Living With Anxiety Is Hard


It is not easy to talk about the things that scare us or make us feel uncertain. I have always tried to make this blog a happy and carefree place, but the reality is, sometimes life is just hard. I want to help other parents learn from my experiences, even the difficult ones. For that reason, I have decided to open up about an issue I have been dealing with that recently seems like it is taking over my life…

ANXIETY


Parenting is filled with so much stress and pressure and for new moms there are a lot of hormonal changes as well. It is so important to be mindful of our mental health, not only for ourselves but for our little ones. This is something that a lot of moms are facing, but depression and anxiety is not something that is exclusive to moms. It can get to any one, at any time. Not to sound dramatic or anything, but the fact is, my kids are almost two and this is just starting to really hit me hard. Don’t forget about Daddy either. Dads have a lot on their plate so we need to make sure they are taken care of also .The point is, approximately 40 million people in the US alone suffer from anxiety and we all have different stories, this just happens to be mine…

I have always had a mild case of anxiety, and I knew my triggers. I have no idea where it comes from, but when I see a police officer on the road, I would get scared. I don’t drink, I don’t do drugs, I have never done anything illegal and have never had a ticket, so why am I so deathly afraid of getting pulled over? Another trigger has been the fear of getting lost or loosing something important. When I don’t know where I am, especially when I am alone or I lose something like my debit card or something equally important I go into full on panic until I find it.  I have had those triggers for as long as I can remember, and it has never interfered with my life before, until now.

Over the last few months my anxiety has changed and it is to the point where it is effecting my life both at home and at work. There are days when I get so scared I feel like I just can’t do it. A couple weeks ago I had a panic attack on my way to work. I was driving and it just hit me. I didn’t see the car in front of me stop and I almost hit him. Luckily I stopped my car in time. I did what I thought was right, I pulled over my car and waited until I was calmed down before getting back on the road. When I got to work, I was about 12 minutes late and it wan not excused. The company I work for has a very strict attendance policy and I have been late so many times before that I am at risk of losing my job. A couple hours later I went to the lactation room to pump during my break and I just couldn’t do it. I couldn’t do anything. I was hit with another panic attack, and this one was even worse. It felt like I was glued to the floor. My head was cloudy and my body started to shake. I felt weak and faint and my hands started to sweat. The worst was my breathing,  It felt like I cannot get air into my lungs. The more intense the symptoms were getting the more panicked I felt which just made my symptoms worse. It was like a cycle I couldn’t break. I ended up calling an advice nurse and she was able to talk me down. At that point I just went home.

I would love to say that since then I have been a lot better and have not had another panic attack, but that’s not true. Anxiety is not something you can just get over, and if left untreated it can get worse. It has gotten to the point where I am having a full on panic attacks almost daily, sometimes more than once per day. Just this I started getting stress hives all over my body. I left work early and the next day I got almost to work and I just froze. I couldn’t do it. I had to turn around and go home. Then when I was almost home the thought of waking up my Husband and worrying him was just too much.

So I got a doughnut and some coffee and went to the park. We have a really beautiful pond with a fountain at a park near our home. I like to take the boys there sometimes to see the ducks. At 8:00 in the morning it can be so relaxing. It was great for me to take some time and just be still and think about my life. I need to make some changes because I cannot keep going on with this anxiety. I cant loose my job and luckily I have supportive supervior and a union rep who always has my back, so I am lucky, but eventually my luck will run out if I don’t get this under control. More than anything I want to get over this anxiety for myself, my husband, and above all, my babies. I want to be the very best Mommy I can be and I can be, but for that to be possible I need to take care of myself.

So how do I do that?

When my anxiety first started getting really bad I went to see my Doctor and she immediately suggested anti-depressants but I declined. I don’t like to take pills and even though they say it is safe, I avoid anything that can pass through the breast milk unless it is absolutely necessary, and at this point I don’t know if it is. I spoke with a Doctor a couple days ago who explained it really well. She said that the body learns how to react to stress. So the panic attacks are coming on  frequently and so much stronger because I have taught my body to react that way and that through therapy or medication or a combination of both I can learn a new way to react to stress. So for me personally, I prefer to go with therapy, yoga and meditation. If that does not help I may start some intermittent anxiety medication down the road but I want to hold off until I am no longer nursing.


I know that for me, this is just temporary. I know that I can get stronger and move past all this anxiety. The biggest key is just knowing that there are options and having a support system behind me from my family and my medical providers. I started Therapy a couple weeks ago and I really like my therapist. If you are having any issues with anxiety and depression the best thing you can do is see your Doctor and figure out what will work for you. 18% of the US population suffers from anxiety so we are definitely NOT alone. 


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About Amara Franklin

If I have said it once, I have said it a thousand times... I LOVE MY LIFE. I have a great husband and the best little baby dudes in the world! I have found that raising twins is not so different than a singleton, just a little bit louder (and a lot more fun!). I look forward to going through this journey together... SUPER MOMS UNITE!

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