About 6 months after I had Gianni, I realized that my social anxiety had gone to an all time high. I experienced my very first anxiety attack while at work. It was the absolute scariest feeling I have ever felt. My throat and chest felt like they were both closing up and as if a huge weight was crushing me. My hands and legs could barely stop shaking. While my eyes created tears that just wouldn’t fall. It was at that point that I decided to see my doctor regarding the situation.
As I sat in that exam room, waiting for my doctor to come into the room, a million thoughts ran through my head since I’m the type of person that likes to overthink things.
“Am I a bad mom because of my anxiety?”
“Will my kids be taken away from me?”
“Are people going to think I’m mentally crazy?”
“Is anyone going to believe me this was real?”
“I can still change my mind… it’s not too late…”
The one thought that overcame all of the others was, “Your kids need you to do this. They will appreciate you taking the time and strength to do this.”
My doctor came into the room and as she asked me why I was in today, tears came into my eyes. I let her know about the panic attack, the actual fear and panic that overcomes me when I get into uncomfortable confrontations, the thoughts that I am being judged at every moment. I admitted that I was scared and didn’t know if I should be doing this.
At that moment my doctor looked into my eyes and said “It’s good that you are doing this. They need this. The only way you can take care of your babies, is if you take care of yourself first.”
That’s when I decided to start taking care of myself. I started to look for other jobs in the same work field to get away from the negativity surrounding me. I started to go for walks when the weather permitted it with the children. I open up about my feelings and thoughts a lot more now instead of hiding away and holding them in. I am still the same person. I am still the same mom. And I still love my kids just the same as I did before starting my medication.
There is a stigma in our society today that everybody is making up their anxiety or that everybody has some sort of mental health issue – and unfortunately it’s making people afraid to get the help that they most likely need. It is truly scary to ask for help… I am not going to lie about that. In the end it will be completely worth it though to finally have the weight off of you. To finally feel like you can breathe. To finally feel like you can be yourself.
It’s not a forever cure though. It will sneak up on you. It will pop out at random moments and haunt you just a little bit. But having the resources to get it under control, to fight it, to realize that it’s just the anxiety… it will make a difference. And it will be the best decision you can make. I always tell people that I am here if they need to talk because I do get it and I’m not just saying it. Sometimes we all just need someone.
And that’s okay.