The Mask I Wore

Post partum depression sneaks up on you, and robs you of your joy. Your memories.

Today I am grateful for technology and the memories things like Facebook and Timehop are bringing to me.

I look at old posts and I can hear the pain in them, but no one else could. I was trying to be positive. Trying to make sure everyone knew I loved being a mother and trying to do what everyone told me to do, which is to embrace every moment because one day I would miss it.

But the one thing no one told me it was ok to do; hate being a mother.

I was wearing a mask.

If you’ve experienced post partum depression, you know what I mean.

Now with my second baby, it seems so easy to get through the hard times because the joy outshines it all. Yes, I’ve had my bouts of PTSD but through dedication to loving myself, I find I am overcoming. That and he sleeps. That helps.

I truly love being a mother to these two boys. Daily my heart overflows and I cry often right now out of gratitude and out of sorrow.

I can say now that I love babies. Niall is amazing. He laughs, smiles, all his good outshines the hard parts of parenting. Asher even at two where he’s pushing boundaries and hitting and being defiant, his I love you’d wipe the slate clean. Knee deep in the moment I’m frustrated and ready to be done having babies, but overall I have found my groove. I love my motherhood.

In the hard moments I’m able to look at my kids and know that this is simply a moment. I can reason that these tough parts aren’t forever, and I can dig deep and find patience, gentleness and kindness.

However, it was not so just two short years ago.

I don’t remember the joy. Lately I’ve been reminiscing through old photos and timehop because in them I can find the glimpses of happiness we had together. But the depression made every moment overshadowed, leaving me to feel like being a mother was something I didn’t want to be.

I wanted my son, but I didn’t want to be a mother. I didn’t understand that what I didn’t want was depression, but since it came immediately upon having my son, the two were married and I couldn’t reconcile it in my heart.

So I buried it. I wore a mask.

And then I found my answer.

Eat clean and train dirty.
I founded Braids and Brass Fitness; where beauty and grit collide.

I started helping other women see their beauty and find their grit.

We started taking off our masks.

It’s easy to show the physical side of eating well and working out, but I can only tell you how my life has changed.

Yes, I have my abs coming back, I feel good in my clothes and I am stronger than ever.

But what you can’t see is that every time I press play, I’m tired and beat, and then I find it. The zone. And whatever stress I feel, whatever fog is looming … it goes away.

30 minutes to a stronger, happier and healthier me.

It seems like nothing and yet it’s everything, and this picture sums it up perfectly.

2 years ago and 3 months in to my new role as mother. Struggling but putting on a happy face. Wearing my mask.

And then today; joyful. Strong. Fighting.

Braids and Brass is about beauty in strength, not just body.

It’s about grit and how it can be beautiful.

This is Braids and Brass Fitness;

Where Beauty and Grit Collide.

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