How I managed my mental health as a Mom

by | Mar 20, 2024

In January 2021 I had the biggest mental health crisis of my life.

I would like to share with you something deeply personal:

Chris, Remy, and I were at the lake house, and we were trying to work remote and manage our jobs and toddler at the same time.

Work was becoming more stressful, not because of my clients, but because I’ve been growing it at an exponential rate and it was hard to keep up.

Chris and I were both in the beginning phases of new versions of our careers. And at the same time, Remy became more and more demanding of our attention (just as any toddler does-by no fault of her own).

We didn’t know what to do.

We spent our days ping-ponging her back and forth between meetings he had to attend and meetings I had to attend. It was starting to get to me.

Her loud shrieks (also totally normal) would send my stress response through the roof, almost instantly. As would being suddenly interrupted, or hearing the dogs bark too much, or a simple mess-up in the kitchen.

I was not like my normal self.

To cope, I would stand in my kitchen and just eat. I’d unwrap chocolate after chocolate after chocolate and I was very conscious of what I was doing, but it was not satisfying or relaxing me at all.

I spent much of my down time curled up in a ball on the couch zoning out of reality, until I had to muster what very little energy I had left to make sure my clients were not affected by what was going on with me (in fact, they are learning this for the first time as well).

I cried, a lot.

I felt like a complete failure.

I spent a decade up on my high horse preaching that exercise is medicine, that you can manage your stress and emotions by adding movement and eating healthy and going to bed and drinking water, and here I was brought to my knees at the simplest upset.

Truth is- having a baby changed my hormones and responses to stress in a way I never expected. And after a year of dealing with Covid, the election, and learning something new about being a mom every single day, I didn’t know what the hell was happening to my brain.

But there was a turning point, and I feel like the stars aligned in a way that was meant to be.

Chris got a new job at a startup called Brightside. 

Brightside helps people with anxiety and depression by combining virtual therapy with something I never expected to need myself: psychiatric medication.

And despite everything I had once believed about the evils of drug therapy, I finally understood what it felt like to feel like something was broken in me, on a chemical level.

So I started treating my symptoms with zoloft, then eventually wellbutrin. I’m still on them now.

I wasn’t in a mental state to open up about this while I was working through things, but now I feel is the best time as any. So, I want to share with as many people who are listening a very important message:

There is nothing wrong, embarrassing, shameful, or defeating about seeking help for your mental health.

And my wish is that we can start to have more conversations about investing in mental health…whether it’s with exercise, or meditation, or medication.