putting ‘obsession’ in postpartum ocd.

 

well, i am down to using only instagram as my social media outlet.  but there doesn’t mean there isn’t struggle involved with maintaining myself. 

it’s been a month since i broke up with facebook. i quit it. pressed that ‘deactivation’ button (but still haven’t had the strength to ‘delete’ ten years of data) and tried to not think about everything that i left behind. 

it was suggested by my therapist. my wife might have hinted at it. my children were suffering from it. it was finally time – my heart knew this. 

postpartum ocd presents itself in many different forms. in the beginning, it was the form of breastmilk. i had an app that kept track of my every two hour pumping schedule and the amount of ounces that i had created. if i didn’t meet my 12-16 oz per pump session or 80 oz a day, i would be completely beside myself. i didn’t sleep. i produced milk. i convinced myself that was the absolute only thing that i could do with my hospitalized babies. 

obsession and control were what presented in my postpartum ocd. 

because i had no control over my fertility. 

i had no control over my pregnancy. 

i had no control over my birth. 

and i certainly had no control when my babies were ripped out of me and put into tiny little isolated beds away from each  other. 

so, my brain found new ways to control. to obsess. and to dive into. 

being neurodivergent (aspergers) only made the situation even more extreme. 

so, when i noticed the unhealthy obsession over creating milk. i fixed it. i deleted the app that counted my ounces. i stopped counting in my head. and the nicu already had two full freezers of my milk, so i just filled bags and donated them. 

my obsessions changed, though. 

and sometimes it was hard to notice it. 

and the current one was facebook – mainly groups. 

i was on there for hours. hours and hours a day. i was obsessing over products, mom’s groups, insiders groups, and every single social interaction.  i compared my family with other families. i became jealous over people’s pregnancies and births. my social awareness became less and less as my interactions grew and grew. 

it was unhealthy. 

my relationships outside facebook suffered as i threw myself into facebook groups. i curated a community for myself without realizing that i was doing it in such an unhealthy way.  i danced with the devil and ignored the fire. 

“what if you took a break?” my therapist asked and my heart immediately jumped. I remember grinding my teeth and she continued, “okay, what if you took break for one day? just one day? and reevaluate activating again tomorrow?”

and that’s how it started.

one day.

one day turned to two.

two turned into a week – followed by deleting the messenger app.

and here I am.

no urges. no obsessions.

and, instead, i found parts of myself again. i found my hobbies. i started teaching myself new skills (photo editing, painting, crocheting, sewing). i became a listener again. i became a storyteller again. i began to focus on my family. i became more aware of my habits, my thoughts, and found ways to reign it in. 

there are certainly days that are harder. my anxiety is there. it rises and rises, but i am able to work through it better. be more present with it. be more patient. be a better parent. 

its been a month since i let facebook go. i miss it. i miss communities and people. but i am happier. i am healthier. and i am most certainly stronger. 

i document my family on instgram. take time to challenge myself to create content and stories in the photos that i take, edit, and the posts i present. i find new outlets for my obsessions. challenge myself to in ways to make my home better, brighter, and take time to observe my children. i try to dive into my montessori routes and curate materials/works to meet their needs instead of spend hours in a facebook group obsessing over the newest drama. 

i’m finding joy in learning new hobbies and being present with my children. 

moments when i have intrusive thoughts or obsessions – i feel like i can work through them instead of feed it. 

no more dancing with my demons. 

now, im just being. 

 

 

 

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