It’s been a while…

I’ve not been in the right frame of mind lately to write much and things have been pretty hectic with moving house and working out a new routine with being further away from our usual amenities.

Holidays as well are always hard for me, which I have mentioned before. I am struggling with some depression, and haven’t been back to see my psychiatrist since the initial visit. Again, things have just been crazy around here!

We are finally moved into our new house though, everything is coming together slowly, but boxes are being emptied and a few days out of the many that have passed since we moved, my laundry pile has only been a small mound rather than its usual colossal mountain. Jinsey is acting his normal self now, he’s eating more, socializing and is completely off of all of his medication, including the anxiety meds which were making him act rather strangely. He will be on a prescription diet for the rest of his life, but it’s a small price to pay for his health and to have a happy cat snuggling up on the bed at night.

Christmas is literally a week away and I feel mostly prepared for it. I don’t cook Christmas dinner so I don’t have that worry on my plate, but I did host dinner for the family this past week. I’ve bought the kids presents apart from a few pairs of pajamas each and I already sent a small box of goodies to England for my mom, last month. Curtis and I don’t buy each other gifts, but he did get me a new jogging stroller so I can start running with Mia more often. I have taken it out for a spin a few times and now I just need to be consistent in my exercising to get the most use out of it!

Really life if just kind of a blur right now, the days are kind of melting into one another and I am hoping that the new year brings with it more clarity, more peace of mind and less anxiety.

However you celebrate this holiday season, I hope that you are not alone. I hope that whatever you do, you have a smile on your face and love in your heart.

Merry Christmas x

Deflated

I haven’t been posting a lot lately, because honestly, I’ve been in quite the negative slump for a while. I don’t always want to write about my problems, my negative attitude and frankly my lack of self love. I wish I had something positive to write at the moment, something truly bright and maybe even uplifting.
I could use some lifting up, myself. 

The Stigma of Grief

I hope my mom doesn’t mind me using her as an example as I write this, but talking to her and reading the words she has expressed to me recently, has me thinking about the stigma of grief. Time.

I call time a stigma of grief, because there seems to be an unspoken timeline that people expect you to “get over” the grief you feel after loss. Most people are aware of the idea that there are five understood stages:

  1. Denial and Isolation – Denying the reality of the situation and rationalizing the emotions and pain.
  2. Anger – The pain surfacing after denial and dealing with it by projecting anger towards people/places/things as a coping mechanism and often in a search for answers.
  3. Bargaining – Trying to regain control by using “If only…” to come to terms with the situation.
  4. Depression – Sadness, regret, sometimes verbalized, sometimes dealt with quietly and often helped by understanding and support both verbal and physical.
  5. Acceptance – A stage some never reach.

The last stage, Acceptance, is one that that sticks out to me most significantly. It is the stage that not everyone will reach and it isn’t a stage that means you are happy with the situation that has unfolded, but rather you have reached a point in your mourning that you are able to move forward with coping mechanisms. The waves of grief still come, but you may not be searching for answers still, you may have let go of the anger you had felt.

So with understanding that there is somewhat of an order, then surely there is no real timeline to how long you mourn. Yet, I often see people using terms like “Aren’t you over that yet?/Can’t you just let it go and move on?” to people who are in the thick of this emotional storm. Would you ask a person who has been given a bed of nails, whether they slept well? What answer would you expect?

I’m not writing this to put anyone down for feeling this way. Some people haven’t dealt with great losses in their lives, and thus, don’t have first hand experience of grief. I certainly didn’t have a significant connection to grief other than looking from the outside in, until my father died.

I hope that when faced with other peoples grief I can offer some sort of comfort or support, even if it’s just being there to listen when they are really in the rough of it. I don’t want to hear only about the good days because you may be afraid of sharing the negative feelings with others. I want to be there for you and love all facets of you, whether they are joyful memories, or sorrowful cries.

 

Maternity Leave In America – A Depressing Outlook

So this evening I was looking at an interesting info-graphic that shows the differences in paid maternity leave in various countries. It’s not the most well made info-graphic (spelling mistakes/missing data) but it does give an interesting, and quite saddening overview.

Why saddening? Because when you think about it, in America it would seem that the value of a fetus is seen as far more important than the woman bearing it.

I am blessed to have the opportunity to stay at home with my children whilst my husband supports us financially. That isn’t always an option whether the mother would like to or not. In a workforce that still pays women less than men and is unsupportive of maternal growth is it any wonder that in a study by Duke University, they found a direct correlation between the lack of maternity leave (time spent with baby) and postpartum depression?

In another study by the University of Maryland, not only do they show the data that supports this theory, but end the article in noting;

“The study concludes that “the current leave duration provided by the Family and Medical Leave Act, 12 weeks, may not be sufficient for mothers at risk for or experiencing postpartum depression” and that future leave policy debates should take into consideration the postpartum health of mothers. Moreover, “employers should consider providing more generous leaves than the 12 weeks of unpaid leave granted by the FMLA through expanding the duration of leave given or providing paid leave or both,” urged Dr. Dagher.”

If this issue is highlighted in medical studies, why has there been no change to how maternity leave is handled? Does the health of women come in so low on the scale of importance in this society and economy that these types of studies are completely overlooked?

We are talking about the health and well being of a human being, the value of new life goes beyond the fetus, it is equally if not more important that the mother, the primary care giver in the majority of cases is in good mental and physical health to take care of their offspring and themselves. When we start viewing women, in this case particularly mothers in terms of their monetary value, we are treating them no better than cattle.