MOTHERHOOD WILL MAKE YOU APPEAR CRAZY!!!!!!!!!
It's not that I'm crazy, it's just that my situation seems to require a crazy person."
-Anne Wilson Schaef, Meditations for women who do too much
My therapist informed me that she thinks I may have "cyclothymia-a mental disorder that involves numerous periods of symptoms of depression and periods of symptoms of hypomania.-wikipedia-" Reviewing the symptoms of cyclothymia, I thought, "Ohhhhh YEAH, I have all of that! Sure Do! I am extremely agitated/irritable and sleep deprived with crashes that could possibly look like depression.....BUT..... I also have a wild hyena of a four year old who doesn't like to sleep and tests boundaries every five minutes, which then completely fries my nervous system (the agitation piece) and leads to an utter and complete crash! That is my life! YES! ..........BUT, Cyclothymia?????
I have often said that my child and I are simply an energetic mismatch. I need TONS of down time to replenish..... AND..... after a long day of work all I want to do is read a book and unwind to soft music. When I pick my daughter up from school, it's 5pm and she's been there since 8 am. That's a LONG day for a four year old. That's a long day for an adult...... AND...... Every single day without fail she asks, "Mamma, who's coming over to play tonight?" Play?????? Didn't you just play in a prechool for the majority of a day? All I want to do is crawl under the covers and hibernate to replenish.
And crawl under the covers I do...... any chance that I get........ which is VERY RARE.....But in these rare moments I retreat to reading and the comforts of silence.....While reading the other day, I found this survey posted by a therapist in town. Hmmmm, this looks interesting I thought so I took the quiz..... GUESS WHAT.....I answered YES to every single question!
Finally the explanation to our energy mismatch...........I AM a highly senstive person who needs lots of internal time.....AND.... my child could easily be diagnosed with ADHD.....But instead of pathologizing her......I prefer to call her SPIRITED. She never stops talking and is in constant motion.
If you recognize yourself in this quiz......Following the quiz was this article which was very helpful.........
Ahhhhhhhh everything made sense to me now! Nothing is wrong with me and I'm not a horrible mother! I have needs that are very different from the child in my home. I do think that parenting as a highly sensitive person is much more challeging because there is rarely any down time to replenish the nervous system.....AND........ perhaps if I had a partner to hand off to, or a live in nanny, or my parents lived in town, the cyclothymic women you see before you would present quite differently.
While I want to honor that motherhood is a very beautiful time for many and that many women would call the early days of motherhood the best days of their lives.....I also want to honor that is not everyone's experience. I want to hold space for eveyone's experience and try to normalize it a bit if you are having an experience more similair to mine........ The ups and the downs with the seemingly cyclothymia features.......
Do I have a patholical condition???? Or am I just a mother who's highly senstive without enough support and Zero off time????
So this post is for all the mamma's out there who are Angry, Tired, Fatigued, and Run down! It's for all of the Mammas who feel a little Crazy on any given day. It's for all of the mamma's who have challenging children and are at their wits end. It's for all of the mammas who aren't sure how to survive one more day (I've so been there). For all of the mammas who's nervous systems are fried and need a complete reset. For all of the mamma's who are highly senstive people....... AND....... for all of the mamma's who are presenting with pathological conditions because their circumstance seems to require a crazy person.
You are NOT ALONE and I SEE you!