One of my most popular posts on Moments in Mommyland was one titled, ‘It Does Not Define Me.’ It was essentially a post about the anxiety I’ve been dealing with for years.
The fact that it became one of my most read and shared articles told me that it’s a much more common issue than I once thought it was. Especially with Mothers! A lot of Moms are dealing with anxiety!
I’m still dealing with it. It’s still a struggle for me. I have good days and months and I have bad days and weeks. Usually these ups and downs can be nailed down to something specific, such as tragic world news or a lack of sleep.
I’m currently going through a bit of a rough patch and I know it’s due to lack of sleep. Ella has been ill since we returned from Disneyland and with that has come many sleepless nights for me.
Today I thought I’d share a bit about what anxiety looks like and feels like for me. I do this to both educate those who do not understand and to help others who do realize it’s normal. If I can help one person accept that fact that it’s okay to admit to having anxiety, I’ll consider this a positive.
My anxiety looks like the jitters. It feels like I’ve been overly caffeinated and need to do something. The thing is, I don’t know what that something is. I want to run a 100 meter sprint or scrub a counter really hard. My mind is firing a million miles a minute and I struggle to settle down. I feel on edge.
My anxiety looks like I’m socially shutting down. As someone who is generally very chatty, I think this is a giveaway. I don’t want to come off short tempered, so I simply don’t talk. I internalize everything and do a lot of thinking.
My anxiety takes away my appetite. I won’t eat much, but at the same time I crave all the things I love. Chocolate, salt & vinegar chips, candy… I believe I want these things because I enjoy them. It’s my brains way of trying to compensate and make me feel happier.
My anxiety feels like an emotional overload. I’ll feel tears sting the back of my eyes but they can’t seem to break the surface. They’re just sitting there. Sometimes a sad movie or kind comment will trigger them, but other times they’ll stay on the inside.
Wondering how I get past these rough patches?
Usually the best thing for me is to get a good nights sleep. Looking forward to an exciting event, like a holiday or family vacation, is a definite distraction. Nights out with a loved one or a break from my responsibilities always helps. Writing, like I’m doing now, is great therapy. Prayer is huge. And yes, medication is sometimes necessary!
It often goes away as fast as it comes on. My anxiety is not something that I’ll grow out of. It’s likely an issue I’ll deal with my entire life and have to learn to manage.
I have my good days and my bad days. But as I said before, anxiety not define me. It may be part of my life, but it is not who I am.