To the Mama who is suffering,
I know you feel invisible, but I see you. I see your fear and your fierce bravery. I see your will to survive. I’m rooting for you. You’re capable of a better life, and you owe it to yourself to seek it.
I know you may have scary thoughts about hurting your baby. Uncontrollable thoughts you fear will become uncontrollable actions. I know you lie awake at night even while your baby is sleeping. You fear she’ll stop breathing or an equally tragic event will befall your family. You know your fears are irrational, but that doesn’t make them any less palpable.
You feel weak because you desperately need help; you feel like a failure because your facade of perfection is cracking. You think you’re the only one who feels like she’s drowning. Sometimes life feels impossible, and sometimes the panic steals your breath. You tell yourself you’re a bad mother; guilt has become your constant companion. But please hear this: you aren’t crazy. Thoughts are not actions, and you are more than your anxiety.
Sweet mama, there’s reason to hope. I know you’re afraid that if you reach out for help you will lose your baby. Please know that getting help is the best thing you can do for your family. A knowledgeable professional will not be scared off by your dark thoughts and fears.
You deserve to feel contentment. You are worthy of joy and peace. There will always be hard days. There will be days you feel like you’re crawling out of your skin. But those can be balanced with days that are rich with wonder and fulfillment.
Sweet mama, there’s reason to hope.
Remember that self-care is never superfluous or indulgent. Don’t ever feel guilty for making sure you have the energy and fortitude to care for your children. They will thank you for modeling self-respect and ego strength, and they will love the person you are when your cup is full. Remember that there is no prize for martyrdom except mounting resentments and frazzled nerves.
Make the first small step toward recovery today. Give yourself a bit of grace. Take a nice, long shower. Go outside. Walk around your neighborhood and witness this planet that continues to turn. Know that the world is ready for you to rejoin it. Embrace it with the knowledge that you are not alone, and you are going to be okay.
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