Your Story is a series by WonderfulWomen where you will read inspiring Guest Posts from women around the world. Here they share their experiences, stories and things that matter most to all women.
Today’s Guest Post is by Jessie Wiles from toddlermom.org Jessie is a 27-year-old mom to 3, 2 of which are her step kids. She is a very sarcastic BUT honest person. She loves blogging, sewing, photography and of course, Momin. She started her blog a few years ago and it has had such a positive impact on her anxiety. Hope her post helps you all dealing with the same problem of anxiety.
Unknowing teen years
I’ve had anxiety since my early teen years, but didn’t know it until my early 20’s. When I was a teen, I remember feeling anxious often, and not knowing why. I remember getting overly upset over simple things that no one else in my family would get upset over. I also remember having panic attacks. My panic attacks were would sometimes be so bad that I felt like I NEEDED to physically harm myself to fell something, anything. The best way I can describe what a panic attack is like all your emotions and feelings are flooding your mind and overloading it to the point where you feel numb.
Living with anxiety as a mother, wife and just as an adult, in general, is probably the hardest thing I have gone(/going) through. It doesn’t just affect me, but it affects everyone that is a part of my life as well.
People who don’t understand
One of the hardest things about having anxiety is the lack of understanding of mental health from your peers… I’ve heard just about everything that you should NOT say to someone with anxiety.
-“You’re acting crazy.”
-“You’re getting upset over nothing!”
This is just some of what I’ve been told.
Anxiety & Motherhood
Becoming a mother was the best thing to ever happen to me, but it made my anxiety worse, unfortunately. Naturally, a mom already has worry when it comes to her kids so that PLUS my already established anxiety is terrifying.
A lot of the times I feel like a horrible mom for ‘exposing’ them to my anxiety. I feel like they deserve better than to see their mom, who is suppose to be their rock sad, worried, scared, angry and just up and down so often… ‘I’ve managed to hide it for the most part from my 2 younger ones. They are just too young to even begin to understand.’ My anxiety kicks in pretty badly when my kids do NORMAL kid things, like, mess up their rooms while playing, or not finishing their food… Stuff that EVERY kid at one point in their life does.
Anxiety & friendships
I’ve lost a lot of friends in my lifetime… Ones I never thought I’d lose due to anxiety… About 6 years ago, when my anxiety was at it’s worst, I pretty much stopped talking to all my friends. Not because I was mad at them or anything of that sort, but because I felt that they were always mad at me, or would be annoyed by me for whatever reason… Well, that year, I lost a good friend because I was too distant…
Anxiety prevents me from making friends as well. This is so tough because I am actually a pretty outgoing person who can strike up a conversation with just about anyone, except for when my anxiety takes over and tells me everything negative about making new friends…
-“They won’t understand you.”
-“They won’t want to deal with your baggage.”
-“They will just end up walking away from your friendship in the end anyway.”
Because of this, I have little to no social. This is really difficult when you’re a mom…!
Dear Those Who are suffering too,
I DO understand. I know how you’re feeling. I know how mentally, emotionally and physically draining anxiety is. I know what it feels like when anxiety takes over. I know how lonely you feel. I’ve been there and still going through it. I’m here to tell you that you are NOT crazy, you are NOT overreacting and I know your anxiety isn’t always controllable like people who don’t understand think it is. I get it because I DO have anxiety. I have lost friends. I have had panic attacks and I have over thought situations. You are NOT alone, I am here with you.
Sincerely, Your FRIEND with anxiety.
There are hope and happiness
I know that hope seems impossible, and for the longest time, I thought the same thing. I thought the same thing. I thought that no one would understand what anxiety is and all my friends would just walk away from me and just give up on me, and worst of all, I thought my kids would resent me. Even though my anxiety is still very much present, I did find some hope… I have 2 friends who know me and my anxiety inside and out. They reassure me constantly that they aren’t going anywhere. When I don’t talk to them for a while, they ALWAYS reach out to me. They are so supportive.
As for my kids… They have shown unconditional love towards me, especially when it comes to my anxiety. My 14-year-old stepson noticed one day that my anxiety was really high and that I was getting really irritatable. My two youngest ones were not listening at all… My 2-year-old was smearing applesauce all over the table instead of eating it and my 4 and 1/2-year-old stepdaughter was whining and pouting because I told her no to a third applesauce after I already explained to her how much she has eaten in the last 40 minutes. My stepson said, “Jessie, is your anxiety really bad right now?” Before I could answer, he was already getting his sister’s down from the table and taking them to their room to play. He could just tell that I was not okay at that moment.
A few weeks ago I was sitting on my bed with my head in my hands trying not to have a panic attack, when my 2-year-old walks in and says, “Mama? You okay, Mama? You okay? Don’t be sad, Mama. I love you!” Then she gets up on the bed and grabs my face with her hands. That was the day that my 2 years old saved me from what could have been a really bad anxiety attack.
There is hope. You are stronger than you think, and I’m here for you.
Her Blog Www.toddlermom.org