Being Kristen

Since my diagnosis with postpartum depression (detailed here), I have been working to improve my emotional and mental health. One of the main things I have been trying to do is rediscover myself and be comfortable with what I find. As a way to update everyone on my progress, I thought I'd post some of the things I have learned about myself. They are pretty random, but sometimes I am like that.

Things I Hate

I absolutely hate when people assume they know what my opinions are. This bothers me most when people think that I share their political opinions. I'm not a particularly political person, and I generally keep those opinions that I do have to myself. I have learned over the last few years that I am much more liberal than many people I know. So it irritates me when others tell me their opinions with the assumption that I agree. It makes for awkward conversations. I really hate awkward conversations.

Being Told How to Feel
I am currently reading Raising an Emotionally Intelligent Child by Dr. John Gottman. I chose this book to help me better understand and manage Eddie's emotions, but it has helped me understand myself, too. One of the main things Dr. Gottman writes about is not trivializing a person's emotions. The feelings are not the bad thing, it is how a person behaves when they feel a certain way that can be inappropriate. So when people tell me I should not worry or I should relax, it really frustrates me. I am learning to manage my emotional reactions, not to stifle my true feelings. I am not afraid of emotion and allowing myself to feel my feelings gives me time to work through them and let go of what I need to let go of.

Postpartum depression brings a lot of guilt with it. As I began my treatment, I felt guilty about how I had been feeling, how I had been acting, that I had waited so long to get help, that I needed help in the first place, that I wasn't living up to everyone's expectations, etc. But I have learned that guilt is not a productive emotion. Guilt is something you stew in, only making things worse.

Things I Love

I recently signed up for a yoga class and after only one session, I was reminded of why I am so drawn to yoga. Yoga is all about balance, which is what I am always striving for within myself. Yoga practice is the one time that I can focus completely on myself. As selfish as that sounds, I have learned that making time for myself helps me be a better wife and mother.

I have always been a creative person and now that I have learned to sew, it has become a great creative outlet. I love that it is hands-on, that it takes some skill, and that it is productive. I love being able to see a final product and be proud of what I have made.

Being a Mother
One of the biggest problems I had before I started my treatment for depression was that I was overwhelmed by my kids and kept withdrawing. Depression, at least for me, filled me with conflict between what I thought I wanted to do and what I knew I should do. As I've been feeling better, I have remembered that being a mother is one of the best things in my life and I wouldn't trade it for anything. I love watching Eddie and Violet grow and learn new things. I want them to be able to count on me no matter what.

When I married Dave, I had no idea how perfect he was for me. Obviously I thought he was pretty great, but over the years, I have learned over and over again that choosing him was the best choice I ever made. He is calm, sensible, and reasonable to counteract my craziness. I cannot imagine anyone whose personality would complement mine better. I truly believe we were made for each other.

Even at our wedding, it was obvious we were perfect for each other.


Anonymous said...

Thank you for sharing your personal feelings with us. It makes me feel better about having my own issues. I remember once my counselor told me that no one should ever use the word should when it came to talking about ones emotions. I have come to see how true that is.

Hali said...

I too am grateful you chose Dave, cause I love having you around. You have even amazed me with your depression and how open you are with it. You are a great mom and wife and I admire you for all you do!

Krissy said...

I just hate that there is such a stigma around depression and other illnesses like it. I think that being honest about it is one of the best ways to work through it. Thanks for your comments, ladies. :)

Caitlinp said...

Oh Krissy. I really like you. Can I be more like you when I grow up?

Jessica said...

thank you so much for this post. I realize we don't know each other too well yet, but thank you for being honest and candid. i admire you.

Ashley said...

I love how open you are and I'm going to add your link to my blog now so I can check it more often. You always crack me up.