The Hell That Is Postpartum Anxiety (Pt. 1)

 

 

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t-shirt by Mulberry Press Co.

Anxiety is scary. Living it is so scary. And talking about it is so unbearably scary that I’ve been putting this post off for a long time. I don’t know who will relate to what I have to say, I don’t know if laying it out on the table will make me seem relatable or make me sound crazy… But at this point I really don’t really care, I can’t keep it to myself any longer.

Before I even begin to tell you about the 30 day challenge I gave myself to rid my anxious mind of all it’s noise, I first need to open up about what led me to do it.

Now almost a year after becoming a mom, I’m finally walking out of a haze of worry and confusion that I should have dealt with a long long time ago. I can see the light at the end of the tunnel and it feels like a big warm hug that I’ve been in need of for longer than I care to admit. Looking back, I’ve been drenched with anxious tendencies since I was just a little girl and I’ve been blind to it up until now. Maybe if I hadn’t waited 27 years to start becoming self aware, Postpartum Anxiety wouldn’t have hit me like a ton of bricks the way it had. Maybe if my Doctor or my doula had just mentioned to me even once that these things happen and that it would be normal… Maybe if there wasn’t such a lack of awareness surrounding PPA… I would have felt more comfortable asking for help. I look back on my first year of motherhood and I can’t help but feel such an insane mix of emotions. I robbed myself of fully experiencing my journey into motherhood and I can’t go back and fix that beginning. I can’t get that time back. It’s never going to happen again for me. Although I ate up and adored every coo, every smile, every hiccup, every cuddle, every breastfeeding and bonding moment, it pains me to admit how consumed I was with fear and worry almost every single second.

Fear about motherhood. Fear about if I was possibly doing this right. If I could even pull off this new immense title. If I could raise another human being and not have them turn out as fucked up as I think I am most of the time. Fear about my marriage. If our relationship could withstand all of the dynamics that parenthood brings. Fear about if I even deserved this life that seemed too good to be true for someone like me. Fear about fitting into this messed up anti-children city.

Fear about worry.

Worry about fear.

Fear about nothing at all and everything all at once.

Living in a constant state of uncomfortable and disconnect. The confusion that surrounds it while I knew I was supposed to be consumed by baby bliss, rather than with fear & dread, it ate me up. It further perpetuated the notion that I’m not good enough and that there’s something wrong with me. I listened to endless podcasts & audio books about ridding anxiety on the way to work, I bought physical books on anxiety, I bought ebooks on anxiety, I searched the internet for answers, and eventually I confided in a good friend who directed me to Alanon meetings which I attended for close to 2 months.

I tried everything except what I should have done: Ask for help. I didn’t know who to ask or where I would even begin. I let my pride, my ego and my fear (the three stooges) make all of my decisions for me. I didn’t know how to put into words what I was feeling, I could barely even explain it to my husband, who’s my best friend. Looking back, I should have taken his initial advice and simply spoken to my doctor, considered medication. I shouldn’t have downplayed my feelings. My major concern when I was pregnant was developing Postpartum Depression after the baby and since I didn’t feel I fit that description, I wasn’t sure anyone could take what I was feeling seriously. But it is serious. It’s serious because it hurts so fucking much. It’s serious because it effects you and it effects your family and it effects your entire life. And you don’t have to suffer. You don’t. have. to. I’m writing this now to tell you. Put your damn pride aside and ask for help. There is zero shame in it. ZERO.

You deserve to enjoy your life. You’re allowed to be happy without consequences.

I wish I could go back and say those words to myself.

But instead I’m saying them to you now.

Hindsight is 20/20. It’s easier for me now coming out of all this and looking back to know: That I CAN be a strong mother AND ask for help. That growing a human, giving birth and the shifting of hormones that comes along with that is ENOUGH of an explanation to ask for help. That becoming a mother brings up past shit that I didn’t want to deal with is enough of an explanation to ask for help. And even that no explanation is enough of an explanation to ask for help.

I now know that the transition from selfishness to selflessness doesn’t mean forgetting about myself or my self care. Finally getting on the road toward learning that I am so enough regardless of what I feel I’m lacking, today it’s enough. Heading towards figuring out that I can be a badass AND be proactive about coping with anxiety. It’s enough. I’m enough. You’re enough too, you know. You’re all enough.

And right now in this current moment, pressing publish and feeling completely naked… Knowing that this post may not be received well… I’m telling myself it’s enough.

I’ve spent way too long hating myself and I feel PPA and anxiety in general just isn’t a secret to be kept. I refuse to hate this part of myself any longer.

Love to you mamas & future mamas and non mamas. So much love to you for reading this.

xo

 

Pt.2  30 DAY ANXIETY CHALLENGE post up TOMORROW

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Coming Soon…

I gave myself a #30daychallenge to help me stare my postpartum anxiety in the face and tell it to screw off… As it turns out the challenge itself was easier than writing about it. Writing about anxiety is much harder than I thought it might be.

Anyhow, the post will be out soon and I invite you all to give it a read whether you’re a mother or not.

xo

Favorite Things Pt. 1

 

Originally I had my toddler’s Pendleton blanket included as well but she kept running towards it because it’s one of her favorite things! I’ll have to make sure she’s taking a nap next time and put it in Pt. 2

 

Saint Laurent Classic Small Sac De Jour in black grained leather  – perfect for any mom as it goes with any outfit: casual, going out (what’s that?), or even formal. The grained leather is an easier upkeep than the smooth leather, as it tends to be much more scratch resistant to toddlers

Saint Laurent Classic Zip Around Wallet in black smooth leather – lesson learned from the wallet in fact. Still looks nice with a little  wear & tear

Gold Apple MacBook 12 inch display – my writing home. I kept my last MacBook for almost 8 years. When I finally got this new light weight laptop it felt a lot like a fresh start, and hence a blog is born

Fujifilm Neo Classic Instax Mini 90, Brown – a must have for moms of cute babies, which is all of you!

Passion Planner in Academic Classic size, Black – I’ve only just started using this but I love the idea behind this daily planner so much. Perfect for scatter brain mamas… You know what? Perfect for anyone really

• Moonrise Creek Daytime Face Cream – I can’t get enough of this stuff. All natural and made by a small family business, win win really

• Flora By Gucci in travel size – I wear a few different scents, but this is one of my favorites

MAC Pro Longwear Concealer – One of the only concealers that actually hides under eye circles on my pale skin without ever looking cakey

• Kat Von D Tattoo Liner in Trooper – I’m a winged liner perfectionist. This stuff is hands down the best out there for the OCD symmetrical wings, mamas such as myself are going for. I used to pair it with her liquid liner Puro Amor to create a fucking STUNNING cat eye but I’ve found out that Puro Amor has been discontinued and I’m wicked sad about that.

xo

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Fujifilm Neo Classic Instax Mini

 

 

My Postpartum Boobs & That B**** Victoria

 

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Don’t let the smooth contour of this b&w photo deceive you, there are swollen bee stings under that shirt

First off, I want to say screw you Victoria’s Secret.

Secondly, a little side note screw you to Hollywood and all the ways you make women feel bad about our bodies.

I take full credit for never fully appreciating the perfect white snow globes that sat atop my pre-mommy chest for what they were, but I will not take full credit for the massive emotional break down that took place in a Victoria’s Secret fitting room this week as I tried to find something new for my post baby/ post breastfeeding boobs.

I’ve recently become the newest member of the itty bitty titty committee and this set of chesticles is completely unfamiliar to me. I’m working with all new material here, literally & figuratively. I’m swimming in the bras I wore even 6 months ago… And to further prove my point, even my once tight as all hell sports bras are lipping at the top… Who the hell knew that was possible? I certainly didn’t.

I’m learning to be okay with these changes… Always sort of wanted a smaller chest, now *poof* you got it mama.

And believe me, I have no real qualms with the toll that motherhood takes on the body. If someone were to tell me that in order to be a mom, you’ll have to end up completely covered in stretch marks from head to toe, your hair will turn shit green & yellow, and all of your finger nails will fall out… I would still do it. My life with my 1 year old and the 7 months we spent breastfeeding are irreplaceable. My issue is not the body changes, my issue is the excess of expectations and the lack of real awareness around it. I could delve so much deeper into this and in fact I surely will in future writings, but I want to keep this post about the cha chas.

I blame myself for not knowing better that the place I bought my bras at 17 years old should NOT be the same place I buy my bras at 28. I don’t shop at Forever 21 any longer because I’m far past 21 and am no longer a fan of quickly disposable clothes, so from now on I’m putting VS in that same DO NOT SHOP category for the same reason. I found out exactly what Victoria’s dirty little Secret is: She’s a sneaky son of a b**** that’s monopolized the market for bra boutiques and made sweet perky 16 her target age shopper.

I do sort of joke. But in all honesty, over the years I’ve done enough shopping there to know that although it seems like a store full of options, in reality it’s a dressing room full of disappointment. Even in my very young, very bouncy days I usually left the store empty handed and discouraged (with the exception the ol’ 5 for $25 deal on PINK lacy underwear that fell apart after 3 washes).

Although the young girl that helped me there recently did the best that she could offering up a few suggestions and giving me new measurements for my little boobies, no amount of crappy products that they had on their racks would have prevented the monsoon of tears that flowed freely as I snuck out of the fitting room to rush my husband & baby out the door with me. I was in a store that I no longer felt I belonged in and after trying for years & years to make it work… My body had made the final decision for me and said get the hell out of here and never look back.

I gave myself a day of self loathing and the next day marched my ass to Nordstrom at The Grove. Upstairs tucked away in the corner of the store was a cute little selection of bras that was far far less overwhelming than the shit storm of a store I walked into the day before…

It was then in that fitting room I experienced a little bit of heaven. I swear to god I saw a cherub fly out from between my cleavage.

I found at least 8 bras that made me feel again like the badass mama that I am. And the sales associate was a patient dream to boot. The selection was smaller but the amount of quality bolder holders (or in my case, pebble holders) I stumbled upon was largely unbelievable. The kicker to all this?  These bras were the SAME PRICE POINT as the last place and I even found 1 particular killer Calvin Klein bra that unbeknownst to me set to be moved to Nordstrom Rack & marked down to $21.97. I’m wearing it right now, it’s the equivalent of both my breasts being hugged by their own individual clouds.

That night I went home with 4 perfect little bras in hand* and in my head had a small funeral service for my late big boobs. I told them I’m sorry I never treated them right by giving them the bra they deserved and for never fully appreciating them in their glory… But it was time to say goodbye. I then looked down at my wiser more experienced itty bitties and told them they had been through enough… From now on I choose quality over Secrets any day and I hope that this reaches some other mommies out there before they have to have a break down in a fitting room too. Please know that it’s not you, it’s them. I really mean that.

xo mamas ( . )( . )

 

 

*Betsey Johnson & Calvin Klein, you my homies

Stay Strong, Mother Hard

 

Stay Strong, Mother Hard

 

For those mums that have zero interest in living fast & dying young… I present to you the Stay Strong, Mother Hard tee by one of my favorite little mama run companies out there, Mère Soeur

Based out of the UK, her mama mission is something I think we can all standby:

“Mère Soeur is a wearable celebration of sisterhood. A reminder to eliminate one-upmumship and help a sister out.”

The company name literally translates to: Mother’s Sister. I sure as hell can support that.

I’m not going to lie, I own close to every shirt in her shop and the quality of these tees is half the reason why I love them so much.

I’m so happy. Thank you Mère Soeur!




These tees fit true to size.

Bag: Céline Paris Trio Bag in black / Jacket: silence & noise from Urban Outfitters / Jeans: Rag & Bone black legging Jean / Shirt: Mère Soeur

Something old/ Something new

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Saint Laurent Sac De Jour in Black Grained Leather

 

“Oh okay, so now this chick wants to try her hand at fashion blogging {rolls eyes} “- you reading my blog right now.

I’ve never been one to receive applause for the clothes that I put on everyday and you know what? I’ve never really expected to. I’ve been called bland & simple… Mainly by my biggest critic, myself.

The simple things I’ve loved the most have always been the hardest to find though, which has made it all the more discouraging. You would think a well fitting white T-shirt that falls just the right way would be an easy catch, but surprisingly it’s not… Unless you know where to look. I now reside in a city that, although scoffs at you behind your back, has a vast array of choices for a woman with simple needs and a fire passion for neutrals. Finally.

I have a love of neutrals that will never ever fucking die… But rather than try to fight it any longer, I’m choosing to embrace that ish. I’m putting my closet of Black, White, Grey, and sometimes Tan out there with a quest to own my simplistic ‘style’. I am not a fashionista (but I am a feminista). I’m just a young mama learning how to embrace the things she’s always loved… and putting em’ on this body that to be honest, she hasn’t always.

I’m turning my old life long fashion choices into something new… Or rather giving them a new perspective.

Disclaimer: I’m not a fashion blogger, I’m not here to make you feel like I’m better than you or that I’m untouchable. In fact, it’s the complete opposite. I’m here to show you that even mamas with no fashion sense can pick out a nice bag and still feel like effing champs leaving the house with drool on their shirts and cheerios stuck in their hair.

You’ll see a lot of t-shirts, jeans, sneakers, jackets, black bags & every once in awhile maybe a pop of color in my wardrobe if I feel like it…

Also stay tuned for some more real life talk on this blog about life and mama hood and the daily struggles of LA.

xo Alyssa’s Roses

Bag: Saint Laurent Sac De Jour in black grained leather / Jacket: Banana Republic / Scarf: off white infinity scarf 

‘The Anxiety Chronicles’

Sometimes I feel like I should rename this blog ‘The Anxiety Chronicles’

For all the lack of writing.

All the things I’ve written and then deleted.

Maybe if I start writing about anxiety, I can start to realize that my entire being is not just that. I’m so many more things than that. But it can be suffocating and then at times completely suffocating.

In this golden age of social media, it’s become imperative to always put a best face forward for some… But we are not our profiles.

We’re human beings. And we get sad, and we feel anxious, and we can be consumed with the overwhelming feelings of life. But we don’t feel the need to share most of these things with the world, in fear of looking weak. So we judge those that do…

In hopes that no one else will ever judge us in the same way.

“If we could remove fear from our lives, can you imagine how fucking great we’d be??”

In the sake of fear and trying to diminish the word, I gave myself a 30 day challenge. I’m currently approaching the last week of it, so after all is said and done, I’ll have more to share. Right now I’d still like to savor it, before exposing it and myself to everyone.

I think I’ll enjoy this one for a little longer.

Details to come…

xo