A Mom Living With Anxiety

Woman-with-Anxiety

Motherhood is long and enduring. Not for the faint of heart you could say, it takes a strong woman to be a mom. We’re all human, and some days are just bad.

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Today I’d like to share my story, my name’s Gabrielle. I’m the mother of a beautiful 2 year old little girl and I live with an anxiety disorder. I don’t think many people understand this and often times it’s written off as being “moody.” Some teenagers claim they have anxiety but haven’t seen a doctor to actually diagnose it. Most of the time when a teenager feels symptoms of anxiety it’s normal, this is called “teen angst.”

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I’m 23 years old and my symptoms started getting worse about a year ago. I’ve been diagnosed with anxiety disorder, and I try to take it day by day. As for treatment, I have medication for outbursts that cannot be soothed by my significant other. I don’t like using medication unless I have to though. At this point you might be confused asking “so what, you are sad all the time?” No. It’s nothing like that.

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I am not depressed all day, every day. My life is actually filled with wonderful days. I notice keeping busy helps prevent attacks. I could be having a fantastic day though, everything is going great and all it takes is one thing to make my mind race or worry. It’s like an ignition switch, and I go from there. A lot of the time I start off relatively calm, but then lose control quickly. Commonly this happens when I am confronted, or if I’m in an argument.

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It’s like tunnel vision, and I can’t concentrate on anything else. I will say mean things without comprehending they hurt people and lose all composure completely. The worse part is; my brain is telling me to stop and it’s hurtful but I can’t because of the overwhelming emotions I am feeling. The best way to describe it is you lose all control. Like you know when you can smile and say you’re okay when you aren’t? That’s totally impossible, in fact anything that comes to my mind I have to say it.

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While all this is happening I am crying uncontrollably too. The slightest thing like my boyfriend walking away to get some space makes it worse. When the attack’s at it’s peak my chest tightens up, I feel like every breath is a battle. It basically feels like trying to breathe with an elephant standing on your chest. My significant other knows it’s best to just hold me, which is really difficult when the attack is brought on by an argument. He is still angry but knows I need help or it wont stop.

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I get hot, sweat, and shake. I scream too when the attack is really bad… literally I feel like a baby again. It’s debilitating, embarrassing and I could only imagine how hard it is for my boyfriend. We have been together for 7 years now. In the beginning it was very hard for him, it wasn’t this bad either though. He’s a really great and understanding guy, he balances me out and knows how I work. I don’t think I could get through this without him.

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When the dust has settled and my panic attack stops, I’m drained! These attacks take a lot out of me. My eyes sting and poof out for the rest of the day. My muscles are sore for at least 24 hours afterward, and emotionally I am still tired. It actually takes a while depending on what started the attack, to actually expel the sadness from my mind. You know that extreme overwhelming feeling of “I must cry” when something really traumatic happens? Well that’s what I feel when I have a panic attack. Uncontrollable, mind numbing, sorrow.

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Anxiety disorder is terrifying, and ugly. I know it’s hard to handle, and I definitely know it effects my child. She see’s her mommy so sad and doesn’t understand, especially when it’s over say… a spilled jug of juice. It breaks my heart, I know I need to work on this and hopefully one day say goodbye to it completely. My daughter deserves the best, most level headed, and cheery mommy possible. One day I WILL be exactly that, I am bigger than my disorder and it won’t control my life.

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No mother is perfect. Be kind, have courage.

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