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I Was Normal.




Kaitlynn holding Aurora
I was being a great mom.

Welcome to Week 2 of Motherhood and Mental Health!


Last week, I touched on how I came to realize there was something different going on with me and wanted help. This week I'll be letting you in on how I felt during the diagnosis process.


 

I Was Normal.


I had such a big smile. I didn't seem like a person with anxiety or depression. I was so level-headed that there was no way I could be suffering. I was being a great mom. A great wife. A great friend. I was a happy kid.. I just needed to pray. Nothing was missing from my life.


That's what I heard from some loved ones. Those loved ones lived 5 hours away and didn't see me often. They saw the Me that turned on the strenuous social energy when I felt like I had to be the person they expected, the person that would cause the least amount of fuss. Get through the trip, and get back to safety at home.


It wasn't always that way. It did start with how I often felt like the black sheep, the lone wolf--mind you, stories I told myself (more on that another time)--and increased over the years. I just didn't realize how it became a survival tactic until I sought help.


But I was normal.


Above, me before diagnosis. Below, me now.

Back then I looked normal. Now I'm the true me, living in alignment with my values and highest self.

I see the difference, but they don't look terribly different to you, do they?

It was hard for so many to see back then.



I even had what I now know to be imposter syndrome at the doctor's office...and they didn't necessarily help with that part.


I spoke with the in-house psychologist at my primary care provider's office once before my diagnosis, when I'd experienced an anxiety attack at work. When I went back after the restaurant thing, the psychologist air quoted me about "freaking out," a phrase I used because I wasn't versed in mental health terms, and what seemed like her skepticism about it had me feeling like I was in search of just the meds. I wanted to feel better, and at that point I wasn't even wanting medication.


She asked if I was suicidal--I wasn't--and that seemed to be the defining factor to how she would diagnose me. She didn't want to provide any resources besides breathing (without examples/guidance) and group conversations (during the pandemic). I was normal.


I felt like the professional in the situation didn't think anything was up. But I knew, I just knew that I wasn't being me. I really struggled on how to explain the intrusive thoughts. Those and my inability to control my reactions despite my logic were making it incredibly difficult to function. That's what I needed resources for. I went to Dr. Google and did the research myself (another theme for another time), and figured out that the thoughts that would pop into my head that I never would have come up with on my own were intrusive thoughts.


Thanks to the internet and what I later realized to be intuition, I had the tool to help the doctor figure out how to possibly help me. Through further discussion, they diagnosed me with Generalized Anxiety Disorder and Major Depressive Disorder.


Around that time, I threw "normal" out the window.


I felt pretty alone. Jon was supportive in helping me day-to-day, moment-to-moment. Outside of my own home though I felt like an imposter because I didn't appear to fit the mold of someone with mental health issues. I didn't know the terminology until I was already deep in it, and I was in such a dense fog at times that it was difficult to explain what I felt and thought.


You may have heard me on social media that nobody has to go through anything alone. This is why. I know how it feels.


I now know how to not do anything alone and how to trust myself. I'm proof that surviving can shift into thriving.


Also, I'm not normal. I'm Kaitlynn. And I love her.


Topics for Another Day

-negative self-talk

-the stories we create

-taking the lead on my health

-the beauty of weird


All the love,

Kaitlynn


You aren't alone.

Let's see how we can navigate your journey together.



By the way:

I'm not a medical professional.

None of this is medical advice.

My blog is only for educational/entertainment purposes based on my personal life experiences.

Reading my blog nor working with me are replacements for professional medical help.





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2 Comments


Beautiful! Lovely website too!


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Thank you so much, love!

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