The first time I went to a psychiatrist, I was mortified. I was referred for psychiatric symptoms postpartum by military doctors.
The psychiatrist was way older and likely had limiting beliefs about borderline personality disorder. He shamed me for things beyond my control on trigger sensitive topics.
He made me feel inadequate and disempowered.
I didn’t think I could accept help from him while being treated the way I was. So, I left the office and vowed my life to figuring it out myself for the sake of my child(ren).
I thought it was just a mindset issue, so my cure would be to read a lot of self help books. One year I had a goal to read 100 books in 1 year. I ended up only reading 30 or so books over a few months. That's why when I tell you I tried to figure it out myself, I really mean it.
As my child(ren) grew, I began to get triggered by my kid(s). I was feeling agitated and overwhelmed frequently and had no clue how to get a hold of these emotions to make wise choices..
Let me tell you, no amount of self help books actually help the dysregulation that comes with this illness.
I learned about the brain’s neuroplasticity, habit building, and the power of affirmations; yet, after reading all those self help books, I still could not handle the intense feeling brought up when I am triggered.
Since I couldn’t naturally access neuroplasticity in my own brain (for lack of skill), I thought I was doomed.
Ultimately, the books made me feel clueless and incapable. I thought to myself with every book I read : How could these authors make changes in their lives so easily? And, why can’t I make these same changes…
[In hindsight, too many affirmations is overwhelming, habits take quite a while to build, and neuroplasticity works best with guidance.
The desire to change was there but I was stuck and couldn’t do it on my own.
I needed help after all...
It took me 2 ½ years of poor coping skills to try again. This time outside the military.
I had a hard time accepting the shadow I cast on the world and an even harder time taking ownership of my life.
Prior to learning skills:
I thought my marriage was going to crumble, that I’d lose custody of my children. I thought I would never be loved by my family. I would make things worse by pushing my loved ones away and passing blame.
Now I can...
Check the facts:
My spouse and I have been married 5 ½ years and have 3 kids now. As I continue to work on integrating skills into my daily life, my symptoms become more manageable.
I still mess up and have bad days, but my spouse and each of our kids motivate me to be realistic in my goals and expectations. `
I learned that too many affirmations is overwhelming, habits take quite a while to build, and neuroplasticity works best with guidance.
The first psychiatrist left me so anxious to proceed with the kind of therapy needed to actually heal. Once I committed to getting better with the right care, my life leveled up.
Learning skills is a scary thing, but not learning skills is even scarier.
Once you become conscious of the skills, you can begin applying them. It's hard to act differently when your nervous system is overwhelmed. That’s why having support is so important to recovery.
If you are struggling with lack of support I highly suggest Jade’s course and coaching. She knows how to regulate her nervous system for balance in her life which is what makes her a great coach. It is not all or nothing working with Jade - It’s progress and promise to show up every day.
Emma M. is a mental health writer who is passionate about parenting and spirituality.