It’s Okay to Admit You’re Not “Okay”

*Please note: This is a sensitive and real thing that I went through. It was not easy to write and some parts may make you think I am a horrible person…but if you continue reading, I hope that you will understand. Thank you. <3

Did you know that today is World Maternal Mental Health Day?

It is! It has been declared the first Wednesday in May and I’ve been given signs for a long time now, to share my story. Even more signs popped up in the past few days. It’s something I have never really shared with people and if I did it wasn’t in depth, but I wanted to share this in hopes of someone reading it will know that they’re not alone.

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Photo: Amanda Glenn Photography

This here is a photo of a mother who absolutely loves and adores her child.

This is also a photo of a mother who had/has a hard time with this adorable, little babe.

And I don’t just mean, had a hard time adjusting to motherhood. That, alone, was a battle. But I went through stages of anger, fits, rage, crying, sadness, and hopelessness…and I didn’t know or understand why.

This tiny baby would cry because he was hungry or wanted to be close to me. I had fed him, changed him, burped him, took clothes off, put more clothes back on, rocked him, swayed him, swaddled him, hugged him, wore him…and nothing was working. I feel like this is something quite common. And when you can’t figure out what’s going on with your baby, it’s perfectly normal to cry! Instead, I got angry. I was filled with rage when I couldn’t get him to stop. Following the feelings of anger and rage, I began to really cry. Not only cry but completely sob until it hurt.

I hated the mother I was.

Why would I get so upset at this sweet, baby boy? I grew him in my belly, birthed him, and nourished him with my body through breastfeeding. He was MY baby. My love. Everything I lived for.

So, why did I get so angry all the time? Why was I filled with so much anger when it came to the simple cries of a child needing his mother?

Postnatal Depression is real.

From someone who already struggles with depression (that’s a whole other story), I felt that the post partum part hit me hard. It was always difficult for me to understand what was going on within me and I thought that it was going to destroy the bond with my child and I. As much as it pains me to say this…I was almost afraid. I would get so angry and upset that I was afraid that I was going to be one of those mothers that would actually hurt their child. Yes, it was that bad.

Did I want to hurt my baby? Absolutely not. Never in a million years would I ever want 18280802_10208845007314754_1932360827_n It's Okay to Admit You're Not "Okay"to do such a thing. It is my job to protect my child and to keep them safe. And I will do that until my last dying breath. But was that a real fear of mine? Yes. It’s scary.

But I didn’t know that it wasn’t just me.

Over 75% of women do not get diagnosed or receive treatment or support. And 2 in 10 women have a mental health problem during pregnancy and in the first year, following birth. Think of all of the women around you, having babies. That’s a lot! I’m willing to bet that many of them are hiding it from you and are hiding it well. The problem is, we need to speak up about it.

I had no idea what was going on with me. I thought it was just my regular old depression, short fuse, and bad temper coming in. I didn’t think I actually needed any help with anything. When I was about 6 months post partum with my son, a friend of mine (whom I finally admitted a few things to) said,

“That sounds like post partum depression. I went back to talk to someone and got some help with it.”

I had no clue that she was going through it too! She actually experienced a lot of what I was going through. The anger and the sobbing. She went almost immediately having her child. I went back to get some help and I was given the runaround. Because I was 6 months post baby, I was no longer considered having post partum depression and they thought it was something completely different. So,  I looked forward to meeting with the doc and talking about what was going on – to finally get some answers.

Not long after being in that room with the doctor, I left feeling worse about myself. I felt as though I was an unfit mother. The doctor ridiculed me for the things that I was saying and for how I was feeling. He threatened to find a way to take my baby away. Now, that was one of the scariest things for me. That was why I didn’t want to get help or tell anyone about it. Because, how do you explain to someone the anger you feel inside and what’s happening in there…but that you’re not actually going to do ANYTHING like what you’re feeling? Some people can’t comprehend that until they are in the same situation. And if you’ve never had depression or post partum depression – you’re not going to get it.

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Amanda Glenn Photography

Needless to say, I never went back again. I never went back for help. I just continued with feeling the way I did. I talked to my husband and a couple friends here and there. I tried my best to be the best mother I could for my son. I loved him with everything in me. I wanted the feelings that I would feel every now and then to just go away. I did, however, feel a strong bond with him through breastfeeding. I missed him so much when I had to go to work. I snuggled with him and played with him and had all of the marvelous moments that one would have with their baby. My love never changed.

But I did realize that as he got older and we started trying for our next baby, my feelings weren’t as bad as they once were. Mind you, I was on the Mirena and although it is localized in just the uterus – hormones are hormones. And I learned a long time ago that I cannot do a lot of birth control because of the hormones. The Mirena still affected me. When I got it taken out, it took some time to get pregnant again and those “crazy” feelings weren’t as strong anymore.

Not until I ended up in the ER. Not many know about that situation. It’s hard to talk about but I will say that, depression caused by pregnancy and birth DOES happen. I had my kids close together. My hormones had gone up and down over the past 3 years. It’s not easy. It’s not easy to talk about or admit. And it’s not easy to know that you’ve had this happen to you.

Throughout my pregnancy with my daughter, I had been attacked from others about “mental issues” and being “mentally unstable.” And let me tell you,

It was a time where I was the strongest I had ever been.

Did it hurt when people talked about it as if it was nothing? Hell yes. Did I want to go off on those people? You betcha. But what was that going to solve? Absolutely nothing. It just made me realize that it really is something I needed to talk about. And the sad part was, it was in reference to the night I ended up in the ER. So, over the past year, I realized I needed to talk about this. So, here I am writing this super long post. 18280802_10208845007314754_1932360827_n It's Okay to Admit You're Not "Okay"

Anyway –
As much as I had bonded with my son, I did notice a disconnect. And I still do to this day. My pregnancies, their births, post partum side – everything is like night and day between my children. I didn’t feel the same feelings I had with my daughter after birth like I did with my son. My pregnancy was fitter and healthier the second time around. Hormones are weird like that, where they really can mess with the body in a very negative or even a positive way. But because of this disconnect with my son, I have felt the pang of guilt on more than one occasion. It hurts me to know that I get angry at him easier.

 

That disconnect actually worried me while I was pregnant with my daughter.

What if I love my daughter more than I love my son? What kind of thought is that?! A real one. And it sucked feeling that way. To be honest with you, I don’t love either of them more or less than the other. BUT – I can totally see a difference in how I am as a mother BECAUSE of my daughter. Because my pregnancy and the BIRTH was so different, I felt more of a connection immediately. When my son was born, he was rushed away from me completely. I am not blaming our disconnect on that whatsoever but I can see the differences throughout pregnancy and birth with each of them. I did post about my birth story with my daughter and I described it as a “healing birth.” And that’s exactly what it was. No, I don’t love my daughter more than my son. But we all connect differently to each other. And that’s okay.18280802_10208845007314754_1932360827_n It's Okay to Admit You're Not "Okay"

Honestly, there’s a chance that most of me getting angry easier is just due to him being a toddler and those “terrible-twos” are quite difficult. He is a lot like me. Go figure. But I can’t dwell on the fact that I used to be a certain way towards him. I can only move forward and learn from my mistakes.

I wish I could end this post where I tell you that I got the help I needed and I am fixed. But unfortunately, that is not the case. Somehow, in some way, my body healed itself. Not completely, but I noticed that I am no longer as angry or hopeless as I used to be. I don’t cry nearly as much as I did and my heart is more open.

I do, however, urge you to get help if you need it. If you feel ANYTHING like how I have described it in this post, please talk to someone. A doctor, a therapist, a friend (who will then refer you to a doctor or a therapist) but don’t let yourself think you’re helpless. Don’t think that you’re the only one.

You are NOT crazy. This happens. You are not alone.

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18280802_10208845007314754_1932360827_n It's Okay to Admit You're Not "Okay"

#LetsFixThis

autumn #LetsFixThis

It’s sad to know that human trafficking is such an issue today. But thankfully there are people at the International Justice Mission and Beachbody that are doing their part to make a difference. Click here to learn more about the International Justice Mission.

autumn #LetsFixThis

And now it’s my turn. The CEO of Beachbody, Carl Daikeler, has put the 21 Day Fix Challenge Pack on sale for the month of June. A challenge pack is a bag of Shakeology PLUS the 21 Day Fix workouts, meal plans, workout calendar, and more, for $140. That’s only $10 more than a bag of Shakeology, by itself.

Why is this sale important? Well, for every 21 Day Fix Challenge Pack that is sold during this month, Carl will donate $10 to the International Justice Mission to help in the efforts to end human trafficking!

This is so exciting! To be part of a company that helps change lives, get people fit and healthy, AND supports a good cause. I am all about that. So, here’s the deal.

I am running a challenge group next month to get people together and get healthy and so wait. You’ve all seen the infomercials about the 21 Day Fix. You’ve seen commercials. You’ve seen people walking around with these colored containers and drinking Shakeology. I want to talk to you about all of that.

First of all, this is Shakeology:

That’s the best way I can describe it. It’s a healthy, nutrient dense shake. It’s super healthy and tasty at the same time and it has changed my life.

I want to help you get a jump start on your health and fitness lifestyle! Join me in this challenge group! Lose weight, get toned, get healthy, be fit, have accountability, be encouraged, and get help and advice from others like us! Email me at heydarlinglove@outlook.com if you have any questions or are interested in getting started!! I am very excited about this challenge next month and I hope to get others involved with me so we can help put an end to human trafficking AND get fit and healthy!

autumn #LetsFixThis

www.teambeachbodycoach.com/doughertya

For more info on the 21 Day Fix challenge pack, please watch this video or email me to find out more! 🙂

autumn #LetsFixThis

Hearts2Honduras

So, we all know that HeyDarlingLove is all about helping people! Whether it be about health and fitness or just life in general, I love to help others on their mission. When I noticed that my friend, Nina was trying to raise money to go back to Honduras, I decided to ask her to write a little something and I would include it in my blog.

It’s been WEEKS since I have posted anything but I felt that posting this is definitely a worthy cause. Here is what Nina had to say.

“As I was heading to the airport in January with bags full of clothes to donate to families when I arrived in Honduras all I was thinking was: How awesome is this going to be, I am going on my second missions trip and going to be going to another country. Little did I know with in hours of being in Honduras seeing the joy on the childrens faces as we pulled up to meet them God would be telling me I was going back. I am so excited to say I will be going on my second trip back to Honduras May 27th-June 10th to help out in the same community as I helped the first trip where we poured concrete for their church/learning center along with loving on every child that wanted to be there helping us help them. There were so many children loving and kissing on me and even though we didn’t speak the same language verbally we still were able to communicate through God, smiles, and love. I am excited to say that I was asked to go back to Honduras for the 3rd time next January to see these sweet children that I will be able to come back and have them run up to me like no time has past like old friends do, because that is what they are. Please consider making a donation for me to go to them and spend time loving them in January I can’t wait to love on them more and more every time I am able to see them.”

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If you’re interested in helping Nina get back to Honduras, please visit her site!

http://www.gofundme.com/v3v9qk

I’m proud of you, Nina! You’re going out and doing so much! You’re an inspiration. <3 I wish I could go along with you! Good luck and safe travels!

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5K for $50K

5kfor50k11 5K for $50K

Interesting title for a post, right? Well, it’s an interesting topic.

What are you drinking right now? Is it perhaps, water? I’m willing to bet that if you are drinking some water, that it’s bottled or it’s water that has been cleaned and purified. What about the water in your bath tub or shower…or even the water that you use to wash your dishes or clean your clothes? That’s probably pretty clean too.

Some people don’t have that luck. And it’s not their fault. Some children are just born into that society where it’s absolutely normal for them to see merky water. I won’t lie, if I see any sort of funny color…even just a TINGE of some sort of abnormality, I will not drink the water and I will call whoever I need to, to get it taken care of. Again, some people don’t have such luck.

Because of this, my friend Michael has chosen to do something greater. And I would like for you to meet him. 🙂 This is the best way I knew I could help him on his journey! Since I am going to have this baby in less than 2 months, I figured that trying to run a 5k every day until he reached $50K isn’t going to happen. Haha. So, this is my contribution. And I hope many of you have stuck around to read the rest of Michael’s story! I did it in question and answer format.

What is Charity:Water?

They are a non-profit organization on a mission to bring clean drinking water to every person on the planet. They’ve funded 13,644 water projects in 22 countries. And yes I took that directly from their website.

Charity-Water does three things that I love. First, they have a 100% model. This means that all of your donations go straight to the field, while private donors fund their operating costs. Second, they have a high value for transparency. They show you exactly where your money goes, to the extent that they actually install GPS units on every water project. Finally, they work locally. They have strong local partnerships in each of the countries they work with, insuring that each water project will be maintained properly.

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What made you decide to do this?

I’ve traveled to over 20 countries myself. I have seen the effects of extreme poverty and witnessed first hand all kinds of injustices around the world. Those experiences changed me and left me with an insatiable hunger to see life brought to the nations. I have seen so much, and become passionate about so many different causes, and for a long time I didn’t know how to move forward. There are people who need access to clean water, orphans who need a home and family, women and children who need freedom from the sex trade industry… how do you pick just one? At the same time, there are so many organizations out there who are already doing incredible work towards these causes… that is how I came up with the idea for Bloomworks.

And What is Bloomworks?

Bloomworks is an organization I’m starting. The mission is to empower people to move from apathy to engagement, and provide awareness and resources for organizations that are bringing life to the nations. The goal is to use social media, film, art, and creativity to inspire and challenge people to become part of a bigger story. As I said, I couldn’t pick just one cause, so this is my chance to support all kinds of different causes, one project at a time. The 5K for $50K is my first project.

You’re running 5k a day, what keeps you going?

Thinking about the people, who everyday have to walk three hours to fetch clean drinking water. The least I can do is run thirty minutes. I literally picture myself cheering them on, yelling that help is on the way, telling them to keep going.  And when I get tired, I picture them cheering me on, yelling right back, “Keep going!

Where did the inspiration come from?

The idea for the 5K for $50K came from a conversation at work. I can listen to podcasts at work, and one day stumbled across an interview of Scott Harrison, the founder of Charity-Water. I was so inspired by his story, and by the 100% model. I told my co-worker about it, and suggested we run 5K a day until we raised $5,000 for Charity-Water. Later, I bumped the number up to $50,000 and really got excited.

The inspiration for Bloomworks came after the 5K idea. This kind of work seems to be the intersection of my passions, talents, and desire to change the world. I love working with people, and I love using creativity to spread ideas. It became clear that there was a great opportunity to build something unique, and I am excited to see where this could go.

Tell us a little about yourself.

I am 27, from Wisconsin, and most importantly, a newlywed! I love my wife and am absolutely enjoying the adventure that is our first year of marriage. We met in Spain, both of us were attending G42, a six-month leadership academy tucked away on the side of a mountain overlooking the Mediterranean. We had our wedding date set and venue booked by the 28th day of our relationship. 10 months later we were married. New Years was our one-year anniversary of being together.

I love the outdoors, competitive sports, craft beer, and movies. I’ve recorded some spoken word films and recently written a book, which you can find on my website if interested.

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Besides the obvious, why are YOU doing this?

Someone has to do something. It might as well be me. Whether I get five, or five thousand people to join me, I will be satisfied. I believe all it really takes to change the world is one committed person. At the same time I know others will join and our influence will only multiply.

Do you have anyone joining you in this?

Yes! Actually a friend of mine from Texas just told me he was going to run 5K a day as well. I’m excited!

Was this planned or spur of the moment?

I am someone who gets lots of vision all the time, and there were plenty of ideas I was toying with leading up to the New Year. A mentor of mine once told me, “When you have too many dreams, just pick one or two to start, and the rest can come later.” This idea was one I was most passionate about. With New Years approaching, it seemed like a great time to start something.

Did you properly train for this or just jump into it? (the running)

Ummm no. No training, haha. In fact, the most I had run leading up to the New Year, was maybe five times in five months. Now I’m running 5K a day. Needless to say, I have been icing my knee all night.

Are you having fun while doing it?

I am having lots of fun! I love listening to music while I run, and I feel like I am changing the world with every step I take. Sometimes I feel pain in my knee with every step I take, but that’s when I just turn the music up.

What are you going to do after you’ve reached your deadline or your goal?

I am going to pick another organization, brainstorm an idea of how to advocate for them, pick a goal amount to raise, and launch it! I have no idea what that will be, but I am excited! That is the beauty of Bloomworks. For now, I am focusing on this campaign. We have a long way to go, and lots of work to be done to hit the goal amount before the deadline.

Michael has a HUGE heart for this and I am incredibly inspired by it! I continue to follow him on instagram and facebook to see how things are going. You definitely can too! Michael’s instagram is www.instagram.com/bloomisboom

Also, I wanted to post this on here…I really liked what he added to his instagram post on Day 12.

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“In Africa alone, people spend 40 billion hours every year walking for water. Women and children usually bear the burden of water collection, walking miles to the nearest source, which is unprotected and likely contaminated.
Time spent walking and resulting diseases keep them from school, work and taking care of their families. Along their long walk, they’re subjected to a greater risk of harassment and sexual assault. With safe water nearby, women are free to pursue new opportunities and improve their families’ lives.

I’m doing 5k a day until we raise $50,000 for clean water projects. Over $900 raised so far!! Join the movement!

http://my.charitywater.org/5kfor50k

Sandersmjames@gmail.com

#bloomworks #5Kfor50K #running #run #instagood”

Please help the cause! It’s a great one with all the right intentions! I will be with you on this one Michael and I will also be joining you on the next project!! 🙂

5kfor50k11 5K for $50K

***All photos were “stolen” from Michael’s Instagram or Facebook pages.

After post update: 23JAN15 Michael has raised $1,125 WHICH MEANS…37 people will get clean water. 🙂

5kfor50k11 5K for $50K

4 Tips To Start Blogging

The adventures in creating a blog. HOW FUN?

It  hasn’t been as fun as I thought it would be! Okay, it’s fun but a little stressful! Wanting your blog to mean something is kind of important. And you just want it to be successful and worth reading! Totally understandable!

Well, here are my steps/opinions/ideas on what YOU can do to RELAX.

Read more

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