I'm starting to think about redesigning "the blog" to show a little more of my personality/organize my topics. Also, my biggest fans (hey neighbor girls) really think I should look into "vlogging" a little so people who don't know me can hear the voice behind the words. I'm going to try to work on both of those things! In the meantime, I have some super cute crafts that I'm going to start sharing, so keep your eyes peeled!
Now, down to business! Today I want to talk about reaching out to friends and family. When my OCD/anxiety began, I was too embarrassed to even tell my closest friends that I was seeing a therapist, much less WHY. Everyone could tell something was wrong with me, but I tip-toed around what was actually going on because I didn't want to seem "crazy" or "dangerous." I would sit with my friends with a hopeless look on my face, literally seeing no way out of the "hole" I had dug myself into. They couldn't understand what was going on though.
At some point, I decided that it was impossible to hold in what was bothering me. I decided that I was going to take a chance and risk looking "bad" to the people who were closest to me because I honestly felt like the anxiety and guilt were too much for me to bear alone. Opening up and telling people what was wrong was hard. Very hard. At times it would feel SO GOOD to get something off my chest, but then I would go home and have anxiety for hours worrying about what they were thinking about what I had said. Luckily, I've been blessed with amazing friends. You know what happened when I started telling my friends about my struggles? They supported me. They reassured me that I was going to be okay. They promised me the boys were safe. They didn't understand WHY I needed this reassurance, but they knew that in my mind it was a big deal.
After I started slowly opening up to the people closest to me, I began to realize I wasn't alone. I had so much support from the people in my life. They got used to my fears, and "knew the drill" as far as reassuring me went. My friends have talked to me on the phone for hours, listened to me cry on their couches daily, slept in my BED with me, all because they knew how important it was to help me out when I needed it most.
|Some of the girls I leaned on then (and now!)|
I developed OCD about 2 years into living at our first house. I was close with the neighbor girls, but the bond we developed that year has made our relationship unbreakable to this day. I asked my old next door neighbor, Bridget, to write a little bit about my struggle from her point of view. I thought it might be interesting for anyone struggling to see how an outsider saw me struggle.
|Some of our old neighbors, Bridget in the middle.|
This is what Bridget had to say:
"Watching Chelsea struggle the first few weeks after delivering her second son was hard. Watching her continue to battle herself was confusing, scary, and left me and her other friends feeling helpless. The only thing I could do was continue to reassure her that she wasn’t going to hurt her children, she wasn’t going to go through things alone, and continue to encourage her to ask for help. Did I know what that looked like? No. Did I know where that help was? No. But I knew she needed it.
As I read what Bridget wrote the other night, I got tears in my mug of wine. These days I barely ever think about what I was like then. I remember everything, but I'm not stuck in that place anymore. Remembering what it was like and how hard I struggled is tough, but I'm sharing this with all of you to prove a point. Postpartum OCD, anxiety, and depression is hard. It's so important to tell the people around you that love you what is going on. They'll probably surprise you. Instead of thinking your awful or crazy, they'll offer you a shoulder to cry on and an ear to listen.
My point today is that if you are struggling with anything, let someone know. If you can't find the words, show them my blog. Share my story. Share Lauren's story. Let your friends and family be there for you.
As always, I hope this is helpful for someone out there!