Lessons From My Social Media Break
Not only am I back on Instagram, but I’m back on the blog! It was a marvelous three weeks off (speaking of the word marvelous, has anyone seen The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel? Ob-sessed).
January was all about finally reconnecting to myself, which I found nearly impossible to do in the first year after having my first baby.
Time off from the gram and social media in general was just the medicine I needed.
And speaking of medicine, I started taking something that’s been helping me tremendously with sleep. More below.
What I said in this Instagram post before I took my break reigns more true than ever after having taken the time off: it’s nearly impossible to put effort and energy into the things you love, be it family or work, when you’re the one struggling.
I was pulling myself in a million different directions on no sleep, and with little direction of where I wanted to go business-wise. I was exhausted day and night (yes, night, because I’d often find myself awake at 3am for no reason).
I asked for help, yet again. As most of you know, I started going to therapy when Lacey was just over five months old. I felt like something was off but didn’t feel depressed, so I had no idea what I was dealing with.
Turns out I had some postpartum anxiety (PPA) going on, and it only got worse as the months went on, coming to a head after I weaned Lacey in August. My hormones went insane, and I was up for basically three nights straight with sweat and heart palpitations and other symptoms. Mentally, I was fine and more than ready to wean Lacey. Physically, I was a mess. I needed to sleep, so my general practitioner prescribed Xanax, and it helped for a night or two. I didn’t want to be taking medication every night, so I stopped and was hoping things would normalize.
Long story short, they didn’t.
From September to January, I was suffering. My anxiety at bedtime was on and off, and I found myself self-medicating most weeks just to get a solid 4-5 hours at night (even though some nights I’d be in bed for 8-9 hours—total mindf*ck.). I’d take melatonin (which is NOT a good habit FYI, as it can deplete serotonin levels, which are your happy hormones), Nyquil or Zquil, take a hit from our vape (I hadn’t smoked any type of marijuana in years but decided to because I was desperate and friends swear by it for anxiety), and/or drinking red wine.
It was not a pretty picture, to say the least. As a happy person, I was having more bad days than good days, and frankly, I felt like sh*t. This was interfering with my love for working out, and my love for feeling amazing and being present with my family.
We all have a bad night’s sleep every now and then and that’s totally fine. This was far beyond that.
Enter: a local psychiatrist and a new drug.
Mid-December, I got desperate. I was just. so. tired. A friend of mine went on an anti-anxiety medication and it started to change her life. I decided that although I don’t have an anxiety disorder, I knew something was wrong, and it was time to ask for help after I had tried every natural thing under the sun to help me sleep.
So, on January 1st, I started taking a very low dose of an anti-anxiety medication called Clonazepam at bedtime. It wasn’t meant to be a permanent solution, but was meant to teach my body how to sleep again.
And, well, it’s changed my life.
For the first time in months, I feel alive during the day. I can workout without wanting to nap or die afterwards. I can be with Lacey without worrying about what time she’s going to bed and therefore what time I have to get in bed to make sure I can try to sleep. I can not only survive a day, but thrive, and cook and clean and work and relax without counting down the hours until bedtime out of fear of what might happen that night.
I feel semi-normal, and I attribute this to both the medication and my time off from social media.
Do I take it every night? No. Is every night of sleep great? No. I still wake up even on the medication once or so, but the sleep I do get is deep and restorative, and I know that because of how I feel the next day.
Truth be told, I wish I had asked for help earlier. I was stubborn, because with all of my education in health and wellness, I thought I could fix this myself. Turns out I was wrong, and I needed to go the medical route in order to make this current magic happen!
Now, I take it on an as-needed basis, which is a few times per week. Because you can’t drink while taking this medication (at least it’s not advised), I’ve also been drinking less. In fact, I’ve had only four drinks since New Years Eve—which, coming from someone who was using wine to self-soothe a few nights per week in the recent past is nothing!
So…what does all of this mean for my future, and the future of my brand?
My biggest lesson? I realized I need some boundaries. I actually love being a stay-at-home mom AND love the work I do here. But, for me personally, I need clean cut lines.
Moving forward, here’s what you can expect:
I’ll be on Instagram Tuesday through Thursdays, the days that my nanny is with us and I have the time to be hanging with all you cool people!
I’ll be sharing a blog post every Wednesday.
From Thursday to Tuesday, I’ll be off of all social media. On those days during Lacey’s naps, I’ll be focusing on planning some kickass local events.
That, to me, is my magical balance. All that said, If I have something really cool I want to share with you guys (like this weekend in San Diego and the Justin Timberlake concert in April!!) I’ll be breaking that rule ;)
Thank you so, so much for allowing me to share such a personal story with you, and I hope that it helps other women and mommies out there who might be struggling. Every person’s journey after having a baby is different, and every person’s balance is going to look completely different. I’m trying this out for 2019, and we’ll see how it goes for the next few months!
I’d love to hear from you guys in the comments. Anyone else have PPA? How did you treat it? What about insomnia or any of the crazy symptoms us women experience via hormones but don’t always talk about? Sharing is scary but can also be so therapeutic—the more we share, the more we can help each other!!
Also—stay tuned for some mom and non-mom related events I’ll be throwing over the next few months!