A few weeks ago, I shared a very personal story about my own post partum depression! If you haven’t read it yet… check it out here!
I was scared to hit publish button on that story, but to be honest friends… I’m even more scared as I type this out!
My “story” doesn’t end there!
I took my time and I got the help I needed to work through my anxiety and my depression. I surrounded myself with amazing people and leaned on my wonderful husband!
I continued to go to counseling and then one day… my counselor told me I think you are good! I think you have great coping skills and I think we’ve come through this. I’m always here if you need me but I think we can start spacing out our visits.
I was really excited! I was healing! I had made it through and was coming out on the other end!
What’s even more than that… I had started to use my experience and channel it into photography… this is where the beginnings of the Lifetime Experience started to form!
I started to realize that life was and could be messy and beautiful at the same time. That our stories needed to be told just as they are without covering them up! I was learning that the real beauty is IN the mess of life!
I started to find a great balance between family and work and home! I was feeling really great!
(Or so I thought!)
Life has a way of giving us these waves, and they come on their own timing~!
Sometimes right after we’ve just come through an experience, there is this calm. I feel like we get to ride it out and coast for a bit. Maybe it’s a chance to gather our strength for the next set of waves, or maybe it’s just a chance to catch our breath… I’m not exactly sure. I think it all depends on how YOU choose to look at it.
I was in one of those calm moments, where the sea is just so. I was in a moment of stillness where I probably should have been catching my breath and preparing myself for the harder work that was going to come my way.
Instead, I tricked myself into believing that this calm moment was in fact how things were meant to be! I was feeling like I had accomplished something great and now I was in this sense of “perfect.”
I had balance! I had figured it out! I was working as a photographer and my business was growing. I was taking sessions and they were sessions that were meaningful and in line with what I wanted to be doing full time.
I was feeling great about my relationship with Linc! We were in this golden stage were he was soo incredibly fun and we were playing all the time and laughing and enjoying the moments together! He was eating healthy and we had this amazing schedule we were following!
I was holding down the fort as the stay at home mom and house wife! I had dinner on the table when Tuck would come home from work. The laundry was done and folded at night! The house was clean and lunches were made!
I was teaching yoga and my members at the gym were happy that I was back!
I was rocking it out (with my pink hair and all) and things were perfect!
Except… we were in just a moment of calm!
As I think back to this place now, I realize things weren’t really perfect (but that’s another story).
That moment of calm quickly changed when Tuck came home one day and dropped a big bomb: He was being deployed!
SURPRISE! I’m being re-activated!
This news turned our entire world upside down!
It turned our calm seas into a nightmare because I quickly realized I wasn’t completely healed. And one thing is for certain… when one person isn’t OK, usually the whole house is at unrest. Let’s also be really honest… usually when the MOM isn’t ok, the house is at unrest!
My anxiety started to kick back in and I started to kick into over drive. Sadly, I went right back to feeling ashamed and so instead of leaning on my husband and all the coping skills and support systems I had just set in place, I started to put on this really great front of everything is wonderful! I am perfect and I can do this Rosie the Riveter!
I chased this ideal persona of made up perfection/I’ve got everything together!
I thought if I could just hold on long enough to this routine I had going… I could hold myself together!
It doesn’t work friends!
Made up perfection is just that: made up!
Perfect doesn’t exist!
There is NO such thing as the perfect business owner! The perfect mom! The perfect wife!
And let’s ask ourselves an honest question and ask truthfully… would you really want to be perfect?!
LIFE IS MESSY! and that is where the FUN is.. that is where the BEAUTY is! It all lies in the mess!
Our real moments happen in the thick of things! The best moments (those that we remember for a lifetime) often happen when we get our hands completely submerged in the mess!
When we forget about putting up that perfect front, that I have it all together made up ideal and actually let go, we find ourselves living in the moment!
We let go and let our true selves be free!
That is truly beautiful!
For me, it wasn’t until I finally learned this and let go of all that I’m ok… we are doing great… I have it all together front and just lived for each moment as it was that I started to truly handle Tuck’s deployment.
Actually, I started to handle anything that came my way. I learned to let go of my worry, give it up to God and just be in the moment however I was feeling!
Of course… that’s the same second that Tuck got sent home! Sometimes God works in mysterious ways!
But I also started to see a difference in my own family! I also started to see a huge difference in the way I saw myself!
I started to LOVE MYSELF more in all the family photos! I stopped looking at myself for what I was wearing, or whether I had make up on and start looking at each image for what it truly was… a legacy I was leaving for Linc!
Time well spent living our lives and documenting our adventures as messy and beautiful and funny and as crazy as they are!
This way, when Linc is older or has children of his own he can look back and say… my life wasn’t perfect but it was meaningful! It was FUN! I was loved! I was valued! I had a happy childhood with happy parents~!
Our stories that we tell him about his childhood will have images to go along with them! They will have emotions behind those images because they will be real and raw and genuine. Our images will not be posed with the most perfect outfits (some might be if I could ever convince those boys) but most will be dirty with scraped knees and muddy hands and finger nails!
This is just how we live!
So if you are like me… if you are putting on a brave face and pretending like everything is perfect only to be chasing that perfection… I urge you to stop and take a breath. Read my story and see that the beauty isn’t in perfect… it’s in the mess and the flaws!
I’m always here if you want to talk or e mail or chat!
Our brokenness is what makes us love able! It’s what helps us to relate to one another and connect with each other!
Thanks so much to Elizabeth Friske of Elizabeth Friske Photography for capturing our family images! These are two of my favorite… there’s nothing better or more real than your clothes always becoming the tissue for your little….. or slinging around your littles pants b/c they are now naked in a public place!
Motherhood is truly awesome ya’ll! It’s fun and funny and heart breaking and breath taking all in one big gift!