These are the Times

There are times when I just want to scream “HELP ME” but then I am reminded how would one be able to do so? How do you help someone who cannot help themselves? Someone who doesn’t even understand why they feel the way that they do. I always knew that one day I’d be a married mom, but I did not foresee how difficult this phase would be. I didn’t take into account that my mental illness wouldn’t just evaporate. I failed to be prepared to have those tough conversations with my husband about those two hard words to pronounce “Suicidal Ideations” In fact, I definitely didn’t prepare myself to be in this position. I realized there is no right way to tell your spouse you are scared to be alone….you simply just say it. Once I told him, I felt a teensy bit of relief…..before the dread came back.

These are the times where I should have so many pictures and short films in my phone from being a hover mom, but that has yet to manifest itself. In fact, most times I can barely remember where I place my phone since my memory is so flighty. I should be carving pumpkins and decorating my home, but instead no matter how much rest I barely receive; I am exhausted beyond belief and cannot think far enough to see a fully decorated home. As a result, my home looks like a glorified apartment. I have been off work for the past almost nine weeks, and I have yet to truly indulge in food and comfort. I think this reason is because I am too busy trying to figure “HOW” I will be able to maintain it all once I go back to work. Especially since I am not maintaining well without the stress of work.  These are the times where I should be giddy as my one year of marriage is upon me in 2 weeks, but instead I am having these tough conversations with my husband to no relief…..

I just couldn’t fathom another day of ignoring my feelings, and dodging my truth…today while I finally remembered to breathe…I chose to be honest….with me.



Dear Erika….just keep breathing

Dear Erika,

It’s been awhile. You have been on my mind, and I am sure that you have felt alone from time to time. In the middle of the night, when everyone is asleep, and you lie awake contemplating the next steps; anticipating the babies cries and holding your breath because the anxiety is too great. I wanted you to know dear heart; that you are doing the  best that you can. I have seen you look in the mirror and not be amazed at the beauty that lingers. I have seen you lately pause when you accidentally walk past a mirror as if you don’t recognize yourself. You are in there. You are still the loveable you. The life of the party persona lives in you….still. Just give yourself a little more time….I know that it seems like its difficult just to breathe at times and you long for the moment when smile lines will travel across your smile. That time will be here again before you know it. I wanted you to know that It is okay that you initially didn’t want to go to have a picnic in the park, and it felt more comfortable to lie down in bed all day, but I commend you for going any way….for grinning because you couldn’t smile. The look of bliss on your family’s face was priceless and worth it.

I noticed the other day that you jumped slightly when you chuckled as if it surprised you to hear laughter. It’s gonna be ok…I promise. There are people who truly love you that are praying for you when you are unable to. God hears them….and he hears you. Times may seem bleak and filled with apprehension and fear of what will happen next. Just know that this to shall pass. Anxiety filled nights won’t last always, and one day soon you will be able to truly enjoy the moments of your growing babies and loving husband.

You have done nothing wrong for you to feel guilty… mom guilt is irrational. If no one can validate that it has been rough balancing it all…changing medications, trying to feel better all the while trying to not miss precious moments; then I will validate it essentially validating you. Unfortunately, this is the hand you have been dealt. Its perfectly okay that you feel like the bag lady with your sore neck & shoulders from holding all the weight of depression. After all, Someone has to be the voice of others to let them know…that things will get better….just as I am reminding you. Just rest your body, rest your soul…. remember to pray often,  take slow methodical breaths

and remember to  just keep going… keep breathing…simply




“Mama’s Gun”

I have been on a journey to seek  balance. I never knew how different things would be parenting two healthy baby girls instead of one. I have yet to establish a routine that benefits everyone, but the blessing of being on maternity leave is that I haven’t had to. Prior to having my youngest, my team of doctors put much emphasis on post partum, and me having to prepare for it….how the heck do you do that? After a very difficult third trimester I gave birth….and I found myself waiting on the other shoe to drop….waiting on myself to snap. When in reality its like my body did the exact opposite. Instead of being a hot manic mess I shrunk into myself. My voice had dwindled and for the life of me I had nothing to say. Let me correct that, I had things to say….but I didn’t want to say it. For some reason, my desire to just get it off my chest became a figment of my cynical imagination. The need to write…..diminished as well and most times I feel like a foreigner in my own body. When I look at myself in the mirror I don’t recognize myself. The features look familiar, but its the eyes. They look so blank. It’s now 7 weeks post partum and I keep waiting on the moment where I couldn’t get out of bed and cried every second, but that time didn’t really come. Yes, there were moments of extreme sorrow, the irritability making me severely fidgety, and  more times that I can count where I felt like I couldn’t breathe. I figured something must be wrong with me other than the obvious. I kept trying to remember back to when I gave birth to Gracie, but I am met with a entirely blank memory. I can remember emotions. Feeling like I couldn’t do it. I felt helpless, overwhelmed, and isolated. Outside of those remote feelings I cannot seem to remember much else.

This time around I am not alone, I am overwhelmed, but not helpless or hopeless. In fact, I am able to operate. I could get out of bed, I could feed Gabbie in the wee hours of the mornings and I feel like I am bonding with her.  I am a robot at times, but I’m able to feed Gracie and try and play with her. I feel sad from time to time, but nothing like THAT  OMG depression.  I have learned that there is not one facet of post partum depression. The vast irritability, the lack of eating, loss of enjoyment, the dread of overwhelming feelings….all are wrapped up in a ugly bow. I learned that your body goes through trauma as a result of childbirth and pregnancy. Though I was glowing I felt vacant. Because my hormones were all over, but my medicine kept me somewhat level I did not deal with the extremes of the bipolar and post partum….but I still feel….off. The bright side of things is that I eventually snapped out of “it” before so I surely will snap out of this….eventually.  I feel like I set myself up for the okie doke because I compared everything to my first pregnancy and post partum experience. I seemed to “snap back” faster at 28 than at 30. I believe that things are a bit different for me because this past year and a half has been one huge transition after another.


I sometimes feel myself wanting to stop expressing myself because NO ONE talks about how hard the transition can be. Its like I am a member of a silent sorority, yet no one is allowed to speak on the truth…..the truth that its rough on a woman emotionally, mentally, and obviously physically. Just because you give birth doesn’t negate the fact that your body and MIND need time to heal. I think that thing that I am learning is that I truly need to not be so hard on me. That its okay to not feel all warm and fuzzy when I don’t feel the familiarity of my 30 year old body. That its totally normal to feel meh when I look at my  new midsection. In fact, I look around and notice that everything is different now. The support system I have looks and feel different. I kind of have an idea of how things “are supposed to be.” I guess I  just have to get used to this transition, but not get comfortable with things being dreary because……”it” will end…..sooner than later.

An Open letter to the First Love of my Own

Dear Erilyn Olivia- Grace,

It’s been awhile since I actually sat down and wrote to you my love. Probably because I see you every single day and I can tell you how much I love you daily. Mommy wanted to write because things are going to be different very soon. I know that since I have been blessed with you that my life has literally changed for the better. You have made me softer, calmer, I relish in every moment instead of rushing around like a maniac.

I look forward to your smile in the morning, and you saying “get some rest mommy” at night. With your baby sister coming, I want you to know that you will NEVER be replaced. Though it may seem that we have “forgotten you” at times please know that is not the case. I want you to know that I love you and your sister Eriane more than I breathe and that everything me and daddy do for you guys is in your best interest; and from the heart. I apologize in advance for the confusion you may feel once Eriane comes home and I have both of you to care for. I apologize in advance for the times were mommy isn’t as attentive as usual because I am up all night. I am sorry baby and I want you to know that me, daddy, and paw paw will ensure you get adequate attention between the three of us.

I know that in the future I will get the chance to explain to you exactly why you were and still are my saving Grace. I was so afraid of the new chapter you brought, but I had faith that it would be ok….if I just held on. I apologize for not being emotionally present in the beginning. The days and nights when I didn’t know how to function and just operated as  a robot…I am so sorry muffy. I still have a hard time forgiving myself for being depressed and missing key moments in those first weeks. I am sorry for crying to you in the darkness as I held onto you for dear life, but being afraid to breathe. I want you to know that You were the driving force for the awakening that I have had. I know for a fact that God has looked out for us since I decided to ensure you got here safely on April 25, 2014. And Wow, hasn’t God blessed us So?!! There is no one who could contest that God has been essential in our journey together from just me and you to our own little family. From living in a tiny humble apartment to the spacious house you terrorize daily. I can truthfully speak on behalf of daddy and say we are so proud of you. You have become such an independent and happy big girl. Even though the tumultuous twos have been interesting …I would not change a thing. You are so special to me and I want you to always know that.

I am dreading the moment just before I have Eriane that I have to hold you and let you go for the last time as my only child. That hug will break me for a second, but the Joy of expanding our family is all the more a blessing.

Mommy won’t take up to much time, but Grace know that  I will always protect you. I will always love you. I pray for you daily. I will give you my last breath.I will always be there…..I will never leave you.


Love you Muffin,



The Pressure *Jhene Aiko Voice*

I have wanted to write, but have been unable to. I just was unable to put my thoughts….my soul to paper. I would find myself daily opening my blog and just staring. Being a writer it gets that way sometimes. Since I last wrote, I am further into my pregnancy and I am exhausted. Exhausted mentally, physically, emotionally, and I am still trying desperately to find that balance and relieve some of this pressure that I myself, society, and family has put onto me.

Ever since I was younger, I always felt this pressure…this huge weight on my shoulders to be perfect. I would study just a little more in hopes that it would get me that 100. Or, I’d stay after and practice my toe touch because mines did not mirror my teammates. And when I lacked,  I made up for it with heart. I have always ruled my life with my feelings, with being honest with myself and others, and ultimately by working with all my heart and soul so that things would be “perfect.” It seems that into adulthood, I found out the hard way that no one is perfect, and honestly….who wants to be? There is beauty in mistakes and learning. I learned to work smart and not hard. I learned to let others help me because I CANNOT DO THIS ALONE. Furthermore, I learned that with each sunrise and each sunset that I am a work in progress.

Now that I am a wife and mother, it seems to me that I; along with society have created this standard at times that I am not allowed to make mistakes. That it is selfish of me to take a day for myself to recuperate mentally and spiritually. Oh, the mom guilt. I feel the pressure to always BE ON and to be a tad demure so that I don’t spazz out like I used to. Plus, I am medicated and with child, I cannot afford to just spazz.  After all, I have several people depending on me. Being a good mom is a trigger for me because I do not want to repeat what my childhood lacked and looked like. So, I worry. I pray yet hold onto the fear of “Am I doing this right.” I did not grow up in a home where I could model the role of a wife. Honestly, I did not think that anyone would ever truly marry me. Sure several guys asked me, only one ever produced a ring, but those situations were all rooted with selfishness. They could not stand that fact that someone else would capitalize on their “property” while they “got ready” which never truly happened. So with that, I never felt the need to prepare myself for wifedom. And to be truthful, I didn’t know how; But let me tell you, there is a learning curve especially when you are free styling like me.

I don’t usually blog about this topic because it’s a sensitive area for me, but I feel compelled to do so. Maybe there is someone out there losing sleep and driving themselves crazy trying to figure out the balance, the new roles, what’s most important in the long list of things to do. Most importantly, it could possibly help someone finally realize that pressure eventually alleviates. Some may know and most may not, but I am a 30 year old caregiver; thus my husband is as well. My father is unable to live alone and unsupervised due to a history of seizures and strokes. I have been along the journey, and watched him transform from my super hero, to the man that depends on little ole me.  I must admit that it has been hard to watch and to be a part of. Especially with the lack of support from my siblings. Can you imagine being responsible not only for your children and spouse, but for your parent too? It’s a thin line to make it all work, but I must admit; the situation is a culprit for added pressure. And its not because caring for him is such a hard job, but how does one prepare to do so at such a young age? Newlywed, young mother, stable yet fresh into my career. There is no manual. And, don’t let me get started on how to effectively parent a stubbornly beautiful two year old with an agenda and mind of her own. There are times when it can all be too much. Times where I search for coping skills and turn up empty.

The combination of all these different transitions happening at once…..with a direction that feels like I am walking in the dark feeling with my hands…yea…..the pressure. At the end of the day, it’s not all bad. I eventually snap out of my feelings, put my superwoman cape on and get to work. Having my father with me has been a blessing because I am able to see the transformation and appreciate it for what it is….even though it hurts. Most importantly, my two daughters will have the relationship with their grandfather that I yearned for, but never received. It is all cyclic when you think about it. The swelling in your heart seems to cause the anxiety to crush your chest, but eventually it subsides because our bodies are able to battle with stress, anxiety, and the pressure. We just have to be patient and forgiving of ourselves and the ones who love us. None of us are perfect….truth be told…..I don’t wanna be.

So, does anyone else feel the pressure?!?