like I needed to address it, in order to grow and learn from it.

Originally, what resonated with the person who posted, was that I have been working through feelings about how I am feeling flawed and that there is something, innately, wrong with me. For me, personally, I found that by thinking something was wrong with me, it had hindered my healing process. Thinking that I need to fix my obsessive thinking, anxiety, depression, my low-self esteem, the suicidal ideation that I’ve experienced.  I absolutely agree that these ‘symptoms’ are flawed, but they don’t define who I am, as a person. Some of it is hereditary and some of it comes from growing up in a dysfunctional home, with a mother suffering from alcoholism and father who enabled her. I don’t want to believe that I am flawed or that there is anything wrong with me, any longer. I am perfectly, imperfect, as they say!

I believe that we come to this planet, in order, to experience pain and hardship, but we then, become united with others, by sharing our stories and educating one another.

When we are angry about something, someone is telling us, it usually (always) means that something is triggering us and we need to address it, within ourselves. We also need to address it, in the person who is making us feel angry. We need to educate them. When we do, we come to a better understanding about one another. Building better communication. Starting a conversation and helping to better understand what a person who is struggling with mental illness is going through.

I hope that by blogging about this, I have helped to create a conversation. Helping those who are misinformed. Creating buzz around the stigma around mental illness.

We are all in this life together, on a journey into healing ourselves. May we find comfort in knowing that we are not alone in our struggles / challenges experienced, due to mental illness.

Sending love and gratitude to each and every one of you. xo

NOTE: Please send me comments about my post. I would love to hear from you. I would like to know if you agree or disagree. Please help in the education of ignorant people, such as I experienced today.

umbrella standing out from the crowd unique concept
Mental Health Awareness
healing, Speaking our truth

What it means to share our truth. How it causes harm, when we don’t.

When we do not share our deepest truths, and allow others to share in our vulnerability with us, we not only hurt ourselves, but we hurt those around us. We hurt those closest to us and those within our communities.

When we choose to keep grief, anxiety, depression and all of our deepest wounds to ourselves, pasting on a smiling face, pretending that we are doing just fine & our lives are in perfect order. We are disconnecting from who we truly are. We don’t honour our feeling and we feed, an already, dysfunctional society.

There may be times when we are so disconnected that we can sometimes hide our truest, truth from, even ourselves. We’ve been programed to trudge on and tough it out, despite our true feelings. We are taught to ignore our emotions. We like to stay in the positive realm and never to stray into the uncomfortable emotion.

An example that comes to mind for me, is when mothers do not admit that raising a child is one of the most difficult things a woman can endure. Each and every developmental milestone can cause triggers from our past and cause us to hurt all over again, whether we realize that we are being triggered or not. We may be so full of shame, that we do not want to share our truth, for the risk of being judged by other mothers, who seem to have it all together. But this is just an illusion. If everyone is hiding their truth, then everyone feels isolated within their truth, which makes them feel shame and the cycle continues.

When we can be brave enough to lift the veil and show our true-selves, we become unified and whole again. We begin to heal together, by sharing our stories. We take away the shame and the judgement. When we shine a light onto it, it no longer holds power over us.

As mothers, our messy homes, our disobedient children (which is completely normal, by the way. They’re not meant to obey, they embody what it is to be true to oneself. We are meant to love them unconditionally.). Our marriages that seem to be out of sync and suffering from drought, as the seasons turn, within a marriage. Our inability to be in control at all times, sometimes, we may scream or yell profanities. And yet, all of these examples that I’ve listed are completely normal.

On a soul level, we are not meant to live on an earth that is perfect. We are not meant to be perfect. We come to this planet with a mission to face adversity and learn from our mistakes. We become resilient, growing and flourishing, when faced with hardship. It is a beautiful, messy, chaotic journey, through, which we are meant to share with one another. To support one another and to gain strength, from the support of others.

When we don’t share our truth, we isolate one another, and we fuel the cycle of shame. I believe that it is time for a change. We need to speak up. We need to share our stories, our truths. We need to stop mom shaming and that is just the beginning. I am determined to shed light, on every dark aspect about motherhood and bring awareness on what mental illness is and how it affects the person suffering from it.

Maybe it is because I grew up in a home where my mother was an alcoholic and my father enabled her behaviour. I grew up in a home where you did not speak your truth. I was denied my true feelings and emotions. I was taught not to share what was really going on. And for years my voice has been closed up. I haven’t been able to identify who I really am. It is only through my experience with a postpartum mood disorder, that I have become, awakened. I want to be the voice for women and mothers who cannot speak their truth, for fear of being judged by other mothers. Or for the person who is suffering from mental illness and cannot share that with others. And for the adult child who grew up in a dysfunctional home, who is struggling with how to live on a daily basis, because they were never taught how to live and survive in our society.

This is just the beginning for me, and my hope, dear readers, is that you will follow me on this journey. I want to help others to be able to feel comfortable to be who they truly are inside. Speak their truth and live their truth.

I am sending love to each and every one of you out there who is too afraid to speak out. You are not alone. I am here with you. Together we stand strong and I will not quit until each and every one of us can stand up for what they believe in.

All my love;

xo

HandpressingShareYourStory

going off of antidepressants, healing, sharing our story, Speaking our truth

My experience going off of Pristiq

Disclaimer- trigger warning for this blog. I speak about topics such as suicide.

During, my postpartum depression and anxiety, I had been taking Zoloft to help control my obsessive, intrusive thoughts. I was happy with the Zoloft, but it wasn’t helping to lessen the anxiety that plagued me. My GP, suggested that I try Pristiq. She told me that she had a lot of luck with the drug, treating patients suffering from anxiety. I thought I would give it a go.

The Pristiq worked wonders for me, for many months. I felt like I had a new lease on life. I was feeling back to my old self, but even better. You see, I had always lived life with anxiety. For many years, I didn’t know what anxiety was. I thought that I was just the type of person who felt extreme nervousness at all times. Stomach aches and tightness in chest at all times. Someone, who experienced racing thoughts at all times. Someone, who seemed to be more comfortable, playing it safe, in a box, no danger to fear.

So when I finally figured out that this was in fact, anxiety that I was experiencing, I was relieved to know that it was a condition that I suffered from. It wasn’t who ‘I am’. Though, this helped, it didn’t stop the anxiety.

So, when the anxiety was suddenly absent, I was ecstatic. Is this how people live, who don’t suffer anxiety at every moment in the day? Wow! This is amazing!

The Pristiq worked for me, until suddenly, it didn’t.

It began, in October of 2017. I wasn’t coping as well as I used to. I was feeling lack of motivation to work out, to take the kids outside. I was exhausted. I started to experience my old friend, irritability. I began to lose my temper more often. I didn’t know what was happening to me. It didn’t occur to me that the Pristiq’s dose was beginning to become less effective.

I went to my GP, two times explaining that I wasn’t feeling well. I wasn’t myself. I was snapping at the kids. I’m not sure if I was telling her the extent of the yelling, irritability that I was experiencing, but she told me that; “this is parenting.” You need to cut yourself some slack and forgive yourself and move on. I felt disheartened. This isn’t the way I wanted to be as a parent. I didn’t want to be constantly yelling or losing my temper on my children. I felt like something wasn’t right. Why wasn’t she listening to me?

As the weeks went on, I fell further into depression. I began drinking alcohol, in order to cope. I felt like I loosened up and became a fun mom (in the evening), when I drank my glass of wine.

I booked into see my GP one last time before the holidays. (Unfortunately, I was no longer able to continue on being her patient. Due to some unforeseen circumstances, she had moved to a different medical clinic. It was very expensive and the only reason I wanted to be there was to be able to continue on with my GP. It was a heartbreaking decision to have to leave her.) I burst into tears and explained everything that I had been going through to her. The thoughts I was having about being a terrible mom and that sometimes I wanted to run away, or just “be gone” from this world (not that I had a plan to kill myself, but I was living a hopeless existence. I didn’t want to carry-on this way.) luckily, I had finally gotten through to her. She understood me. She agreed that I needed help. And this is where we parted ways. I hugged her goodbye and promised I would be fine, I wouldn’t go off an kill myself, I promised.

During, the Christmas holidays, I began to drink more often. Day-drinking didn’t seem to be unacceptable during the holidays. I became addicted. I needed to buy a bottle of wine a night. My intention for drinking, was to get through the day. Cope. As some of you know, my mother suffers from alcoholism. I was slipping further into the hereditary disease. I’ve always had to be conscience of this and right now, I knew I was knocking on that door, wanting to ‘not’ feel a thing.

January, proved to be a challenge. It wasn’t acceptable to day drink anymore. I needed to be ‘good’. I was feeling extra shitty in the mornings. I needed help.

My low point (as I’ve written about in my previous blogs) was the moment I wished that I were dead. I didn’t want to put my kids through the hell of a mother who yelled at them all of the time. Who screamed profanity’s constantly. Who told my 3 year old that he was acting like an asshole. I was the one, being an asshole. Not him. I felt like I was a terrible mother. I had failed at being a mother. I should never have become a mother. Everyone, would be better off if I were dead.

Thankfully, I knew that this type of thinking was abnormal. I needed help. I needed to speak to someone. I called my wonderful mother-in-law to watch the kids and I took off to a walk-in mental health clinic (Woods Homes: http://www.woodshomes.ca)

Shortly, thereafter, I found another GP. We spoke about the problems that I had been facing and we decided that I needed to come off of the Pristiq and onto another antidepressant.

The journey coming off of Pristiq has been one of the worst experiences of my life. The withdraw from the drug has been intense. The short temper, irritability, RAGE has been something out of this world. Everyone and anyone is at risk being around me at this time. I’ve been going down from a 100mg dosage, to 75mg (taking a 100mg every other day) down to 50mg to 25mg (taking 50mg every other day) I go down every two weeks. The first 4-5 days are horrible. I am a monster. I have headaches, brain zaps and a feeling like I am in a dream-state and not in my own reality. I’m

Now taking 50mg every two days, and I am experiencing flu-like symptoms, crying spells. I wish I had known the side-effects and withdrawal symptoms before I had started Pristiq. I feel grateful for the few months of relief, but I am tired of feeling this way. It feels hopeless. I don’t know if I will ever feel like myself again.

My plan is to get off of the Pristiq and see where my baseline is. I want to know what my anxiety is like on a day-to-day basis. What it is like since I am no longer considered postpartum. Will I be as I was before? Racing thoughts, constant worry. Feeling completely out-of-control? I will have to keep you updated.

For now though, I am getting through this part of the journey. Thank you for being here for me and listening to my story.

Sending love and gratitude to each and every one of you out there.

Love;

Heather xo