stress

‘I keep telling myself, ‘Today is the day.’ The day I get it together. Workout more, eat healthier. Serve less frozen foods. Then, week after week, I don’t.’ Woman explains self-care is more than a ‘bubble bath’ or ‘weekend out with the girls’

“We’d never want our children to run on empty. Put themselves last. So, what are YOU doing? Life isn’t meant to be a series of checklists and drive-bys. Stop trying to fill up everyone’s cup and take a look at your own. It’s empty, isn’t it? That’s not living, sister – that’s just going through the motions.”

‘I love my family and friends. I genuinely do. But those dearest can wear me out. I NEED to be alone sometimes.’ Woman explains why the need for alone time is not a ‘personality flaw’

“My husband and I recently took our daughter on a 5-day road trip. We returned to host family, barbecue with friends. I loved every bit of it. I did. But then I crashed. I wanted nothing more than a nap in a dark, quiet room. I was 100%, without a doubt, suffering from a social hangover. I love people, but peopling requires lots of energy.”

‘I had to wear a wig on my wedding day. ‘What’s going on?!’ my mom asked. ‘I don’t know,’ I lied. It was my dirty little secret. I was a prisoner of my own body, and I put myself there.’

“I had anxiety about what people would say to my son about my hair. Would he be teased because of me? I just couldn’t do that to him. I bought a wig and started an 18-year game of hide-my-hair. I couldn’t believe what I was doing to myself. Each day, I hoped no one caught me.”

‘I woke with tired eyes, snappy replies. I had a mountain of laundry to start. ‘What if, for once, I wasn’t productive?’ I had this eager feeling. So, I did it. Disguised in active wear, I rented a five-dollar robe.’

“My husband and baby were gone. I shaved my leg fuzz, packed a bag, and drove to the fitness center. Now, don’t be fooled. I haven’t completely lost my mind and decided to partake in some sort of exercise. Let’s all calm down. No, no, no. This place has LOUNGERS, and ROBES, and a JACUZZI! Remember a jacuzzi?! Neither do I!”

‘I held this dark secret. I remember thinking, ‘What the heck? Are people weird like me, too?’ Cruel kids would ask, ‘What are you doing? Why are you pulling out your hair?’ I’m done hiding.’

“When I was 8 years old, I vividly remember pulling out an eyelash as I sat in my mom’s car in the drive-thru. And you know what? I LIKED the feeling from it. It was oddly satisfying. I kept pulling them out until my eyelashes were bald. Then, my parents began to notice. They couldn’t accept I was doing this to myself.”

‘I didn’t feel safe in my own home. It took 3 years for me to find the courage to ask for a divorce. I developed stomach ulcers from all the stress. The end was inevitable.’

“I had experienced years of him ‘bending’ the truth, of him telling me I was ‘too much,’ trying to diagnose me with different types of mental illness. Little did I know, there was more to come. I found reserves I never knew I had, but that’s what moms do. We do everything possible to make sure our children don’t get hurt.”

‘On my wedding day, I felt like I was going to throw up. I wanted to run the opposite direction. I knew deep down I was making a mistake. I should’ve listened to my gut.’

“I knew this was someone I couldn’t spend my life with. I kept thinking about all the people who came, who bought us gifts, all the money spent on the wedding. I couldn’t back out now. No one knew what was going on in my relationship. I tried to smile big and be excited. I drank a lot that day. I had to keep it private.”

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