Mental Health In Single Motherhood & How You Can Overcome

Mental Health, your mental health is important.

When I first became a single mom all I wanted to do was figure out a way to take care of my daughter without help from the system or anybody was going to throw that help back in my face. I wanted to do it on my own because I was head strong that way. There was a moment, at the age of 23 where I lost my job, my income, my confidence, my friends and I felt my value deplete. All of these things had left me and it all began to take a toll on my mentally. Mentally I was breaking.

In the Summer of 2007 I was dealing with my own depression and suicidal thoughts. I was again pregnant for the second time with no job, no savings, living on the system, no help from fathers and no friend in sight. It eventually got to the point where feeling that way was comfortable. It was what made sense. I knew then, even going through those moments, that something was not right. I felt like everything was happening to me and I had no fight left. All I had was tears and I cried the last one in September of 2007.

I woke up one day realizing that I was sacrificing my daughter’s breakfast and lunch and playtime and childhood because I no longer had these ‘things’. And I literally said to myself, “let me try something different”. When Saturday came, I took my daughter to a park away from our home environment. I took her to one where kids were playing freely, with their parents. I took her to lunch afterwards to CiCi’s Pizza. Just doing something different allowed me to breath and think differently.

Steps To heal

When we’re talking about our mental health and how to overcome it we have to first understand what’s going on. As uncomfortable as it may be, we have to dig down to the pit of what caused or is causing our unhappiness and pain. Is it a reason or a person or a thing. Then we have to dig deeper to understand why it’s causing this unhappiness and or pain. Then we have to try different ways to rise from that unhappiness and or pain; talking to someone, seeking therapy, change in job or career, change in our living situation, going for a walk, sitting in nature. Another way to rise is to stop thinking we have to be strong all the time. We don’t have to be and we have a right not to be. We are allowed to be vulnerable and cry without feeling guilty for it.

Mentally, I’ve been able to compartmentalize life altering traumas such as rape, sudden death of my father, getting fired from my job with 2 kids to feed, going broke and still trying to build 3 businesses. On of the questions I often get is, “how do you balance single motherhood, money, my businesses, my mama and make personal time a priority?” and my response is always I designate a time, mentally and physically, where I deal with each thing separate and apart. Trying to deal with it all weighs on our mental health and we begin to feel depleted, beaten and overwhelmed. Those feelings lead to us not getting anything done. It’s okay to feel, but we can’t stay there.

Take aways:

Prioritizing our mental health has to be about us. It can not be to please others or make others feel comfortable. We have to be okay with talking about it, the problems we face in it and work to find solutions to dissolve it, not just to cope. At the end after you’ve accessed your problems, the cause we then have to commit to doing the work to make sure we aren’t back to step 1 again.