I’m alive!!! So I went in for my postpartum appointment ready to get my birth control cause this girl can’t do this again anytime soon. I couldn’t decide between the IUD or the Implant, heard some bad shit about the IUD, then someone close to me got it and said she was fine with it. Ultimately I went with the IUD (Mirena to be exact), my OBGYN really recommended it. She said I was a bit open since I just pushed out a being it wouldn’t be as uncomfortable to get. I didn’t read on how the procedure went for other women since my doctor made it sound like it wouldn’t hurt. So I recorded how my first week went, here it goes:
MONDAY (Day of IUD insert): Thinking to myself, way to start a Monday. As I’m leaving to my appointment my mom says ‘make sure they put cement up there! (In Spanish of course), Thanks mom. My OBGYN was right it didn’t hurt in my case, the only thing that was uncomfortable was the spreader thing that kept my vagina open for the procedure. Came home later and used the restroom after a full bladder and something felt funny and hurt a little, felt like I could feel the IUD. I started to worry so of course I go to the one source I truly trust… Google. Read how this tends to happen if you had a full bladder and many suggested to feel the string to see if it was in place, I said I ain’t ready for that, if the pain gets bad I’ll just go to the doctors. The bleeding wasn’t bad… the first day.
TUESDAY: I really need to pee more often, waiting until my bladder is super full isn’t helping. Still bleeding a bit.
WEDNESDAY: Had the biggest discomfort today, maybe it had to do with carrying my 18 months old most of the day. Bleeding is still happening.
THURSDAY: Wait am I still suppose to be bleeding…
FRIDAY: Looks like I’m going to need more pads.
SATURDAY: How am I suppose to have sex if I’m still bleeding!
SUNDAY: Yup this must be my period,… it’s back:(
MONDAY: Don’t like that it’s Monday and I’m bleeding but I haven’t felt a thing of discomfort from my IUD. This thing better work!
Purely anecdotal but I do not know a lot of latinas who make their own personal happiness a priority, including myself. I got to thinking about this while listening to a podcast called Over It and On With It where life coach, Christine Hassler asked a listener whether she thinks she deserves to be happy. The listener responded with a flood of personal beliefs about happiness which including that being happy means being careless and irresponsible and selfish. When she spoke those words, I was like, “Yes, those are my beliefs too.” It clicked for me. I wish it hadn’t and I wish this is not what I believed. I know this not right or healthy but I totally identified with that listener. This does not make being happy an easy process. I resist it. I come from two immigrant parents who worked really hard for a long time. They valued hard work. I remember my mom always saying we should marry a hard worker. She didn’t say anything about a nice guy or someone who will treat us right or be faithful, it was simply, find a hard worker. And always BE a hard worker. And take care of your family and don’t you dare be selfish and you have to do what’s best for the family and not just for you. Don’t be selfish. My mom’s words have changed a lot and now she just wants us to be happy but undoing all that programming is not easy and takes time.
I read about happiness, relationships, personal development. I listen to podcasts along the same genre. I also write affirmations, exercise, do yoga, try to sleep 8 hours a night. It is working but I still have a hard time putting myself first. I have a hard time doing what is best for me and investing in myself. I now try to surround myself with people who make me happy. I make it convenient so I see these people often and keep in contact with them. But those stupid beliefs still get to me. I’ll have an amazing day spending it with people who I love, full of laughter and games and great food. But toward the end of the day, I start feeling scared and nervous like something bad is going to happen. Like this is too good to be true. I still get scared. I want to allow myself to be happy. I want to take it all in and not worry about the bad, just because things are so good.
I deserve to be happy. And I will do the things I need to do to be happy. And I will experiment and I will get things wrong and I will try again and then try something different. But remember, you deserve to be happy no matter what people told you growing up or no matter what you saw growing up. YOU deserve to be happy. Do one thing today for yourself that will make you happy. And then keep doing it. And then a month from, do a new thing that will make you happy. And then keep doing it. Fill your life with all these things/people/actions/job that make you happy and then there won’t be room for any of that negativity.
I read the Happiness Project and couldn’t help but love the organization of Gretchen Rubin’s plan to make yourself happier. Not all people are going to love such a systematic approach to happiness but it appealed to me and my personality. After establishing your personal commandments for the year, you establish the 12 areas of your life you would like to see an increase in happiness. Each area will be a focus for each month of the year.
I read the Happiness Project by Gretchen Rubin and I’ve decided to create my own Happiness Project this year just to give me a constant nudge to think about what makes me happy and a reminder to keep doing those things.
Project begins by identifying personal commandments that you use or want to adopt for your life that encourage your own kind of happiness. Here are mine:
Be the kind of woman I want my daughters to be
Forget the Past
Let go, Let God
Stay In Touch
I am always more than enough
Be silly, be playful
First, mother yourself
Be a haven, a sanctuary
Be a treasure house of good memories
Smile to yourself
What other people think of me is none of my business
There are no wrong choices
All the heavy things, just let them go
I am not a victim, I am a Creator of my beautiful life.
I like to look at these commandments at the beginning of the day or when I am feeling sad or stressed out.
Next step: Identify 12 areas from your life where you want to be more happy and fulfilled.
During the summer of 2015 I began to feel a little off. I couldn’t tell what is was right away, there were just little signs here and there. The fatigue came first, soon after I had difficulty concentrating, remembering details and the insomnia crept in. I began to retrieve from activities I enjoyed. I think deep down I knew what it was right away, I just kept hoping it would all pass. It didn’t and I really should not have been so naïve. I had stopped taking care of myself. I was barely doing yoga, meditating, cooking well for myself and taking on too much work. I was pulling myself apart and because of that I began to crack, horribly. I could no longer read, I had no energy and the feelings of hopelessness and helplessness kept me crying in bed. I could not escape this feeling that at the time I would describe as a dark hole. For the life of me, I could not describe it. And so before things got really bad, I decided to get help. It wasn’t enough to just try to get back on my routine. I contacted my health insurance provider and set an appointment with mental health department.
Let me tell you, the psychologist that did my intake was fucken horrible. I almost did not continue the process because of that individual. The way he made me feel and the phrases and words he used made me feel even more ridiculous then I already did. But, I wanted to feel better, I needed help so I continued with the process. Luckily, the therapist I was assigned to was not a judgmental asshole and I began psychotherapy once a week for a couple of months.
The first time I tried therapy it was far more cognitive behavioral therapy, really developing coping skills. This time around we focused more on psychoanalytic and humanistic approaches to try to discover the root causes of my depression/anxiety. Though it was far less enjoyable than my past therapy I learned so much more about myself. It was grueling and there was hard work that really had to be put in outside of the sessions. I had to have some really emotionally intense conversations with family and friends, but I could say it was all for the better. Of course, I was not “cured” overnight and my depression did not miraculously disappear but I am doing much better, most days. Most importantly I had to come to terms with a couple of things I am sure I was unconsciously avoiding or not willing to admit to myself that I am still struggling with today. -Bella