I would prefer to write a post like this in the quite and safety of my own privacy, keeping all things negative only to myself. However, I feel that keeping this to myself won’t help me any, so I might as well put it out there and see if it can help any of you.
If you have been a long time follower, you know I’ve talked about my struggles with anxiety in the past. Over the last eight years, I have accepted the diagnosis and done what I can to keep it at bay. When it first began mid-semester my freshman year in college, I sought help and discovered the anxiety was causing a heart murmur. I was put on meds, went to a therapist, and put on a happy face. For seven months I took that tiny white pill every night before bed, avoided alcohol, and was convinced I was getting better.
I was. One day, I just decided to take the last pill and that was it. Cold turkey. I’ve heard of people doing this and it having negative effects, but I don’t remember feeling badly after doing that.
A few years pass with very mild episodes of panic attacks, nothing that warranted more counseling or meds. Near the end of my first year at a different college (four years since I’d taken any meds) I had a terrible experience with a roommate which affected my academics. I have always been anxious about getting good enough grades, but not for me, for my parents. I never wanted to disappoint them and the anxiety and panic attacks were coming back so much so that I went back to counseling in hopes of avoiding meds. I did and when the semester ended for the summer, I packed up my things and moved out to New Jersey for the summer. I have family out there and I felt a change in scenery and people would do me some good.
That summer has become one of my most favorite summers of my life. I went to the beach, lived with my grandma (who passed away a year and a half after that summer), dated a Harvard boy, and did not worry too much about anything else.
Six months later, I met B and we started dating. I graduated from college, got engaged, married and had a baby. Sounds like the perfect fairytale, right? Well, it is in just about every way possible, but the anxiety is back and worse than I can remember.
Logan is the most incredible little boy and I am so proud to be his mommy. His smile lights up my life and all those little worries wash away, but only for that moment. I put him down, walk away, sleep, go to work—whatever—and it’s back. I am afraid of everything. I’m afraid of someone kidnapping Logan, forgetting to lock the door and having an intruder attack us, tripping down the stairs with Logan in my arms, someone shaking him, being in a car accident….the list goes on and those are the more “tame” fears I have. I have had the same bad dream three times in the last week and it is so hard for me to articulate it to even B that he is unsure of how to take it. Outside of that particular dream, I have been having bad dreams just about every night. I wake up and walk around with this horrible knot in my stomach and my heart in my throat. When I am working or out of the house, I try and push the fears away from me but the moment I am alone with my thoughts, I feel weak and helpless.
The fear has been so griping lately that I am afraid I might need more help, something outside the comfort of my walls and B’s ears. I hate to think this is some form of post-partum depression and I won’t until someone tells me otherwise. But it scares me. I don’t really know what else to do. I pray hard, through tears and smiles as I hold and kiss Logan. It is a surreal feeling. Happy and scared at the same time. Wayyyyy deep down I know that everything is great, that nothing bad will happen, that I just need to relax. But the truth is, anything can happen and that is where my anxiety takes hold of me. I know the likelihood of such things happening is slim to none, but there is no 100% guarantee and without it, I am lost. My fears are not going away the same way they used to. Just say some prayers, if you would, that I find guidance in the next step. I know this time, I can’t just self-talk and visualize these fears away. I need something else.