Monday, June 2, 2014

anxiety is my secret

I wrote this post in 2010. It's been sitting in my drafts folder for FOUR years. The words that I wrote four years ago still rattle in my brain today. Mental illness is scary, carries a lot of preconceived stereotypes and I believe is extremely common in women. I've battled anxiety for a long time. Why am I pressing publish now? Because it's time for me not to be ashamed anymore. I am not perfect. This is my biggest silent struggle. I'm on the other side of treating my anxiety now but I know there are mothers, sisters, and friends of mine that are not. Perhaps you are in the thick of it now....hold tight my dear. I am SAVED BY GRACE and you can be too. The darkness you feel? I can silently shake my head and say "me too".  God gives me healing and beautiful grace every day through medicine and His unshakable love for me. Reading this post from my past makes me remember how dark it was and how LIGHT IT IS NOW. Sooooo let's publish this sucker. DEEP BREATHS.

From 2010.

i've been embarrassed and ashamed about this for a long time. i've hid it from everyone.. i thought that it meant i wasn't a good mom. i thought it meant i couldn't handle things. i thought it would mean that no one would want to be around me. i thought it meant that i was crazy. i thought it meant that God wasn't enough. i thought it meant that i was an unstable person. i thought it meant that i failed. i thought it meant that i just couldn't cut it.
i was wrong.

it creeps in haunting my every thought. you're failing. you're awful. everyone is better without you. you're failing.  it consumes my thoughts and i feel trapped by the darkness of them. silent sobs pull from my throat and i cannot rationalize where they are originating from. the inside is hysterical and my outside knows that i'm being irrational. i then spin into a battle of wanting to disappear and knowing that I shouldn't. my heart physically hurts. it aches. my throat tightens and my breath quickens. i want it to stop. i pray for it to stop. the screams from my head are unbearable. get it together. get it together. but something is preventing me from it.

i've battled post partum anxiety since Lilly was born.

that's a hard statement to type. really hard. and even now I feel like I'm admitting that I'm a failure. but I'm not.

anxiety attacks are frequent. i can't sleep. i cry constantly. i'm even avoiding my friends. i don't want anyone to hold lilly because i'm afraid they will judge her. she's a baby! how could they judge her? perhaps they will judge me?

i can't breastfeed her. (you're failing). she cries more than my friends babies ( you're failing).

you see ,i've been lying about it to everyone. everything isn't okay. being a mom hasn't been great. it's been really hard. i've wanted to stop everything. my thoughts hold me captive most days and I know i'm not myself.
turning down a girls night because i'm afraid that if someone asks how I'm doing I'll being to sob? that's not me.

one morning in december i realized that i couldn't make myself get over it. if i had heart problems would i not get help? if i had trouble breathing would i ignore it and hope it went away on its own? i called my doctor and cried to her in the office for a long time. she told me it was okay. and medicine would help me get my life back.

and it did.

i've been taking the little white pill for a while now and now things are starting to get better. the fog has lifted. i feel peace and joy again. JOY AGAIN.

it's hard to swallow a pill each day to help me feel like Laura. six months in---and that's still a yucky feeling. i still hate looking at the bottle every morning. mostly because of the words that pop up in my head ( weak, crazy, unstable, imbalanced,....) but i know the pills are  helping me become a better mother and wife.

oh man, i'm never gonna publish this. but it sure feels good to type that out.

it is okay laura. God will get you through this. you are still made in HIS image. do not forget that.


Thanks for letting me share that with you today. Thanks for supporting each other.