Anxiety.. I think anxiety is something I have struggled with my whole life. From little on, I was a worrier. I worried about everything and anything. A self-diagnosed hypochondriac as well made it very easy to always imagine the worst case scenario. If my mom was late picking me up from dance class, she was in an accident. If I didn't feel good, there was something really wrong with me. You get the drift.
I've tried to figure out why I'm this way. The only thing I can pinpoint is watching my grandma have a heart attack when I was little. I can still vividely remember her walking out of my mom's bedroom rubbing her chest, telling my mom she was having a heart attack. To this day I can't shake that image from my head
As I've gotten older my bouts with anxiety have come and gone. Usually I keep myself busy at all time so as not to think about what is worrying me. I work best under pressure and am always on the go. Leaving myself little time to dwell on things that may be stressing me out. Until night time. Oh how I hate night time where my mind is running a mile a minute, forcing me to think about everything at once. It's not wander I don't sleep
After I had kids though my bouts with anxiety changed and not for the better. I can remember leaving Gianna for the first time with the husband while I ran to Sam's club. I was walking along, pushing my cart when all of a sudden I fetl a rush of heat on my back and shoulder's, my heart started racing, my vision blurred and my ears started ringing. Then the tightening of the chest came and I instantly thought I was going to pass out and have a heart attack. A few seconds later it passed and I stood there blinking, not sure of what had happened. I called my mom( whose a nurse) and she confirmed she thought I had an panic attack. I became afraid to leave my house, to take Gianna anywhere far from home. I panicked when I had to go somewhere and my stomach was constantly in knots. Simple things like going out to dinner or running errands became a struggle. I forced through it but always at the back of my mind was the fear that a panic attack would strike.
Then I became pregnant with Ethan and those thoughts and feelings went away. I became me again. And then Ethan was born and it all changed. Days after he was born I would lock myself into my closet and cry. I was overwhelmed, stressed and sad that my husband wasn't home to help with the baby, afraid that Gianna would hate me for bringing another baby home, and upset that I couldn't spend all my time with one child. My recovery for my c-section the second time around was much more difficult and every little twinge or pain sent me into a panic that something was wrong
The first outing I had with both kids was where things got worse. I went to dinner at a friend's house and while talking to a friend a panic attack struck. The heat flushed through my body, the ringing started in my ears and my chest tightened and got heavy.In that moment I thought I was dying. Until I saw Gianna run around a corner calling for me. I snapped out of it, picked her up and went into the bathroom and called my mom. Again she confirmed it was a panic attack.
At my 6 week post partum checkup I talked with the dr who confirmed my anxiety and panic attacks as well. I refused medication and said I would try to work it out on my own. For awhile things got worse. The feelings of fear were always there. I always had knots in my stomach and while out and about I constantly felt uneasy. Afraid that a panic attack would set in, that something would happen to me and that I'd leave two kids alone.
Finally I went to see a counselor who has helped tremendously. Just talking to someone was what I needed. Someone who confirmed that I wasn't crazy, that what I was experiencing was real and that I could get better.She gave me some coping tips and was there to listen when I needed to vent.
Anxiety is something I still struggle with. I always have to be in control and when I'm not that's when anxiety kicks in. I knew my anxiety reached an all time high when my body physically started reacting to it. I'm learning to let go of my control, to live in the moment and to try and only worry about things I consider are my priorities. It's a daily struggle but one I am working on. And for those of you going through post partum depression or anxiety know that you are not alone. It is a real thing and don't be ashamed to ask for help