Tag Archives: anxiety

This is the Real Life

This is real life

Life comes in stages, in chapters, in periods, in eras. Some are excited and full to bursting. Some are more monotonous. Some are full of passion and go-getting. Some are lacking and have a want of backing off and simplifying.

This is real life

This current chapter in my life has been all over the place. This whole year has been a crazy ride: We moved out of our townhome because we couldn’t afford rent when I stopped teaching. We moved into my parents’ basement. My sister got engaged and planned a wedding in two and a half months. I found out I was pregnant and then a week later, Justin got laid off.

Needless to say, my hormones were all over the place. Not to mention that I felt like absolute crap physically during the first trimester. My depression and anxiety came back, even though I was taking my medication. To be completely honest, there were times I regretted getting pregnant again. Especially because of an off-hand comment someone had made: “You can’t even afford rent right now. Why are you trying to get pregnant?” Rhys was already literally sleeping in the closet. Where would we put our new girl in my parents’ basement if we were still living there. If Justin hadn’t found a job by January, how would we pay for the entire pregnancy and birth without income or insurance? Were we rash in even trying when things seemed so uncertain?

But, Justin was a rock when it came to our precious daughter. He said the fact that she came so quickly after we started trying meant that she was supposed to come now for a reason. Once I heard her heartbeat for the first time, I started to calm down and fall in love with my second child. Although my worry about affording her never stopped until Justin got this job.

We were so thankful for the job opportunity Justin received. It would pay more than either of us have ever made, it would allow us to move to Texas for an adventure, we had stability again, and Justin would do what he loved for work. It was a whirlwind of interviews, accepting the job, leaving the state for training, coming back one weekend to move, leaving out of state again, and me setting up house all by myself.

That was hard. I was alone with no support system close by. I was almost halfway through my pregnancy. I had a 2 year old who was having a little trouble transitioning to a new place. It was over 100* each day with humidity. One day I ended up on the floor of my bedroom just crying and crying, opening my heart up to God, telling him how alone I felt, how I needed companionship and friendship. Immediately, Rhys was by my side, hugging me. He took his pacy and put it in my mouth. He covered me with his blanket and kissed my forehead. (That is my absolute favorite place Justin kisses, so it really warmed my soul when Rhys did it.)

Rhys was my constant companion. His smiles and his cuddles always lifted my soul. Even two months later, when I now have friends, the house is completely set up, and I am content with my life. Whenever I have a low day because of my anxiety and depression, Rhys is there to brighten up my day. I love him so much.

Now, two months after moving, I have a sense of contentment. The house is set up and feels cozy, even though it is smaller than we are used to (I still worry a bit about where all Evelyn’s stuff is going to go). I’m getting used to the heat (just a bit, but I still yearn for some real fall weather!). Our new congregation is wonderful about fellowship–they are so warm and welcoming. We are searching for a second car so I don’t feel trapped at home everyday. I feel content. And, if you know me, you know that I struggle with contentment a lot. However, I still am suffering a bit from panic attacks (over who knows what), anxiety, and depression. There are still days where it’s a struggle to get out of bed and be present for Rhys and not just have the TV on all day. But, that is the real life.

So, it surprised me when I realized that I seemed to be pulling away from social media a bit. My heart isn’t into blogging as much as it used to be. I don’t feel as inspired. Reading blogs or curating Instagram posts sometimes feel a chore. I always struggled to understand why my friends would just step away from their blog and never write in it for months, or publicly announce that they were done blogging for the foreseeable future. It always saddened me and I was always determined not to do that–blogging is too important to me. True, I’m not a big blogger. I don’t focus too much on “growth” or monetizing. Blogging to me has always been about friendship and a hobby, a way to express myself. But, the more and more I thought about this, I kept going back to last summer. My old laptop was dying and I couldn’t get the screen to work or have it turn on longer than like 10 minutes.. Then, Justin’s entire family went to Bear Lake for a reunion for a week. Justin and I purposefully left electronics behind (and I forgot my camera behind). I had the absolute best time of my life being present and enjoying the now with family. It was just what I needed after a stressful year of teaching and transitioning to a SAHM. I felt free. I felt content. I felt at peace.

Knowing that, I feel a little better about what I am feeling about social media now. Last week, I did a huge cleanse on all my social media platforms: I unfollowed, unliked, unfriended a lot of friends, blogs, pages, companies, etc. It felt relieving. My own numbers and stats may suffer from that, but I’m ok with it. I tried planning out an editorial calendar for my blog and came up lacking. Three times a week seems like a chore.

No, I’m not giving up blogging. I will never ever give up blogging. It means far to much to me–it is part of my soul (a horcrux if you will–and no, I never killed anyone to get it!). But, I’m not going to stress over my blog. My goal will still be twice a week, but if I don’t hit that, I’m not going to worry. I’m not going to worry about my numbers or stats. What will happen will happen.

I want to rediscover myself…on the one hand, I feel happy and content with life right now. I’m glad with my current situation. On the other hand, I’m having a bit of a quarter-life crisis. I want to feel important, productive, improving. Blogging isn’t it right now–I can’t afford to try to grow my blog (literally). But, what else: teaching again? tutoring? finding a grad program? learning more about graphic design and maybe possibly starting an Etsy shop? diving into learning about photography? I’m not sure. Maybe that’s one reason that I’ve felt a pull away from blogging: I’m feeling a push in a different direction. All I know is I want to dive deeper into my relationship with the Lord, be a better housemaker, wife, and mom, read more, and find out who I will be as a true adult.

Wow, that was longer than I expected. But, again, that is the real life. I am so grateful to all of you who stay with me and will continue to do so through this next chapter in my life. Who knows? I may rediscover my blogging passion and come back fiercer than ever. Or, I may be the next Etsy shop or photographer you make a purchase from. Who knows. I’m taking this to God and He will guide me. He has been good to me the past few months and I put my trust in Him.

Tayler from The Morrell Tale.com

Tayler is a work at home mom. She does free lance articles and dabbles in graphic design and virtual assisting for bloggers. She spent 3 years as a history and English teacher. Her passions are her husband, two children, history, reading, nature, and her Savior, Jesus Christ.

How to De-Stress While Pregnant

Pregnancy can be anxiety inducing in of itself, but it you already suffer from anxiety or depression, these tips on how to de-stress will really help.

If you’ve read my blog for a while now, you know that I have suffered anxiety my entire life. However, since first becoming pregnant with Rhys, it just continued to get worse, even after I gave birth, eventually turning into PPD. Now that I’m pregnant again, and after going through a rough summer financially and full of transitions, it’s really important for me to focus on my mental health. I know that I’m prone to getting PPD again with this second child, and I want to avoid that. I still do have some panic attacks or pits of depression. There are some days that my anxiety gets the best of me. But, I try to use different techniques to try to overcome my anxiety and to de-stress.

Pregnancy can be anxiety inducing in of itself, but it you already suffer from anxiety or depression, these tips on how to de-stress will really help.

[ctt title=”FIVE ways to de-stress while #pregnant! @themorrelltale” tweet=”FIVE ways to de-stress while #pregnant! @themorrelltale” coverup=”rzsU0″]

Have some alone time

This is the biggest one. When I’m having a bad day, my husband always gives me a bit of time to de-stress and de-compress when he gets home. I go in our room, close the door, turn off the lights, and lay on the bed. Sometimes I’ll watch some TV, sometimes I’ll take a small nap, sometimes I’ll surf through social media on my phone. This works regardless of being pregnant or not!

Take a shower

Thankfully, Rhys is so well behaved when I shower. I let him know I’m going to hop in and ask him to be a good boy. He’ll go play in his room with his toys or sit on the couch and watch a show. Whether or not I need a shower, the warm water and enclosed space is very relaxing to me. I’m not really a bath person–plus, I haven’t really had a good, big, bath-taking tub for years. But, I could stay in the warm water shower for hours if it didn’t run up the water bill and if I didn’t have things to do! Just make sure it’s not too hot when you are pregnant!

Take a nap and cuddle time

Rhys still takes a two hour nap in the afternoon. Some bad days, I’ll take a nap as well. Regardless of if I physically fell more rested after the nap (only about 50% of the time), more than likely, I’m calmer and more positive. I am so lucky to have such an adorable, sweet, caring, sensitive two year old boy as a son. He knows when I am having a bad day and will try his best to be super cuddly or comfort me. I let him. I relish his cuddles. A lot of times, I’ll nap when my arms wrapped around him as he naps. Hugs really do wonders, especially when they come from your children!

Think of the positives of your new baby

There was a time during the first trimester when Justin had just been laid off that I had a hard time accepting the timing of this pregnancy. It was a source of stress: would we be able to afford the pregnancy and birth, what if it’s a girl and we have to buy everything, where will we fit her in a small 2 bedroom apartment (or if we were still in my parents’ basement, where!?!?!–Rhys was already literally in the closet). The space issue and getting girly stuff still is a source of stress for me, as is wondering how I’m going to do 2 under 3 with different schedules and needs. But, I’ll just rub my little bump and relish in the movements that Evelyn makes inside of me. Everything will turn out for the best.

[ctt title=”De-stress while pregnant by thinking of the exciting future! @themorrelltale” tweet=”De-stress while pregnant by thinking of the exciting future! @themorrelltale” coverup=”3drq9″]

Bring it to God

I can’t tell you how many times I have been on my knees during the day, crying to God, in the past two months since moving to Texas. Even before then, even before Justin found a job. Without fail, always, God comforts me when I’m having stress, anxiety and depression. It may not be immediately, but I always do stop crying by the time I’m down praying. Having faith in Him to get me through my stress is a huge uplifter.

How do you de-stress when you are pregnant?

Tayler is a work at home mom. She does free lance articles and dabbles in graphic design and virtual assisting for bloggers. She spent 3 years as a history and English teacher. Her passions are her husband, two children, history, reading, nature, and her Savior, Jesus Christ.

My Experience with Anxiety and PPD

Anxiety is a true mental disorder.

I have anxiety. I have always had anxiety.

However, I guess I was just too stubborn and prideful to accept it that I forced myself into believing that I could handle it, it wasn’t a mental disorder for me, and that I just overreact.

A few other members of my family have been diagnosed with anxiety, (as well as a few other things) and have been to therapists and been on medication. I never wanted to do that. Again, I was too stubborn and too prideful. I thought of myself as strong and able to handle it myself.

Quote on PPD and Anxiety:Things are neither good nor bad but thinking makes it so." William Shakespeare
[ctt title=”Anxiety paired with PPD is lethal. Here is my story. ” tweet=”Anxiety paired with PPD is lethal. Here is @themorrelltale’s story” coverup=”bZcVp”]

Throughout my life, it’s never been real bad. But then, in college, I started having a few anxiety attacks. However, I didn’t know they were anxiety attacks–I called them breakdowns. Not just school work, but friends, love life, finances, church responsibilities, personal responsibilities all piled up on top of school work. There was actually a week during the middle of the semester that I flew home because of the anxiety attack. During my engagement to Justin, he noticed an anxiety attack of mine, baked me cookies, and took me to see Hunger Games at 11 pm to help calm me down.

During the past three years of being married, out of school, and teaching, I’ve had very few. But, it started to exacerbate when I got pregnant. Now, anxiety and depression sometimes go hand in hand…they are cyclical and both cause each other. Although I was super happy and excited to be pregnant and finally have the chance to be a mom (I had been very baby hungry), I started to have a lot of down days…and they were continuous. I just thought it was pregnancy blues because of the effects of having my 1st trimester during the late fall/early winter. And, I had never heard of “pre-postpartum depression.” So, I pushed through it.

Last summer, with my pregnancy rapidly coming to a close, issues with credit for Justin’s graduation, Justin unable to find a full-time job, trying and failing to find an affordable place to live, and the decision on how I was going to teach, I had quite a few bad anxiety attacks–debilitating anxiety attacks–on the floor, crying, unable to eat or think rationally anxiety attacks. Again, I thought it was just normal stress from normal “becoming adults” situations paired with crazy pregnancy hormones. I thought I just let myself get carried away.

Then, after I gave birth, my confidence went down. I started to doubt myself as a mother, as a teacher, as a wife, as a Mormon, as an individual. Our situation wasn’t what we expected it to be those first few months of Rhys’s life–Justin still didn’t have a job or a full degree, and I was worried about Rhys’s weight gain and silent reflux, losing weight, and balancing all my responsibilities. My libido disappeared–I haven’t told Justin this, but I started to lose my attraction towards him. I didn’t necessarily resent him nor blame him, but those are two close descriptions. I tried to be happy–forced myself to laugh, forced myself to be kind, forced myself to be patient. All of those were hard. I snapped at Rhys and Justin, I yelled at my students. But, as postpartum went on, it got a little better. And, I just want to say, I never once resented Rhys–although I was stressed by him, that’s only because I wanted the best for him. I have never regretted him or thought violently towards him. So, I’m glad that my PPD wasn’t as bad as it could have been.

Quote on PPD and anxiety: Anxiety does not empty tomorrow of its sorrows, but only empties today of its strength. Charles Spurgeon

During the winter holidays, a thought came to me about focusing on myself. I am so thankful to God for putting that seed into my mind. I had been trying to spread myself too thin in being a good teacher, mother, wife, daughter, sister, Mormon, that I had completely pushed myself to the wayside. But, I really needed to care for myself. So, I began to think about my stress levels and what would make me calm and happy. I began to think about quitting teaching. I brought the idea up to Justin and my mom. Justin and I went to the temple, fasted, prayed, and listed pros and cons. We finally decided that it would be best for me personally, and by extension, our family, if I stayed home next year. Now, we were always a little nervous about what that would mean for us financially, but we decided to give it a year for a test run.

June came and I quit. Then, Rhys decided to go through a few more transitions, and I had a few more anxiety attacks. My PPD also started to return–it was the first time in my life since I was 16 that I didn’t have a job. I work well with deadlines. I work well with projects. I didn’t have either. I didn’t feel of worth. I felt like I was being a lazy couch potato bum who wasn’t helping with expenses and putting all that responsibility and weight on Justin. A few times my mom would come over while Justin was at work and tried to console me, take care of Rhys, and be the rational, logical one. She pushed and pushed, as well as Justin, that when I took Rhys in for his 12 month baby wellness checkup, I also talk to our doctor about myself. My mom decided she would go with me to the appointment to be moral support, but also to make sure I did mention it. Remember, I always thought I could just handle it on my own without needing medication or therapy.

I’m glad that I did. After describing what I had been feeling since Rhys was born, and especially in the month of June, my doctor saw through all my excuses and knew that I was suffering from anxiety and PPD. He also treats my sister, and with my mom there to give him her experiences, he was able to diagnose me. He has given me an anti-depressant which also helps with my anxiety. The first week or so that I have been taking it, I could feel a physical manifestation of it working–it felt like something was literally being pushed down in me. Whenever I began to think negatively, or stressed, those feelings were physically blocked by a wall–I couldn’t reach or access them. I just felt calm. That calmness has allowed me to feel relaxed and happy.

When I went back to my doctor a month later, at the beginning of August, for a follow-up, he said that he could tell just by looking at me and listening to how I spoke that the medication was doing it’s job. He said I looked taller, happier, healthier, and prettier. Now, I do have some side effects from the medication–again, a lowered libido, and about once a month, a physical manifestation of a panic attack due to side effects of the medication. It’s difficult and complicated to explain, but basically, when I swallow the pill, it feels like it gets stuck in my throat (it’s a tiny pill), and the feeling is immediate. Then, I have a heartburn-ish feeling. Both of these are normal side effects, we’ve learned. But, my body reacts to those side effects, causing terrible chest pain, heart palpitations, and a closed/swollen throat sensation. It is very painful and lasts for a few hours. We researched this reaction and learned that it is a subconscious panic attack. But, in the three months that I have taken this medication, it’s only happened three times…and I take the medication when I go to bed, so I just try to sleep it off.

Quote on Anxiety and PPD: A pearl is a beautiful thing that is produced by an injured life. It is the tear [that results] from the injury of the oyster. The treasure of our being in this world is also produced by an injured life. If we had not been wounded, if we had not been injured, then we will not produce the pearl." Stephan Hoeller

But, I am glad to know that I have been officially diagnosed with depression and anxiety. It’s actually relieving to know that. And again, I am thankful that they weren’t extreme cases–so very thankful. I know how debilitating and negatively affecting it can be on not only the person, but their loved ones as well. I am so thankful that this medication works for me and that I haven’t needed to go to therapy–if that ever happens, that will be another big prideful that I will have to swallow and just be humble about.

However, since I have accepted it as a mental disorder, I have seen it more apparent and obvious in my life. I can learn from it and change the way I perceive the world around me. It won’t be a quick fix, but I can continuously work to control it with help from others. I think you might see some more posts here about anxiety and depression. So, just stick with me if I seem to be absent for a while without notice or quality and passion seems to be lacking from my posts. You will know that I am having an episode then. But, I thank you for your community and your continuous support. I love you all.

Other posts of mine mentioning anxiety or depression
One Thousand Gifts–using eucharisteo and His Grace to overcome anxiety and depression
I Am Anxious–an admittance to having anxiety attacks as a mom
Count Your Many Blessings–trusting in the Lord’s timing during anxiety attacks

Do/have you or any of your loved ones suffer from anxiety, depression, or PPD? What has been your experience with it?
 
Tayler is a work at home mom. She does free lance articles and dabbles in graphic design and virtual assisting for bloggers. She spent 3 years as a history and English teacher. Her passions are her husband, two children, history, reading, nature, and her Savior, Jesus Christ.

I Am Anxious

Last night found me on the floor of our guest bedroom crying my eyes out.

I have anxiety. Most of the time, it’s under control, but sometimes, it gets out of hand and I lose it–I lose my faith in myself, I feel depressed for a few days, and nothing anyone says will make me believe otherwise. Typically, I have anxiety attacks when everything seems to pile upon each other.

This time, it was a few things:
~ I have been told by two people that I am impatient with Rhys
~ I am just about fed up with his bloody-murder piercing screaming phase
~ He is such a poor teether–he’s barely eaten in the past week and a half and is starting to lose a tiny bit of weight
~ I am now a SAHM (big transition)
~ I am afraid that I won’t have the patience to be a SAHM 24/7 since I’ve already had two breakdowns having to do with Rhys already this past year
~ I wondered if we made a mistake in having me be a SAHM rather than continue working (because of the above…and maybe a teeny bit financially, but mostly because of the above)

It is crippling to have these thoughts because they do lead to a downward spiral. Anxiety attacks don’t just happen…it has to be the straw that broke the camel’s back. I’ve been worried about these things over the past few weeks and although a major burden has been lifted from my shoulders because school is over, on the inside, I’ve still felt glum.

But, not only do I feel down, I don’t feel like doing anything else. That is why I haven’t really been putting my heart and soul into blogging the past two weeks or so–my sponsors haven’t been getting what they paid for, excellent quality writing hasn’t appeared, and networking hasn’t been happening. I don’t want to work on my goals, I don’t want to work out, I don’t even want to watch TV.

It also makes me very tired. I’ve been going to bed between 8:30-9:30 many times this week because I’ve just been so emotionally overwhelmed.

I want to be able to succeed. I want to be a good SAHM. I want to be patient with my son–he’s only 11 months old, after all, and everyone always tells me everything “is just a phase.”

So here is my prayer:

Please allow me to have faith in myself that I have the ability to be a SAHM, as it’s been my dream for a long time. Please allow me to find the patience for both myself and Rhys. Please allow me to be able to know what I need to do to help him continue to get the nutrients he needs without beginning bad habits. Please allow me to have confidence in myself and the decisions my husband and I make. Please give me counsel as a mother when I need it and trust in my own maternal instincts.


What parts of the transition was hard for you when you became a SAHM?
Tayler is a work at home mom. She does free lance articles and dabbles in graphic design and virtual assisting for bloggers. She spent 3 years as a history and English teacher. Her passions are her husband, two children, history, reading, nature, and her Savior, Jesus Christ.

Confessions of a New Mom

Before I had a baby, I thoroughly believed I was prepared and knowledgeable.
I’m the oldest of 4 and had fed, played with, rocked, and changed many a diaper before.
I had a breast feeding book and both What to Expects
I read plenty of mom blogs and did research.
I don’t want to say I was cocky, because I wasn’t, but boy, was I in for a rude awakening.
He’s such a serious sleeper…it’s so funny!
This post is about my feelings of being inadequate as a new mom. So, if you don’t want to read it, be content with the adorable picture of Rhys sleeping. He’s the cutest boy on earth!
  • When Rhys was first born, and for the first two and half weeks, I was able to read Rhys’s cues very easily–they were pretty obvious–and be able to tell his cries apart. I was so proud of myself! Since the beginning of this week, that has been harder to do. Sometimes I don’t know how to console him anymore. I do use a pacy, but I try to use it as a very last resort and a sleep aid, but I hate relying on it to help him calm down.
  • There was some initial latching issues when Rhys was first born, but thanks to my sister-in-law, who is a lactation specialist, we were able to get on the right track and Rhys has an awesome latch (and can even do it in the dark!). But, now, especially the last 36 hours or so of feeding, Rhys has been really fussy while eating. I don’t know if he’s gassy, I have to fast of a let-down, he’s full, overly tired…
  • Rhys spits up about twice per feeding and then again within an hour and half of feeding. He’s still gaining weight, and seems content afterwards, but sometimes, he’ll cough or wheeze and then cry as he is spitting up or afterwards. It really does concern me. To a first-time mom, it’s a little nerve-wracking. I don’t know if he’s gassy, getting too much foremilk as opposed to hindmilk, eating too much…
  • People (and books, blogs, forums) tell me to follow my instinct. Well, my instinct was to follow the 3-hour schedule Rhys, himself, began. It went pretty well, but his fussiness and spitting up is causing me to rethink my instinct. Is he getting enough wake time? Tummy time? Sleep time? Eating too much or too little. For the rest of the week, I’m going to try just plain on-demand feeding and see if it helps him at all. But the point is, I’m not sure I trust my instinct–I’m not even really sure what my instinct really is when it comes to him.
  • I sometimes wonder why I even bother dressing him or myself every day. Without fail, by noon, he’ll either have spit up or peed on us and I’ll have to change our clothes.  A lot of times, once he soils his onesie, he just goes naked with a diaper for the rest of the day. As for me, I have to change. But I feel my wardrobe is very limited in being baby-disaster and breastfeeding friendly. I’ve been re-wearing the same 5 tank-tops every day, but the thing is, as a Mormon, I do wear those “sacred underwear”, so I have to keep a cardigan beside me for when I go near windows or outside. I want to wear something else. Mormon or non-Mormon, what do you wear when breast-feeding that is modest (covers the shoulders, no open back or belly, no cleavage)?
  • I’ve heard people get voracious appetites after giving birth, especially if they’re breastfeeding. And, I know I should consume an extra 500 calories to help my milk supply. But, honestly, my appetite has been diminishing.
  • I miss being able to go out to town easily, without any worries. Justin is still in school (for the next few weeks), and I get cabin-fever very easily. Last summer, I worked part-time, ran, and just went on “errands”. It’s a bit harder to do that spontaneously with a new baby.
  • Don’t get me wrong, I absolutely love all the time I spend with Rhys. I love watching him sleep. I love hearing all his noises. I love holding him and having him half-smile at me. I love having him close to me. But, this has been, by far, the least productive summer ever! And, to my very Type A personality that always feels like I should be doing something productive, it does eat at the back of my mind. Which makes me start to wonder how in the world I’m going to do part-time after my maternity leave?!?!
I look at the first-time moms in my church and they just seem so peaceful. I don’t know how they do it, or if they just hide all their anxiety from the world. I’m sure in a few weeks/months, I’ll feel like a pro with these issues, but then feel insecure and worrisome about new issues. I guess we’ll see. I’ll get the hang of this mothering thing eventually.
But, in all seriousness… I want to get a breast-feeding friendly wardrobe! 
What did you wear when you were breastfeeding and where did you buy it?
Tayler is a work at home mom. She does free lance articles and dabbles in graphic design and virtual assisting for bloggers. She spent 3 years as a history and English teacher. Her passions are her husband, two children, history, reading, nature, and her Savior, Jesus Christ.