Have Your Feelings; Don’t Let Them Have You

By: Luscious Mother

- Publish On: March 3, 2021

Hello, Luscious. Anna here.

In the middle of last month, I took a week off. Like really really took a whole week where I silenced my work text threads, didn’t check that Luscious inbox, closed my laptop and put down my phone. I expected the time to be restful, therapeutic, and sourcing.

But instead, in taking this time away from the work I’ve immersed myself in since launching our business almost a year ago, what I discovered was a well of feelings and grief and longing that had been hiding beneath the layers of texts, tasks, and to-dos. Exhaustion from the endless unknown. And from this came a loneliness for people, places and things. God, I miss talking to strangers. In person. Feeling their energy. Seeing the lower ⅔ of their face. Seeing smiles IRL.

And by the end of my week of “respite,” what I was feeling most wasn’t reinvigoration, but the eerily familiar tendrils of depression. I have a bit of a history with depression. We became periodic dance partners back when I was in college, and while I haven’t spun and dipped with depression in about 6 years, the steps are second nature, I fall in line quickly.

In the past, when I have felt this looming presence over my shoulder it brought fear and a panicked spin-cycle of questions:

Where did this come from?
Why do I feel this way?
Am I the only one who feels like this?
What is wrong with me?
When will it end?

But this time, I was able to take a step back and look around. To reconnect to the knowledge that we are living in a period of prolonged and ambiguous loss. Our nervous systems have been electric with the unknown for almost 12 full months. I know exactly why I feel like this, and I am certain I’m not the only one feeling this way. But this time, after years of work, training, coaching, and therapy, instead leaning into my dark dance partner and allowing depression to whisper nasty nothings of “what my feelings mean about me” in my ear, I have been able to step back and say:

No thanks. Not today. And not tomorrow.

There is nothing wrong with me.

What I’m feeling is just weather. Some nasty, nasty weather. And I know I can hold my center through even the most vicious of emotional storms. I can ride this rogue wave without having it consume me. I know that, as I have heard said, I have survived 100% of my bad days. That is reliable data. This year has been one of unprecedented growth (in more ways than one, just ask my pants), and I have never been prouder of myself for my resilience and acceptance.

The waypoints and weather patterns of depression are different for everyone, but when the sinister fog rolls in, the first and most important step anyone can take is outreach. Even if it’s the last thing you want to do. Which it often is. (And, honestly, that’s a key depressive marker; social withdrawal.)

Over the years I have devised a protocol, assembled a toolbox, and built a team. I get supported, stat! I tell my husband what’s up, I tell my Luscious sisters what’s up, I connect with my therapist, I come up with a self-care plan with my coach. I get out in nature. I listen to music. I wear soft clothes. I read books and watch shows that have NOTHING to do with my own life and have HAPPY ENDINGS. Sometimes I cry so loud and so long that it feels like emotional labor, and I have emptied the entire contents of my soul. I am very, very, very nice to myself. I do NOT let shame take up residence here, though that B tries! And these things, while not easy to do, must be done for me to stay at the surface and keep the sun on my face.

And here’s something else I do (and it’s going to sound scary): I communicate with my son about how I’m feeling—in a way that can he developmentally hold it—because I never want him to think what’s going on with me means something about how I feel about him. I never want him to question his personal barometer when he senses a disturbance in the atmosphere, and I refuse to deny his emotional intelligence by telling him I am “fine,” when he can damn well tell I’m not. I want him to be aware of his own feelings and weather patterns; to know that they will shift and blow through. That, though the winds blow fiercely, we are safe. He particularly enjoys the analogy that feelings are like farts: very real and very potent, but they pass.

Here’s the gift in what is now about to turn into one full calendar year of pandemic chaos: I have become so damn comfortable with being uncomfortable. At letting myself have my feelings without them having me. While feeling depressed again after so many years could so easily be framed as a loss, I see it as a huge win because I am able to be with it—to be in it—without the darkness enveloping and taking me.

I often tell my husband that I will never shut up about my feelings. I will never shut up about the dense fog of depression or the tense high-altitude oxygen deprivation of anxiety. As Fiona Apple announces in what has become my new anthem, “kick me under the table all you want; I won’t shut up!” And I damn well won’t until talking about mental health is as common as it is to talk about the actual weather.

To all you mamas out there who have been riding this extreme, extended weather pattern, I want you to know that while you are most certainly IN the weather, you ARE NOT the weather. You have been innovative, resilient, strong, brave, and fierce in your protection of family; ironclad in your will to hold the center in the eye of this storm. And I wonder if, in the process of battening down the hatches, have you locked your feelings inside? Are you overlooking your unmet needs, your unaddressed feelings?

Please, check in with yourselves. Get a clear barometer reading. Check in with your unmet needs. Get supported. And if you find that you have moved beyond a “bad day” or a “bad week,” reach out for professional help. Now. Don’t wait. I’ve included some resources at the end of this note, or you can reach out to me any time.

Remember: you are NEVER alone.

I see you. I love you. I am in awe of you. And you can rely on me to never ever shut up about this until every GD one of us feels Luscious at least 97.2% of the time. And, yes, you can be Luscious AND depressed at the same time. That’s where I am phoning you from now.

The Lusciousness in me reflects the Lusciousness in you, my sisters.



While coaching such as that provided by Luscious Mother is a valuable tool, it is not equivalent to or a substitute for medical counseling or therapy. If you are concerned that you or someone you know may be experiencing symptoms of depression, here are some places to start seeking additional information and assistance.

The American Counseling Association

The National Institute of Mental Health

The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline – (800) 273-8255 or text HELLO to 741741.

Luscious Mother

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