Who Am I?
I have spent over a decade trying to answer this question. I like to think that at one point in my life I knew without a doubt who I was. I held a child-like unawareness of myself. The kind that leads us all to believe that you are no other than who you’ve always been and for whatever reason, in that moment, in those blissful years of childhood, that was enough for me.
And then one day, without warning, a quiet alarm triggers in your thoughts and suddenly nothing is as it seems; and you are no longer the same person you thought you were. This was my experience. It was like one day I was a typical teenager with friends and a social life. I was boy crazy, of course. And my only form of “rebellion” was wearing shirts that were too low cut for the church’s liking. I was adventurous and daring. I was funny and outgoing. Heck, I got the “Most Joyful Spirit” award in 8th grade. I KNEW who I was. I really liked who I was. Then one day, on a high school camping trip, I collapsed to the ground trembling and hyperventilating after a tidal wave of anxiety hit me. This was the first of several panic attacks, later to be diagnosed as a panic disorder. It’s safe to say, I knew nothing about who I thought I was. And the panic attacks continue for the next two years.
Finally, I was on the brink of adulthood. Weeks away from turning 18, I knew this was not how I wanted to enter a new era. But I didn’t know how to heal this thing; this darkness, this shame, this guilt; this constant anxiety was controlling my life. So, I embarked on a journey of discovering who I truly am; in more ways, I am creating who I am, who I imagine my truest, highest self to be.
Now I’m here. 14 years later, trying to find the right words that define my life experience thus far.
When Charity (my sister-in-law) explained the concept of Conquering Momma, I didn’t believe I had a place here, on the forefront of this community. I had dreamt of being a mother since I was a little girl. But after ten years of infertility, it just didn’t seem to be in the cards for me. Of course, I was devasted. I spent the better part of 2019 stuck in a depressive loop over the fact that here I was on the brink of 30, married to my guy for almost a decade, never using any form of contraceptives, and still, no pregnancies. What was wrong with me? I had failed my husband. My body had failed me. To pull myself out of this muddy mess of thoughts, I had to learn to be okay with the life I was living right then. It was okay if I wasn’t a mother. Breathe in. I was okay. Breathe out.
At the beginning of 2020 I made a resolution, a promise to myself, that if I couldn’t be a mother to my own child, I would love every person in my life as a mother, no matter what. This really began to change the energy within me. I truly loved every person that came into my life, young and old, with the same motherly love that I knew I possessed. I surrendered every dark and heavy thought that kept cycling through with love and peace for myself. It was the practice of positivity and willpower that drove my success in this. By the end of that year, it really was okay that I wasn’t a mother.
In January of 2021, on my 31st birthday in fact, I took a pregnancy test on a whim. I just had a feeling I couldn’t shake. I didn’t want to get my hopes up and I feared the results would set me back to that depressive state but it felt different this time. When the test read positive, I was in disbelief. When the second and third test came back positive, my husband and I were in blissful shock! We did it! My body finally did it! And as the say the rest is history, or at least a blog for another time.
This will always be the beginning of my Conquering Momma journey. It started out rocky and full of self-doubt and endless cycles of depression. But I always had support. Even when it seemed lonely and unbearable, I always had my tribe standing beside me. For me, Conquering Momma is all about not having to face these trials alone and having the courage to ask for help. It can feel so isolating and so heavy when you're left alone with your depressive thoughts; when that anxiety speaks louder than your peace. But we are not alone. You are not alone. And if you haven’t found your tribe yet, we’ll be here for you, supporting you, cheering you one, giving you a safe place to land when the world knocks you on your ass.
And with that, I leave you with this quote,
“Alone, we can do so little; together, we can do so much.” – Helen Keller
Until next time…