“Are we blended in their features like the slight vagueness that complicates the looks of pregnant women? Unnoticed by them in their whirling back into themselves? (How could they notice?)”
- Reiner Maria Rilke
There is a deep, contemplative side to pregnancy that slips the eye of the public. There are tons of articles going on and on about this magical experience filled with great joy and happiness. But they fail to recognize that this abundance is unsayable and unshareable. Women who have deeply felt this know how strangely isolating this feeling can be.
It is a turning point for all those engaged in the baby’s life, but only mother knows what it means to turn your world around and go through a complete and profound change. And this is when she is left as vulnerable as one gets. If the surrounding is not nurturing and caring enough, it becomes so easy to withdraw and enter dark ruminations and worry.
Pay Attention to Your Emotions
The pain that you don’t want to accept you are doomed to experience over and over again. This soon becomes a pattern of avoidance that either results in an unhealthy coping mechanism or anxiety and depression.
Avoidant behavior is a sure cause of anxiety and finally, depression. This happens as one feels powerless to change a situation and wishes to avoid painful emotions such as shame, guilt, worthlessness, or fear of rejection.
Anxiety is constant worrying and ruminating and stress, caused by the lack of affirmative action. Anxiety is a byproduct of passivity, as part of the brain that is in charge of task completion is also responsible for anxiety. And the reason behind not taking action is the already mentioned feeling of powerlessness in a painful situation.
Depression comes with the same feeling patterns as avoidant behavior – helplessness, worthlessness, isolation, sadness, guilt, and so on. It can be triggered by some of the past or present painful events, such as relationship troubles, abuse or trauma, or previous pregnancy loss. You should look out for these signs but know that clinical depression can be caused by hormonal changes that affect the chemicals in your brain, so don’t judge yourself too hard.
Addiction also always start with an emotionally challenging event where we feel powerless and helpless to change it, so we avoid the pain by substituting direct addressing with that which makes us feel more in control. The need for acceptance and connection and the fear of being rejected make us repeat these cycles.
Judgment, constant criticizing, and forced advice will not help, as they only deepen the feeling of abandonment. Don’t be afraid to reach out to rehab for pregnant women, as it can be a great source of support and understanding.
Other unhealthy coping mechanisms and mental health issues may occur as well, such as:
- bipolar disorder
- post-traumatic stress disorder
- panic attacks
- obsessive-compulsive disorder
- eating disorders
Strength in Support
Your feelings are, to say the least, natural. There is nothing shameful that does not require understanding. You need to surround yourself with people who show understanding as that will help you with the greatest task – finding understanding for yourself.
You need to address your feelings and not look away, as when you leave them unnoticed and ignored, they develop into larger problems that further deteriorate and isolate you. So find someone who you can trust to say everything that’s on your mind, without having to fear rejection. Fear doesn’t last forever, people who have understanding will make you stronger and more resilient.
Remember that even if you don’t see the way out of your situation, even though you might be “whirling back into yourself with a slight vagueness that complicates your look,” you are not alone.