Have I always struggled with anxiety and depression?
Looking back as an adult now in my life and reflecting on being a kid… yes. I didn’t have the words for it then but yes. I have always run on a more anxious vibration than others. It was stomach aches at school, it was mini panic attacks at a restaurant begging my mom to take me home in elementary school.
I did not have the words for it until my mid-thirties. I’m here to tell you this is how my brain and body work. What is the difference now in my thirties? I can’t run from it anymore. I can’t hide it. I can’t eat it away through a bag of chips and dill dip. I can’t sleep it off or finish that third or fourth glass of wine on Wednesday to make it go away. Temporarily. Why? My kids.
Once I had my second child, emotions hit me. They knocked me down, backed up and drove over me for good measure. Call it the hormones, the shift, the lack of sleep, postpartum setting in. Call it hiding and running from my own body and brain for my whole life.
For my kids, I need to be present. I want to be present. I want to give them the words to work through things. For my husband who gives his all for our family. For my family who walks beside me and listens to my crying phone calls and rants. For myself. I want it for myself.
This life is a blessing. This family is a blessing. This time is short here on earth.
What have I done to work on surviving with anxiety and depression? I keep moving. I push forward toward my goals. Whether my brain is with me or no, I know my heart has good things for me to achieve.
I reached out to my OBGYN. I told my truth.
I sought out a counselor. I have been honest with close family and friends for support. I have asked for help. I am trying to find new ways of coping and getting out anxious energy.
I have added in activities for “self-care” and created spaces that make me feel calm, happy and refilled. So when I come back from some downtime, I am a happier calmer momma.
I have offered to share my stories with other mommas who are starting to feel the same way. I want them to know they are NOT alone and do NOT have to live in mental pain and sadness. I have said my truth at the expense of embarrassment. I write this through shaking hands knowing maybe you are judging my every word.
Depression and anxiety do not care and do not discriminate. You can be affected whether you are male, female, young, in the prime of your life, rich, poor, famous or a momma just scraping by. You can just have been blessed with a beautiful baby.
If you are struggling or feel you just can’t shake the sad thoughts. Reach out, ask for help and strive to survive and thrive in this beautiful world. The anxiety and depression will lie to you and tell you that you are not worth it. But YOU ARE WORTH IT!
If you are not currently struggling give some extra grace to those around you and be willing to listen and support before you assume and judge.