Its okay To not Be OKAY

Mental Health, physical health, and everything in between can be a struggle. I’m here to let you know that you are NOT alone.

Every day is a new day to wake up and face the world and your own battles. No matter where in journey you are, you are doing amazing.

Its okay to need to sleep extra hours.

Its okay to feel sad and watch sad movies and have a crying fest.

It is okay to no be happy and smiling all the time.

ITS NOT OKAY TO WANT TO HARM YOURSELF OR OTHERS. RED FLAG, MEDICAL ATTENTION IS NEEDED.

Its okay to say no, and give you time for you. That includes getting a babysitter so you can shower or nap. That includes space from your spouse – go to the store alone.

It is okay to feel like shit one day and be happy the next.

Its not okay to ignore all this, because going to therapy or getting on medication is OKAY.

Smoking pot is okay, it helps with anxiety and depression- make sure its legal for your state!

Its okay to need a damn break from your children. Its rough being a parent.

ITS OKAY TO HAVE FEELINGS, TO BE DEPRESSED AND HAVE ANXIETY. AND IT IS OKAY TO TAKE STEPS TO HELP THAT PART OF YOUR LIFE. DO NOT BE ASHAMED. JUST KNOW, ITS OKAY TO NOT BE OKAY.

Military & Motherhood PT.2

Hello and Good afternoon! Today’s military and motherhood blog is a blurb form multiple women and their take on this life style. Please note, names have been changed.

“no one cares, you are out there on your own”- Kate M.

” You better find and know all the instructions, better to just keep them with you because the commands don’t care. You have to protect yourself.” Meliisa F.

“inconsistencies between pregnancy commands. Since nothing is written in black and white, there’s some commands who really do let moms use the year of baby bonding to its full potential (while still working of course) and some who just don’t give a shit.” Whitney R.

“Being an active military first time mom myself with a deployed spouse. We’re expected to be a fighter and be the head of the house hold!” Kay W.

“My advice is to definitely know your regs for pregnancy and motherhood. My first baby I had no clue about a lot of the things you have the right to and I expected my command to know the rules and abide by them. I was in a generator shop throughout my pregnancy and I didnt find out until after that according to the Idustrial Hygiene survey that I shouldn’t be in there while pregnant due to noise hazards. I did my first PRT back exactly 6 months after my c section because my command didnt read the instruction correctly and I almost failed because I didnt know that I didnt have to take it until the following cycle. All the stress of that made my milk supply drop and I quit breastfeeding early because of that and them not accommodating a space at work for me to pump and expecting me to use the head. Dont expect people to fight for you, read everything you can on regs.” Julia P.

“Ppd can start before you have your baby. Talk with youre doctor about, look up the signs and symptoms. Know that body changes happen, and are to be expected. But pain happens too. Back, pelvic, hips… belly bands can help, youre boobs will continue to grow, dont freek out when they/if they leak while pregnant.
Just because youre in the military doesnt mean anything. Print out the instructions on limited work hours, soft shoe chits everything.
” Alex H.

 “Put your foot down with your command when it comes to your children. They aren’t going to care if you’re sick or your kids are sick. Stand up for yourself in a respectful way when it comes to taking care of your needs… and practice while your pregnant!” Kerri A .

I don’t know how to make it clearer about how hard it is being pregnant or a mom in the military. No one cares, no on e stands up for you. We have to bare the weight of the duty and motherhood. Not one person asked how I was doing after either child. No one asked to help or if I needed anything, and every single person knew I was along with my first son.

With Active Duty having such high suicide rates and veterans the same, I would think they would tale mental health more serious yet, they do not.

I hope this give you a bit of insight as to what military and motherhood is like.

Navy Motherhood- Pt. 1

Hi everyone! This is the first installment of my military and motherhood series I will be doing for roughly a week or so.

This story is that of a Navy woman. Her pregnancy, and birth and dealing with the command she was stationed at. For safety reason, names, dates and commands have been changed. This is in no way meant to simply “hate” on the military, it is to bring light to this chapter of serving that many have no clue about.

” I had taken two weeks of leave to go see my then boyfriend and we decided to get married like a week or two before that. I was set to go on deployment. Had everything ready and planned out. We got married and he moved back to Ca (he had just gotten out of the Marines and moved home to Ohio). Not even a week after we were married I found out I was pregnant with our first. I was 19 almost 20 and had no family or support. All my friends were leaving on deployment. He had no job and we literally had no money to even pay our first months rent. We were in no place to be having a baby. But we did! I told my chain of command on the ship that I was pregnant and I was devastated to be missing deployment and my friends. I told them I wasn’t capable of taking care of a baby due to financial issues etc. they blew me off and made me feel like i was stupid young and doing it just to get out of deployment. They knew how badly i wanted to go on deployment and how hard I had worked to be where I was. But because I was 19 and got pregnant right before deployment I automatically did it on purpose. I was hurt. My friends turned their backs on me. My mentor decided that they “couldn’t “ mentor me anymore because of it. I lost everyone on my side. All I had left was my brand new husband. (Tbh we were only dating for 6 months before we got married). It was rough. I was on beach det for about 2 months before I got orders. When I finally transferred, I was too pregnant to fit into my regular dress uniform and my MC at the time in charge of beach det told me not to worry about transferring my dress uniform because I was pregnant. Got ro my new command and was checking in and people miss treated me again because I was pregnant young and not in the proper uniform. I was set up for failure. I went to my command on SD and they treated all of the pregnant people like shit. They played favorites. This may sound racist, but I promise you, I don’t mean for it to be, but if you weren’t black, you weren’t one of the favorites. The entire COC was black. I was told because I was the least pregnant (by 4 days) that I had to walk everywhere. Wasn’t allowed in the duty van wasn’t allowed to drive my POV. Etc. I eventually said Fuck it and filed a complaint along with a few other moms and we were moved to the chapel or security admin. When I moved to the chapel everything changed. I was allowed to go to my appointments. I was allowed to get food if i needed , I was treated as a human and respected. They cared about me as far as work went. When It came to help with resources or preparing me for the new chapter closely approaching, no one helped me. I felt i was alone all over again. I struggled massively with prenatal depression and anxiety. People were calling and texting me from my old command saying i was a whore and my baby was so and sos kid from the ship because thats what my best friend had told them. I came back from maternity leave and everything changed. Everyone treated me like shit. We still hadn’t been accepted into a military daycare, and couldn’t afford daycare in other places. So my husband had to quit his good paying job to stay home with her. We moved into military housing when she was 6months old and we started struggling financially. We found a daycare but she mistreated my baby. At this point my PPD and PPA were so bad I thought about going UA and abandon my family. They would be better off without me. My family had nothing good to say and were very unsupportive and work was constantly talking shit about me (I didn’t deserve to be a mother, how can I raise a baby when I’m an immature bitch, etc) I complained multiple times to my higher ups and nothing was done. They always spun it around and made me the bad guy. Multiple counselings and negative reports. I was done. I also missed out on looking for my orders because no one explained to me what to do or anything. I had no idea until my former LPO emailed me and asked me how i was doing and when I was up for orders etc. my detailer never returned phone calls or emails so I never got to do anything. Was given orders back to the same ship I had left. When I was in the process of checking out, I found out i was pregnant again. I was degraded even more because of it. I was stupid for having 2 babies so close together. More hurtful comments came my way. My second classes would get together and belittle and make rude comments at me. They would go put of there way to ignore me and make me feel bad. When my oldest started a new daycare about a month after I found out about my second, My husband started a job where his hours were 7-330 so he couldn’t take her to school, I had to. I got permission (verbal) from my Lt and Cdr that I was allotted 15 minutes to drop her off and get to work (daycare was a few miles down the road and I was supposed to be at work at 730). I had until 745 to get to work. My second classes had a problem with it and would always make comments about how I was a sneaky Bitch etc. how i never wanted to work and never did anything. When evals came out and my CoC gave me the only EP for the department, everyone told me I was sleeping with the right person and I definitely didn’t deserve the EP. my depression was at an all time low and i tried to talk to my CoC about it. Nothing. I tried to ask for help and they failed me. I was miserable. To the point I was having a break down/anxiety attack every morning scared of what they would say do to me that day. I was miserable. My husband new this. Finally i confided in my OB that I needed more help than just a therapist. I needed medicine or something. I was put on medicine and I felt a million times better but i couldnt take my anxiety meds religiously because it was going to affect my baby. It was hard. But tgis time around I knew about resources i needed in order to succeed with my pregnancy and pp. i was determined to get all the help I could and use all the resources I had. And I have. Life is soo much better this time round.

As far as being a mom in the military, i hated that I had to be told I had to deliver at Balboa. I had a really horrible experience (in my eyes). They mistreated me. Wanted everything done on their schedule and not when my baby or body was ready. My daughter pooped inside and they didnt seem to care or make an effort to make sure she was ok. I tried breastfeeding and was told by the midwives there and the corpsmen that i shouldnt bother because I had flat nipples. It was pointless to even make the effort. I ended up giving up at 6 weeks when she was 99% on formula. I HATED balboa and was terrified to deliver my second there. When it got closer to my 2nds due date, I again was having issues with preterm labor and contractions. They didn’t believe me and said that I was being dramatic and it was just braxton hicks. I demanded to be induced (as I had High blood pressure the entire pregnancy as well). They agreed. I was given a date and time I called like i was supposed to, and they said that i was misinformed and was scheduled for the next morning. Cool. Totally ok with that too. But i was MISERABLE. In so much pain couldnt sleep or hardly walk. I called the next morning and they said i had to be pushed back. I was pushed back 3 times before I called them and said I need this baby out and they sent me to P. I was already 90% effaced and 4cm dilated. So i really was on labor but they didn’t believe me . Camp P treated me sooo much better it was amazing! I had the greatest team who genuinely cared and listened to my concerns and made every effort to take care of me and my baby! Her delivery was really rough but they were there by my side the entire time and made sure I knew they cared and were going to do everything they could to help both her and I. It was such a 180 from Balboa.

As far as being a mom, I cant handle the stress, anxiety, and separation from my babies. I pick them up from daycare and they show me all the knew things they learned, my oldest is talking more and learned so many things that I wish i was able to teach her. Potty training is extremely difficult. My new baby (4m old) just grows and grows while Im gone. I hate how I moss soo much of their lives because of the military and can’t imagine how moms who deploy do it! I hate going 24 hours without my kids, not to mention 8 months! Plus the childcare situation for civilian/ad couples is shit. I have to pay $2k a month for my girls to be in a daycare full time because we kept getting pushed back on the list for CDC/CDHs. There is little to no support for us as far as daycare goes. Its expensive and it sucks. If you want good care,you pay $2k+ a month. It’s extremely competitive as well. It’s extremely difficult. I cant wait for Feb 2021 to get out and stay home with my babies.

Over all my biggest issue is that other moms aren’t supportive of new moms. We need to look out more for each other and help each other out. Share resources both kid related or career related. I’ve come across many mew moms while at my current command and NONE of them have had much help in any way. So any time i find resources or any knowledge i learned throughout, i share. I dont want new moms to struggle and hurt the way I did with my babies.”

“Advice for new moms: ASK about anything and everything. Take advantage of EVERY resource given even if you don’t think you will use/need it, do it!! Always always ask. And always share things you have learned/picked up along the way with other moms. It truly is a blessing. Also start looking for daycares before your baby is even born. Both civilian and military.”

That’s her story. No bashing, no rude comments. This is not unusual behavior from what I’ve seen. Pregnant girls get treated one of two ways- great or like shit. As you can see, she had zero support form her Chain of Command. When she let them know she needed help she met met with rude comments and judgement instead of resources to help her in her situation. Im happy her second time around has been different and met with help, instead of the judgement like the first time. Please take note, not one person cared about her mental health.

POV- bvasically a car that a sailor owns

COC- chain of command

lpo- is our boss

EP- the highest grade on our evaluation we can get

detailer- the person who assigns us our orders, not all of them are great.

Navy & Motherhood Intro

I cant speak for the other branches, but Im sure its just as hard as the Navy. I know pregnancy and birth and parenthood is rough no matter what your job is, but i feel its especially difficult while in the military. Some, like myself are very lucky to not deploy after we have our kids while others deploy 12 months after.

So, whats it like being a mom in the Navy?

Lets start off with the beginning- you dont pick your OBGYN, they are picked for you. You can request, and ask for a new one but chances are you wont get what you want. You dont pick the hospital- that is determined by the navy as well. Im sure we have had sailors do home births or water births but its unlikely, and you probably have to have permission. If you have a normal pregnancy you will most likely see a midwife, if you are like me and have very crappy , high risk pregnancies then you are stuck seeing an OB for every appointment.

You dont get much say. I didn’t want the flu shot while pregnant (personal choice) and I was forced into getting it. I knew with my second baby I wanted my tubes tied, but I had to have my husband consent.

Yes, we do get rather nice maternity leave. When I had my first son it was basically 16-18 weeks depending on the command. It was great especially since I had had a c-section. When I had my second son, it had been changed to 12 weeks. Which yes, is great but it sucked not being home the same amount of time. But that is the military- changes in a blink of the eye. 84 days is given to you by the hospital for recovery time. The rest of the time is not a guarantee because it comes from your command. It can be denied and given to you to take any time before your child is one. Nothing in the military is a guarantee, ever.

You are shore duty for 12months after child birth for bonding time, after those 12 months many return to sea duty…

I was blessed that my kids came when they did. Everything lined up for me to not return to sea duty. Still its rough. You child is sick or the daycare is closed, you better figure it out. Most of the time the commands and chain of command don’t care. You belong to the military not yourself or family. The job comes first.

Over the next few days I will be posting stories from Military and Veteran Mothers.

This is something close to my heart, and i hope you enjoy learning our struggles or more about how it worked in the service.

Toxic Mother- Figurative Loss

I say figurative because to be honest, I never had a mother in the first place. I have a biological mother.

My parents split up when i was 2.5 years old. So I don’t remember the happy times, although I was told they were happy at some point. From that age until I was about 7 I saw my mother maybe 10 times, and that is being generous with that number.

There were lots of calls and no shows form her. I can remember being actually mad at her. Never hurt, but mad. At such a young age I think I just understood the type of person she was.

When I got older, and my dad passed away I remember the phone call where Rhonda told her he had died. You would think, a mother would give a shit about her kid… at least ask how she is right? But nope- not her. Instead it was about how sad she was and how she loved him still and oh my god… blahhh blahhh blah. Such bull shit. Fake emotions, because when you love someone you don’t beat them up.

I was 10 and I remember being overly pissed off at her, and saying I disown her as my mother, that she simply was the one that gave birth to me nothing more. At age 14, I lost my dad and that feeling was renewed. I had no parents.

This really is not a rant post, more of the toxic mother/ parent, and why its not worth your time caring.

At age 19, I reached out to her after finding my siblings. I thought maybe she grew up since I did.. I was wrong. Everything was always about her. Come to find out, she never seemed to consider me her kid anyway. I tried to keep it brief and simple with her. Which I did. Then I got pregnant, I knew I didnt want to tell her because in ,y ,in my mind she had no right to know she had a grand child coming.

I stopped talking to her one night after she told me she loved me. It didn’t sit well with me. Like clearly she doesn’t know what love is. What is shitty, is my older sister has a relationship with her even after all the bullshit Our bio mother has done to her. I wish everyone saw Leslie for what she is instead of feeling sorry for her.

No mother just walks out of a courtroom and gives up her kids without a fight. She chose not to raise us or care. I finally came to terms with that in my twenties. Not long ago, she told me goodbye because she couldn’t accept the abuse and pain any longer. My immediate reaction was like what pain and abuse? Im not the one who abandoned you…

Needless to say- I get what its like to have that toxic parent. I’m here to say you owe them NOTHING. Not a damn thing. You didn’t control the situations as a child. they did. Never let them guilt you into feeling bad for what you say to them. Say your peace, tell them how they have made you feel and move on.

I promise, you don’t deserve to feel like shit because of a shitty parent who wasn’t there. I wasted my time trying to make a relationship out of air. Don’t do that to yourself.

Having a toxic parent can make you feel bad. Like everything is your fault, but really… its not you- its them. They are the problem. They are the shitty person, the shit parent. Please don’t waste that time and energy on them.

Get out, get away and live your life. I was so blessed to not be raised by her. I know others are not that lucky. You may not be able to reverse the damage but you can move past it. You can be better than them.

I’m so glad my children don’t know her or know the pain of having someone in amd out of their lives.

I feel bad my sister has let that happen, but if they all get along then who am I to say anything right?

Toxic parents turn into simply toxic people. You owe nothing to them, and need them not.

You deserve to be happy. Leave the toxic shit behind.

I was 14

I was 14.

I was 14 when I walked in and found my father dead in his bed.

I was 14 when my world changed forever.

I was 14 when I gave up God. I was 14 when I realized I had basically no one in my corner anymore.

I was a child. I not only lost my dad, my only parent. But I was a child and found my dad dead.

You see lots of people lose their parents, even when they are still a child. Some handle it well other do not.

The one thing that is important hereYOU DO NOT GET TO DECIDED HOW A TRAUMA IMPACTS SOMEONE ELSE. YOU DO NOT GET TO DECIDE WHEN A PERSON SHOULD MOVE ON OR GET OVER THAT LOSS BECAUSE OTHERS DEAL WITH IT TOO.

They will handle it when the time comes. I am now 25 and just in the last year began to process it all. That is eleven years for me.

11.

Let that sink in.

Mental Health & Marriage

First off- Marriage itself is hard. You take two people and mash them together, flaws and all.

Being in a relationship or marriage with someone with any type of Mental health issue changes the ball game some. Mood swings, depression, anxiety… and all the things that come with each different issue.

For myself, I get anxiety when my husband travels. Its gotten to the point of peeling my nails til they bleed. I wouldn’t even notice until the blood shows. I hate to leave the house while he is gone, it wrecks my nerves. I’m not sure where it comes from but I simply blame Anxiety. My lovely depression likes to come at the worst times. It places strain on our marriage, well it did for a long time.

How can someone be happy one second and completely depressed the next? Battles of the smallest things happened. It was rough. It was not my fault. Its not your fault. Mental health is a beast, and it shows its face at any time it wishes too. Learning to be married while dealing with mental health issues is a battle, but once you start to figure it out, life gets easier.

Not everyone can handle it. No day is ever the same, as no depression is the same. Its tough and not everyone is cut out for this type of life. Don’t expect support from everyone, its a beautiful thing when the love of your life does support you though.

So, what are my tips for all this? Honeslty its simple yet not…

*Take time to talk. Communicate. When you feel like you’re falling, tell you significant other. Let them know what you need. It may be a hug or some space. I know I need both when I’m depressed. It can be hard to break down your walls, but in the end it is so worth it.

*Work with each other. Both of you may need support while navigating all this. Especially if it is newer territory. Mental Health can be a slippery slope, don’t let it control you or the marriage. However, couples therapy may be of benefit. Writing to each other may help if talking face to face is difficult.

*Don’t forget self acceptance. Accept and love yourself, so your loved one can too. In some ways, everyone deals with something. It’s just some of us deal with it differently.

*When you are having a good time, show it, express it. Don’t forget to appreciate your significant other. They may be struggling too.

Now for those that are not dealing with mental health, but with some one that is-

*Communicate. Ask how you can help.

*Show you are there, leave love notes. Tell them you are there for them.

*Accept that you made need to give more space. It can be rough, but some days may be harder than others.

*Seek therapy if you think it could help you understand your loved one. Or even if you think couples therapy could help you both work through the harder times.

I hope this helps someone out there. By no means am I perfect nor is my marriage. But I can say these things have helped my husband and I during my journey.

Antidepressant vs Mood Stabilizer

Hey guys! Today i wanted to talk about my journey with antidepressants and my new pill.

I started off with low dose Zoloft. At first it seemed to be working. I was sleeping better, seemed to me that my mood had started to shift towards normal and happier. I upped the dose- per doctors orders- and I noticed I started to feel drugged. I was no longer happy. I couldn’t make it through the day with out a nap. I was not cooking or cleaning. I wasn’t being a very good mom. I was just surviving my days. I stopped cold turkey. I don’t recommend that for everyone as it can cause suicidal thoughts and more. But i made the choice to stop taking my Zoloft. Immediately I felt depressed but better, as I was no longer feeling drugged.

I finally got into see a new psychiatrist who after talking then wanted to start me back on a low dose of Zoloft. I did it and felt horrible. I went back… this time with the mindset that I need something different. I didnt know what I needed but I knew I wanted to have energy and be a human again.
After talking he decided to have me start an anti -psychotic, Latuda. Latuda is a mood stabilizer used with bipolar disorders, schizophrenia and anything else on the bipolar spectrum.

I am one month in on taking Latuda, and honestly- these have been amazing for me.

I feel normal again. I have energy and wake up before 7am everyday. I don’t just survive my days, I’m living. I’m cleaning, cooking and being a better momma to my boys these days.

Zoloft may work for some people, but they didn’t for me. I am so thankful for my new pills. My life is not perfect, but its so much better now.

I’m not saying latuda is right for everyone- no one size fits all here with mental health… I am saying, talk to your doctor if a pill isn’t working. You may need something else. You may need a new dosage..

Don’t be afraid to stand up for yourself. Get a new doctor if need be. Don’t suffer, its not worth it.

Therapy.

Why is there a stigma with therapy? Its such a great tool for mental health. Whether you need it for past traumas or just a few sessions to let out stress. Some times people go to just have an outside view on life.

I’ve been going weekly for about a year now, and let me tell you- I love it. That one hour is exactly what I need every week to regain control thoughts and check in on myself.

We talk about the past, the future and present. My goals, what is going on currently and even about random things that I feel like talking about.

I wish there wasn’t a stigma. More people should feel good about going to therapy and now ashamed. There’s no harm in talking to someone. Having that one on one time can do more good than a conversation with a friend or family member. Having that outside point of view can help you to see your situation from a new side. It can give you that check of assurance you may feel that is needed in a situation and your choices.

I love therapy, but of course it also comes down to finding the right doctor for you. if you don’t click with the first person you speak with, don’t give up. Find a new one. I promise its worth it.

How do you feel about therapy? Do you think it could be helpful in you time of life?