What Makes You, Well You?

Be yourself; Everyone else is already taken.

— Oscar Wilde.

 

I’ve had this quote sitting in my drafts for 3 months knowing I wanted to use it. It is so powerful to me. Ive thought about it a lot lately. What does it mean to me? Why is it so powerful?

I’ve had a lot of unexpected life events as of late. Paths I never thought I’d have to go through. For example I never thought I’d go through postpartum psychosis.

I think of this quote and my postpartum experience. It was such a journey to own my journey. To accept it, not be ashamed of it. To realize it doesn’t define me but is an important part of my journey here in life. It has brought me so much passion and direction for my future. 

So being myself, that’s owning it. All of me. The things I love and the things I wish I could change. It’s owning my hospitalization. It’s owning my mental health, my depression, my struggle with anxiety and panic attacks. Being a medicated mother. It’s more than that though. It’s knowing I’m also more than just those things and that they don’t define me.

It’s knowing I’m the best mom I can be, the best wife I can be and the best version of me. It’s being confident in that. It’s having the confidence to share that to world. The good stuff and the venerable stuff. 

Lately I’ve had some medical problems and I’m learning I won’t be able to do some of my passions ever again. It’s a reality check. I’m telling myself my identity wasn’t in those things. My identity is in Jesus. My identity is so much more than my hobbies. Even so it is difficult to think about. I feel like those things defined me, were more than a part of me or my story. They are some things that saved me through this mental health journey.  

I feel like part of me was taken away. I guess that’s why I find myself here writing this. Rambling on. Maybe I’m thinking about this quote so much because I feel like I’m not me right now. I have to find the new me. Find the new way of life. Adjust, and accept. Doesn’t mean I have to like it though. I will definitely have some pity parties along the way I assure you. 

I wonder what others think of this quote. What does it mean to them? Is it as powerful as it seems to be for me? I think a lot of mothers who struggle with their identity after becoming a mom. The job is all consuming. A life depends on you 24/7. The baby can’t do anything for themselves and need you as the mom to know how to meet their needs in the moment. It can be a huge transition and then at some point down the road you realize you aren’t you anymore. I couldn’t even remember what hobbies I liked to do. I had no idea what to do if I got a break other than be responsible and clean. If I left the house I had no idea what to do, how to have fun. 

I’ll admit it was 4 years into motherhood I finally realized I’d lost myself amongst the chaos. I was 3 children in and wondering what had happened and if these kids were really mine. I had to find something for me that I could do everyday and for me that was working out. The kids often joined me in a not so helpful way. I use to film it once a week and now it’s something I love to go back and watch. Now that I’m not in the moment I find it funny to watch all the fighting I had to break up, all the times I had to hold the baby as my weight during work outs. The one time he fell asleep on me while I was doing squats and since he wouldn’t transfer that was the end of my workout. 

 

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Working out was something that seemed to become part of my identity and is one of the things I currently can’t do. Sort of like waking up one day and realizing I had no identity outside of motherhood, I woke up and almost all my coping skills for life were taken from me. I felt like I lost myself somehow.. 

I feel like it’s so important to own who we are. Our whole story. To not let events, trials in our life define us but be accepted as something that helped make us, well us.

The challenge is figuring that one out – something I suspect will take a lifetime.

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