Mom vs. College: Mental Health

woman and baby happily pose for selfie
Photo credit: Breaunne Pinckney

It can get overwhelming, you know? You have deadlines to meet, issues at work, issues at home and your finances aren’t looking so great.

Motherhood doesn’t come with a survival guide, so most of us just wing it. At least, I know I do. Motherhood for me came at a time in my life where I wasn’t stable or sure of anything. I definitely wasn’t ready to show a tiny human the ropes of life. What else could I do other than get it together and convince myself I was stable enough to be someone’s mom?

When my son was born I gained superpowers I had no idea I had. I’m not talking x-ray vision or telekinesis. I mean, I gained a strength like never before. Things are a little bit easier to deal with when you have something, or someone, you’re fighting for. However, sometimes that mindset can get clouded. Not because your motivation has lost its importance or value, but because sometimes the pressure of life is a lot.

It’s a suffocating feeling.

I tell myself at the beginning of every semester that “I’m going to do better, I have to do better.” I make a plan of how I’m going to keep up with my assignments but somehow I always end up falling behind. I go to bed every night with the thought that I’m going to get up early enough to make my son breakfast and get him ready for the day. However, a lot of days it’s just hard to get out of bed period. Sometimes it’s a struggle – I am just exhausted, mentally and emotionally.

Some days are harder than others but I try to find a way to detox myself mentally. Whether it be separating myself from social media or taking a day off to light candles, listen to music and write. Different things work for different people. You have to try to find what works for you.

Someone once told me that a person drowning can’t ask for help. I have held on to that since the moment she spoke those words.

It is made to seem that mental health, depression and anxiety are things people use to get attention in society. In reality, the majority of people who are suffering, suffer in silence. Their actions, or lack there of, are cries for help.

A year ago, Monday, I spiraled. I felt like a hypocrite. I couldn’t understand how I could constantly be preaching to people about not giving up when that’s all I wanted to do. I was ready to give up on everything – school, my dreams… life. How I got through it? I put one foot in front of the other and pushed.

I cried, I screamed, I wrote and I distanced myself from everyone in my life.

My turnaround happened when I found myself curled up on the ground crying uncontrollably, because I felt I had completely lost control. My son walked into the room and just starred at me. He said no words, he made no gestures, he just starred. He was one years old. He knew nothing else. He had no idea what was happening to his mom and it wasn’t his fault.

From that moment on I knew that I wasn’t going to be able the mother he needed if I couldn’t even function myself. I’m still a work in progress, as I believe we all are, but I’m trying.

If you feel yourself losing grip and you notice that you are just not motivated – take a step back and analyze what it is that could be triggering that feeling. If you don’t catch it early on, it could potentially become detrimental to your mental health if it hasn’t already.

You are important. Your mental health is important. Take care of you, because no one else can.