Hey there Really Real Housewives! I’m excited to be with you today, and I hope I can provide information and entertainment while also being witty and real. That’s the hope, right?
Let me start by telling you a story. Early on in my marriage, my husband once asked me why I looked so cloudy. I didn’t understand, but he explained that my eyes, the energy around me, just felt less-light than it usually did. It was after a few times of this happening that we started to realize I was dealing with small bouts of depression. Sometimes he can see it coming on before I can, and he’s able to step in and help relieve some of the stress forming in my life.
Here’s the thing: all of us have stuff we love, and we tend—hopefully—to let go of the stuff we don’t love. But sometimes, without us even realizing it, those things we love can start to weigh heavily on our lives. Family, friends, even our favorite hobbies, can hang like a cloud over us, making everything else seem darker that it should.
Lately, I learned a trick that I’d like to share with you. When I’m feeling cloudy in any way—be it afraid, or angry, or depressed—I have a thing I do. This exercise helps me to really feel those fears and emotions, let them run their course, and then let them go.
I keep a little black book in my room. Sort of a journal. It’s not kept in any special place, but it stays around. It has a rope on it that I use to tie it shut. When I’m feeling cloudy—especially when my husband isn’t around to talk to—I take this black book and I start writing in it. I write down every negative or fearful thought I have. I keep writing until I can’t think of any more thoughts, and then I tie that book up as tightly as I can, and I put it away. (I know some people who do this will tear the pages out and either rip or cut them up or throw them in a fireplace. Just some other options so you can find what works for you.)
It’s a terrifying thing to put those thoughts into words, because I know that if anyone else ever read it they would wonder how I could think those things about myself. I know if I ever found out one of my friends thought these things I would want to hug her and bring her brownies and build her a blanket fort. These are the negative thoughts that no one should ever have to have bouncing through their mind.
But it’s something we all do, isn’t it? We are our harshest critics, especially as wives and mothers. We feel this weird obligation to be perfect even when the people around us are completely understanding of the fact that we’re not. This is just one method I’ve found that works for me, but there are so many ways we can fight the urge to run ourselves ragged. Forcing ourselves to take a break, making a list and focusing on one thing at a time, really cherishing the small moments of peace and love that come to us.
It’s difficult, being a wife and/or mother. Life is crazy and fun and stressful and rarely easy. But the good news is that we’re not alone. So many of us go through this, and we can rely on each other for help. Life is hard, but you can do it, and you’ll be fantastic.