Sometimes we all need to pause and take a breath

Earlier this week my (almost) 5 year old said something really meaningful to me.

It was nearing bedtime, by far the most stressful part of the day for me. Neither him nor my (almost) 3 year old were listening particularly well, and I was definitely starting to get frustrated with them.

My son recognized that I was getting frustrated, but then I did something that I didn’t even realize I did.

He said to me “mommy, I like that you were getting frustrated but then you paused and took a big deep breath and found your peaceful spot again!”

And he’s right…that is exactly what I did. I was frustrated but instead of letting it grow and get bigger, I just stopped and took a breath and tried to collect myself.

See, I’m really big on teaching them about emotions, about recognizing them in themselves and in others. (I mean, I might be a fuck up, but that doesn’t mean they have to be.) We use the “Little Spot of Emotion” books, and my kids are a bit obsessed with them.

The fact that he recognized something in me and was able to point it out and verbalize it made me really proud of him.

I want to keep setting good examples for them. They pick up on things whether I realize it or not. And I want them to pick up on the good, healthy things that I do and be an example for them.

But I can’t be if I’m not taking care of myself. I can’t be a good example and show them all that I want to if I’m so burnt out that I’m basically not functioning. This week has been rough. The tension had been building for a while, and then it got to be too much and then I guess my brain just broke.

I tried to make the most of today, a Saturday where I had a few hours to myself…for the first time in weeks. I’m incredibly introverted and the constant noise and touching and having to do something for someone every second of every day is…

Well, it’s draining. I really need an hour or 2 every now and then to recharge. And I haven’t been getting that.

I haven’t taken care of myself in a very long time.

Honestly, I’m not feeling much better today, and I don’t know what it will take for me to feel better. I know a lot of it is circumstantial, and I rarely give my circumstances any credit when it comes to my stress levels and how I feel.

Tomorrow I’ll have to spend nearly all day with him. You know the one. He’s making it more and more clear that he doesn’t intend of leaving me alone anytime soon. He’s becoming more bold with his actions and his words, I’m just feeling so lost.

I’m scared for tomorrow. I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t. I feel like there’s only so much more I can take.

I might not be able to control what happens to me…but I can at least choose to try and make tonight a better night than last night was. There’s no reason I need to be sitting alone in the dark at midnight tonight drinking and contemplating life.

At least…I hope not.

Shit. Last night was really rough. Honestly, one of the worst nights I’ve had in a long time. (I even reached out and texted people…I NEVER do that.)

But, after a while, I took a breath. I tried to collect myself, and I took my swollen, ridiculous, hot mess face to bed. And my husband held me and made me feel loved when all I wanted to do was give up.

I’m trying. Even if I suck…I’m trying.

7 thoughts on “Sometimes we all need to pause and take a breath”

  1. Ashley L. Peterson – Canada – I'm the author of four books: Psych Meds Made Simple, Making Sense of Psychiatric Diagnosis, Managing the Depression Puzzle, and A Brief History of Stigma. These are informed by my professional experience as a former pharmacist and mental health nurse, as well as my lived experience of major depressive disorder. My goal with Mental Health @ Home is to challenge mental illness stigma and provide a safe space for open dialogue to empower others to share their voices.

    Trying is good.

    Your son is a wise little man.

    Is there any way to get distance from asshole pervert? That’s not good that he’s becoming more bold. You should not have to continue to put up with his shit. Is there a way to tell people that he’s a creepy perv without getting into any specifics?

    1. Alana – Just another person trying to find my footing in this world ❤️

      He is a very smart kid. I guess I did something right at some point 🤷🏻‍♀️
      So, he actually lives super close by, and our families get together every week or every other week. It’s obviously not ideal. The only one really suffering is me so I feel like I just need to not create problems for everyone. Even though it sucks.

      1. Ashley L. Peterson – Canada – I'm the author of four books: Psych Meds Made Simple, Making Sense of Psychiatric Diagnosis, Managing the Depression Puzzle, and A Brief History of Stigma. These are informed by my professional experience as a former pharmacist and mental health nurse, as well as my lived experience of major depressive disorder. My goal with Mental Health @ Home is to challenge mental illness stigma and provide a safe space for open dialogue to empower others to share their voices.

        I would say this is well worth creating problems over. Your suffering matters. And if he’s doing this shit to you, who knows who else he might be doing the same things to.

      2. Alana – Just another person trying to find my footing in this world ❤️

        It’s hard to be strong enough to knowingly hurt everyone you love. I know it’s not okay what he’s doing to me…but I don’t want to hurt anyone

      3. Ashley L. Peterson – Canada – I'm the author of four books: Psych Meds Made Simple, Making Sense of Psychiatric Diagnosis, Managing the Depression Puzzle, and A Brief History of Stigma. These are informed by my professional experience as a former pharmacist and mental health nurse, as well as my lived experience of major depressive disorder. My goal with Mental Health @ Home is to challenge mental illness stigma and provide a safe space for open dialogue to empower others to share their voices.

        You’re not the one doing the hurting, though. He is responsible for his actions, and he doesn’t deserve to have anyone shield him from the consequences of those actions.

      4. Alana – Just another person trying to find my footing in this world ❤️

        I know, you’re right. It’s hard changing the narrative in my head telling me that I deserve it and it’s my fault.

      5. Ashley L. Peterson – Canada – I'm the author of four books: Psych Meds Made Simple, Making Sense of Psychiatric Diagnosis, Managing the Depression Puzzle, and A Brief History of Stigma. These are informed by my professional experience as a former pharmacist and mental health nurse, as well as my lived experience of major depressive disorder. My goal with Mental Health @ Home is to challenge mental illness stigma and provide a safe space for open dialogue to empower others to share their voices.

        ❤️❤️❤️

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