Those who have been following me for some time know about some of the struggles I face, one of those struggles being anxiety. This hasn’t always been something that I would share with others. Heck, in the past, prior to two years ago, I wouldn’t have categorized myself as having anxiety. Before I share my story, I want you all to know that if you struggle with anxiety or mental health issues, you are not alone. I have started to speak about this issue a lot since creating Fiercely Fearless. This is just the beginning of my story. I will continue to share more with you all.
Two years ago, I had a breakdown. I knew that something was wrong. At that point in my life, my daughter had just turned one. My husband and I like to trade off with who handles bath & bed time, and that night, it was my turn to put Anna to bed. That particular night was tough, and I can remember it like it was yesterday. She was very fussy and would not go to sleep for me. I kept trying, but I lost my patience. I came running down the stairs crying, shaking, and couldn’t seem to calm myself down. My husband went up and took care of our sweet girl, while I sat there crying on the stairs. At that point, I was hyperventilating, and couldn’t seem to get control over myself. When my husband finally came down the stairs, he was beside himself and didn’t understand why I was so upset. Nor did I. Our daughter, who was one at this time, had many moments of crying, fussiness, and nights that she didn’t go down easy. Why was this any different?
I eventually caught my breath, got myself together, and talked to my husband. That night, I poured out everything that had been bottled up. I was struggling. Balancing being a full-time working mom, being a wife, and being me. I was overwhelmed with life, and felt like I was failing at many things. Saying this out loud, I realized I had been feeling this way for a long time. This was a panic attack. I think throughout my adult life, I have experienced many moments of anxiety/panic attacks. This has always been a part of me, but the reality of my life changing when I became a mom sparked it back. In the past, I would just ignore signs of it, pass it off as PMS symptoms, a bad day at work, chaos of life, etc. During this episode, it hit me. This wasn’t just a bad day, or something not going my way. A panic attack can come out of nowhere. It can be a small thing that triggers the feelings. Then starts the chest pain, the shortness of breath, the fear, panic, and crying. Then it snowballs and piles on. You then get stuck inside your own head.
The next day, I had called into work. I couldn’t get myself together, and could barely get out of bed. I felt defeated. I felt lonely (even though I wasn’t). I have a very supportive husband, however, my feelings didn’t allow me to see or feel that at the time. I went to my doctor not too long after that episode. I was given medication for anxiety. What I was going through was not just post-partum related, and that became very clear.
During this time, I contemplated taking that medicine. I felt stuck. I felt like I was in a deep hole that I couldn’t get myself out of. I didn’t understand why I felt the way I did, or where these feelings were coming from. Then I began feeling guilty. Guilty because I have a great life, and am so blessed. What did I really have to complain about? I was confused and lost. I didn’t know how to stop feeling this way.
With time, I decided to fight. I decided to put my best foot forward and not give up. I started to incorporate natural remedies, and some other things, to help me manage my anxiety. I chose to not take medication.
That is where my journey began. My journey with battling anxiety. Two years later, I still struggle with it. I am learning and growing each and every day, and this is just the start of my story.