13 July 2020

Self-Care : The key to overcoming depression and other problems in life PART 3

Self-care is a priority regardless and when underestimated, it can lead to unnecessary suffering. Been there, done that! I learnt it hard way.

(More than my story,pls concentrate on the quotes by experts and imprint it in your heart and mind forever.)

After my marriage, leaving my mother and motherland, when I came to the US, my life became full of responsibilities. Being an old fashioned and old soul (by mentality especially), my husband and household chores became my priorities. I made sure that he was well-fed and taken care of. However, I neglected myself.


I used to skip meals, go to sleep again, ate this that and prepared for getting a job. We did go out, go for a vacation but still, since my work visa could expire soon, I was under huge pressure to get a job ASAP. It was not an easy ride. Then by God's grace, hubby's guidance got my first job in Microsoft but in a different state.

Now, I was under another pressure (by parents, inlaws, relatives, etc),to get pregnant ASAP. So, after a few months working in Microsoft, decided to move back to our state where my hubby was and find a job there. Fortunately got a job in his company in New York itself. Workwise everything was going awesome. However, healthwise, I started deteriorating.

Life became full of adjustments and compromises. I used to put rice in a microwave-safe "plastic" bowl and pop it into the microwave to cook so that by the time we were back from work,( it would be almost 8 pm) rice would be ready to eat .Next day, had to leave for work early. So, used to cook curries, etc for the entire week on weekends and store it in the fridge/freezer.

PIC CREDIT:Wisemovement.be
On weekends we would eat out once. It created havoc on my health. I had some hormonal issues already and it messed up my hormones tad more and one thing led to another in the medical check-up. And eventually had to quit my work as I was in and out of the hospital. It was then that I started researching and educating my self regarding my health issues and what could I possibly do to overcome it my way at least. It was a rollercoaster ride.

There were simple things that I never considered to be serious,  I learned, like the bad effects of cooking or storing food in plastic containers/ill-effects of BPA, if the milk, eggs, meats were not organic, had the potential to create hormonal issues, vegetables that were not organic had pesticide residues, the importance of losing weight, a positive approach, the simple lifestyle changes, etc.I started working on these seriously ...and they have become a part and parcel of mine and my family's life ...

I started my blog to document my recipes, my experiences, my story. However, I was not that consistent but I found solace in it. And I hope at least something in my blog, whether it's the recipes, the personal stories, the facts, etc that I share may inspire others in some way who knowingly or unknowingly stumble on my blog...

Long story short, after lots of health issues and infertility, we are finally blessed with a miracle baby. Something I was looking forward to all my life. Thought now life would be easy. But like they say, "It takes a village to raise a child ", I was actually on my own taking care of my baby all by myself, up until now (she is a 3-year toddler !)...

Had a caretaker who once in a while would stop by till my baby was 2 months old. Since my parents/in-laws' health was not in a good condition,I didn't want to disturb them and bring them to the USA. If their health deteriorated somehow, that would add extra burden on my hubby I thought.

I took inspiration from animals, they deliver mostly many babies and they take care of them by themselves, and humans are considered to be the most capable and intelligent beings. So, It should be/I'll be fine. Because of some personal problems, the caretaker couldn't continue and she was not that expert and couldn't get another one. So, I was all alone taking care of the tiny baby and full of doubts . I used to watch YouTube videos, read books, googled, asked people I knew and collected all pieces of information regarding how to take care of a newborn properly. I was all geared up, but nervous too.

And I am very proud of myself, I aced it like a champ by God's grace. Took care of my baby without any problems. I can't thank enough internet for all the guidance. By God's grace, my baby never fell ill. She was gaining weight and height properly. My only regret is that I couldn't produce enough milk to feed her, so had to rely on formula milk a lot. Initially, she had colic due to a particular formula brand but I immediately did my research and found a formula almost similar to breast milk and that worked like a charm. The lactation consultant/doc I consulted, reassured me that even she is a formula-fed baby and she turned out to be a doctor. She joked, however, "I am not a neurologist though  if that matters to you."

My baby was by God's grace happy and growing well. Once she could have solid food, she was quite cooperative. She ate everything I made for her. Lots of research went behind those recipes too. I used to follow the pediatrician's instructions to the tee and she used to give us printouts regarding what kind of foods, how much, and what all nutrients the baby is expected to eat. My recipes were strictly based on that.

I used to wait for her to sleep so that I can go to the bathroom and do all the chores. Somedays I used to skip meals too...My baby's face somehow gave me strength to continue...

I hear my cousins and friends complaining that their baby is not eating this that even though they have elders all around them to guide and help personally. By god's grace, I , all by myself, managed and my baby cooperated with me all the way through. I enjoyed it thoroughly yet it was not an easy journey too. Taking care of a newborn, my big baby/my hubby, and our new house we shifted to, started taking a toll on me gradually. At times, I felt overwhelmed and like too much on my plate.

My hubby's job is very demanding and he works round the clock. So, I don't like to overburden him from my side in any way. I used to wait for his working hours to end so that I can hand over the baby to him for a while at least for father baby bonding and I used to utilize that time to cook for the next day. When he was free, we used to go out. But still, it never made me feel refreshed.

When we finally came to India with the baby when she was six months old for her chorunnu/first solid food eating ceremony, I was so relieved to be home/Kerala, India. I took care of the baby still but at least didn't have to cook or help amma as we had a maid then. My mood improved drastically. I was so happy and peaceful. However, we always go back to the US quickly because of hubby's leave issues at work.

So, was back to square one, in the US. My baby was growing up all well.My baby girl got her first fever when she was 1 and 1 /2 years old.Till then no health issues by God's grace. Then she became 2..time flew...growing baby/toddler needs a special diet as well ..So, again I was back to the pavilion, taking care of everything all by myself ..And my little cute baby turned into a naughtiest, bratty yet sweety toddler. Phew!πŸ˜’πŸ˜€

I don't believe in nannies or daycare facilities. I was little possessive and hardly trusted my baby with anyone /strangers especially...

I remember praying to God for triplets in the past and I was angry with God for not fulfilling my wish. But now I understood why he didn't, this little girl is by herself equivalent to 10 .She herself is quite a handful! She is a ninja, who turns the entire house upside down without any prior clue. And I thought I was the beast .#YeTohMeriBhiMaaNahiParnaniNikli...πŸ‘ΏπŸ˜ŸπŸ˜†

Eventually, I got burnt out. I was physically and mentally exhausted and emotionally weak too...It was a timeout for me. And I knew it was high time. I deserve a break, a bigggg break. See, if you are empty, you can't pour out to others. That's the reason I am right now sitting at my home in Kerala and eating your brain/bheja fry with my blog.πŸ˜‰πŸ˜‹

I told my hubby and God that I want a long break FOR MYSELF to recover and replenish. Being in India makes me always very happy. Though my return ticket was already booked, it got canceled by the airline later. What no one understands, God knows, he is listening...I wonder if he is also reading my blog lol as before I left the US, I had a quote in my new year blog post, "Let the new adventure begin." and God is such a player! Maybe God was like "As you wish/You bet !" lol.

He gave me a looooong break indeed in the form of COVID lockdown ...I needed it so badly. So grateful to God! By almighty's grace, spend quality time with parents, made lots of memories and I feel much better now.

However, the lockdown seems to be never-ending. It's been long 7 months apart from my hubby, first time ever and we are dying to see him. We were waiting for this COVID to improve/vaccine to come out so that we can travel safely. But everything seems so unpredictable at present and in the future. Do not want to risk hubby's or the baby girl's health in any way to travel now. Wonder when we will meet finally! Well, I strongly believe, whatever happens, happens by God's will for a reason and he will make a way soon ...Just praying as always...

So, BOTTOM LINE is being a woman, being a nurturer is hardwired in us. And myself being old fashioned, my partner's needs, my kid's needs mainly matters to me than mine and it will always be like that nonetheless.HOWEVER, I lacked self-care which should go hand in hand too. I forget sometimes that I have to take care of myself too, and that is not being selfish, because that's how I will be able to take care of others properly and completely. I do regret being away from my man for long but I had no choice and did deserve this long holiday for everyone's well being. Though it's testing my patience now ...

This loong vacation away from my hubby is the only selfish thing that I ever demanded in my married life!  And I also don't regret anything that made me smile :) but #YaarBinaChainnKahaRe...

So, self-care is a must, a necessity, and a priority regardless. It's when we underrate self-care, we may have to confront much physical and mental distress like depression, etc. And sometimes it will be too late,beyond repair/recovery...So, do take time for yourself, YOU deserve it!

 And for me ,I am like
Mein cheez badi hu mast,mast πŸ˜ŽπŸ˜‰πŸ˜Š

Not done yet, SO, Stay tuned..


Till then and always,
God bless,
Take good care of yourself,

P.S. Hope these numbers work,got it from internet.If you or someone you know is actively considering suicide, please contact a suicide prevention hotline immediately.
Your privacy/confidentiality is a priority here.Most of their services are available 24/7. 

In India,AASRA,Mumbai-+91 98204 66726,PARIVARTHAN,Bangalore -+91 76766 02602,SNEHA FOUNDATION,Chennai - 044-24640050,
iCall-+91 22 2552111 and +91 91529 87821,Vandrevala Foundation-+91 730 459 9836, +91 730 459 9837, and 1860 2662 345   

In the U.S. contact the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255 

In Canada contact Crisis Services Canada at 1-833-456-4566 

In the UK contact Samaritans at 116 123

In Australia contact Lifeline at 13 11 14

Please call them if you are in emotional distress and need someone to talk to. 

Lotus blooms in swamps,stars shine in darkness ,likewise,YOU are precious.Pls don't give up on yourself.Life is a gift.
Every problem has a solution.Show it how STRONG you are !! You got this and you are enough !!

DISCLAIMER:This article/blog post is for informational purpose only and are not intended to offer any personal medical
advice.Please consult a medical professional for proper guidance and treatment. 
(Dear God,please make sure that this post reaches all especially the right people who needs it at right time and hope it will be helpful .(God is my promoter/marketer/publicist after all! πŸ˜πŸ˜‰πŸ˜Ž)