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Monday, March 21, 2016

Sessions With Billie

I am still waiting to see the psychiatrist that my GP has referred me to but, in the meantime, I had a second session with my therapist (aka Billie). And, I am happy to report that I still really like her! I have seen other therapists in the past that just didn’t fit well right from the get-go, but she has been wonderful from the start which makes things so much easier.

It has been like sitting down with an old friend for the most part... which is nice.

I am still facing many of the same issues I was when all of this began, only much less frequently. As Billie said, 4 months in is still all very new and an adjustment period is to be expected. I just didn’t anticipate the change to be so drastic and I let my own self get the better of me; after all, I have always been my own worst enemy. In fact, she said my very decision to work up until the last couple of weeks of my pregnancy was probably not a good idea as I left myself no time to transition from one identity to another.

It makes perfect sense, in hindsight.

Many things took me by surprise and I have never been very good with “unknowns”. The ideals of what our family would be like vs. the unexpected issues we faced (i.e. breastfeeding, PPD, PPA). The village I envisioned and didn’t really want at the time vs. the reality that we really only have each other and I need more. The uncomfortable feeling I have that someone is totally and completely depending on me vs. my own wavering feelings of strength and independence. For the first time in a long time I feel as though I just cannot do it all alone and I am no longer used to being dependant on someone! Generally speaking I don’t have to do this alone, but I have an overwhelming feeling of helplessness just knowing DH will travel again very soon.

And, of course, there are the ever evolving friendships in my life that continue to take their twists and turns; some bonds growing over mommy-baby playdates and others seemingly running their course or falling apart altogether. Some have been a long time coming, others were somewhat unexpected. As I recently wrote on Facebook, it is weird how you can feel so close to someone who lives so far, yet so distant from someone who lives so close. There are a handful of people/relationships that I really should deal with, but I just don’t have the time or the energy to do that right now… and I may never get the chance to deal with all of them so I will have to be selective… one day.

In my last session with Billie we spoke about how I felt like I was having a tough time keeping on top of all the daily demands, as though I had failed in many aspects outside of motherhood. But the reality of it all is that I can’t do everything and I need to accept that. In fact, the only person I have actually failed is me… and that is because I put incredibly high expectations on everything I do and I am far too judgmental of myself. If the floors aren’t swept, if the dishes sit out a little longer, and if my laundry stays in the dryer for a couple of days… it doesn’t matter! I have to make a conscious effort to suck at doing everything all of the time; one-sided maintenance of relationships, keeping a spotless house, and trying to please everybody else’s wants in spite of my own. Sometimes you just need to sit back and say NO!

On a positive note, I am feeling pretty good about the daycare situation! While I did just accept the first place who would take me, I got lucky because it is a really awesome centre! Seriously, we signed a contract for another one when I was only a few months pregnant and we are now considering moving her to this place full-time when I return to work! They love her there and fight over who gets to take care of her, she seems to not mind it one bit and the owner is such a sweetheart with the biggest heart! And the fact that she is a registered nurse as well gives me even more comfort! DH is super supportive about sending her which is a big encouragement for me too. He isn’t one of those guys I hear about from my online mommy group that expects me to be superwoman 24/7 and be happy about it. He gets it! He also realizes that while I was possibly over socialized as a child, he was lacking in socialization and this exposure will be good for her in the long run. She has only been a couple of times, but it gives me a proper chance to take care of myself which is super important.

Thinking ahead, I have already recognized that once I finally gain a hold on myself and who I am now I will then have to figure out how to balance and juggle everything back together when I return to work and gain another new self – “the working Mom”. I have discussed this with Billie and plan to return for therapy before the end of my maternity leave in order to avoid another breakdown… if I ever make it out of there before then!

I am not accustomed to wearing so many important hats!!!