Oh where oh where did my confidence go? When it started to leave, I had just given birth to Mila. I kicked ASS during her birth – 36 hours of drug-free delivery it took to bring her into this world. But then I began having trouble breast-feeding, was exhausted, and discouraged. She had reflux and cried constantly, and I always thought I was doing something wrong. My birth classes had helped somewhat to prepare me for infancy, but real life was totally different. Marcus could always seem to calm her down. I was so incredibly grateful for his partnership and help with her, but I couldn’t help but get the feeling that he was the ‘better’ parent. He just rolled with all of the challenges seemingly better than I had.
Now I realize I went back to work way too soon after her birth, but I didn’t have a choice. I was at a non-profit, and we had some big projects I was anxious to get back to. As soon as I returned, my breast milk production started to wane, and I was faced with the challenge of trying to pump, find formula she would actually eat, and manage all that while I was at work 50+ hours a week. It was overwhelming and stressful! I got very little support at work. A few months later I was let go, and it was devastating. I write more about that here.
It was a dark time. I was struggling with Mila, and now I was unemployed. My confidence was at one of its lowest points. I ended up spiraling into a horrible (my worst yet) manic episode, which I wrote about here. Ended up in a treatment program that connected me with some amazing humans. Got on a new medication that stabilized me, but a side-effect was weight gain.
So my brain started to feel better, I landed an AMAZING gig doing great work (that I talk about here), and I started to re-connect with friends to help lift me out of the fog. Things were looking better on the inside, but I’d gained almost 50 pounds.
I’ve always had a somewhat slender frame, was super athletic as a kid and teen, so this extra weight has really been dragging me down. I don’t even recognize myself when I look in the mirror.
But now that I’m feeling more confident in my career path, I’m able to focus more on my physical health. Luckily I like to cook, so eating healthier has been easier. We got a peloton bike, and I’m actually surprised at how much I enjoy the workouts.
Mila is three and a half now, and I feel like I’m finally rocking motherhood again. We love to play outside and she even does yoga with me now.
I wish I could snap my fingers and be instantly confident again, but I know it’s a process. But, I know from experience that teeny tiny baby steps can add up to something incredible. It feels so good to be on my way to getting my confidence back. I know it will be a journey, but I’m here for it!