Growing up, I was incredibly shy. When I was 12, I was moved from private to public school and for the first time, since I was a toddler, had to make new friends. #ad While 8th grade prepared me a bit, high school was even harder since I only knew a handful of people there. I realized that in order to gain the confidence I was seriously lacking, I needed to become a part of something bigger than me. I tried out and made our high school’s dance team, the Titanaires, in 9th grade. Suddenly, that shy girl found herself. I continued to dance throughout high school and discovered the power of teamwork.  We all walked out onto that field the same, no matter how skilled we were, what we looked like or what our home life was like. We came together as a family and put on a show that always had the fans in the bleachers cheering. Being a Titanaire changed me. 20+ years later, I’m still really good friends with a number of my teammates. Now, as the Mother of three girls, I always encourage them to find something they love, practice and become a part of something that will change their lives as it did mine. Whether it’s volleyball, gymnastics, dance or soccer, I watch my girls transform each and every time they practice, perform or play. Did you know that between the ages of 12 and 13, the number of girls who say they’re afraid to fail increases by 150%? By age 14, girls drop out of sports at twice the rate of boys. That’s why @Athleta is committed to helping keep girls in the game. That’s the #PowerofShe.  #AthletaGirl #girlempowerment #girlsquad #girlsrock #womenathletes #womenempowered #womenempowerment #girlmama #girlmom #gymnastics #gymnasticslife #handstand #handstandpractice #novahighschool #novatitans #novatitanalumni #titanaire #letsgotitans

Growing up, I was incredibly...

Yesterday, I posted my deepest, darkest secret on my blog. It look me 24 hours to get the nerve to share it on here. I’ve been writing that post for a while. It probably didn’t go live the day I intended it to and it might disappear at some point. But enough is enough. Time for me to put my big girl panties on and stop lying to myself and everyone else. I hope you won’t think any different of me or judge me in any way. I’m still the same person, I’m just not pretending anymore. .
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Art: @kobrastreetart 
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Yesterday, I posted my deepest,...

#ad Falynn has a very short list when it comes to her favorite snacks. You might be surprised what's at the very top of that list. #ad It's not cookies. It's not chips. It's actually tomatoes! And her absolute favorite tomatoes, are Cherubs® by @NSTomatoes. Whether I fill a snack baggie up with them or create little cars out of them, with carrots and cucumbers and a toothpick, she can't get enough. They are Bright. Juicy. Irresistible. NatureSweet Tomatoes are giving their followers a chance to win weekly #NatureSweetSnackHack prizes ($150 weekly Middle School Snack Hack Prize Pack) and the Grand Prize, a #SnackHack Survival Kit which includes a year’s supply of NatureSweet tomatoes, a backpack, electronic tablet/computer to save all your snack hack ideas, and other great gifts to make on-the-go snacking easy! Hurry and enter! The sweepstakes ends September 23, 2019. https://izea.it/amKBCzG

#ad Falynn has a very...

How would you like to win FREE glasses for your entire family?* #sponsored We recently went to our local For Eyes for our annual vision exams and had the best experience. Dr. Hanna and the opticians really made us feel comfortable and at home, especially Falynn, who had never had an eye exam before. They helped us to find our new prescription and choose the frames that looked best on us. We also sat down with Dr. Hanna to learn more about the importance of annual eye exams and the dangers of blue light. Stay tuned for our IGTV interview later this week! Also, swipe to see the first photo that Falynn ever took by herself, with my camera. Great, right?  We’ve partnered with For Eyes to give you the opportunity to win up to 6 FREE eyeglasses or prescription sunglasses valued at up to $250 each. 
1. Follow @foreyes and @thesupermomlife on Instagram.
2. Comment on this post why you're excited to get your #BacktoSchoolEyes on. 
3. Bonus entries: Tag your friends and/or share this post on your stories and tag us!  Good luck! *Restrictions apply. Winners will be randomly selected on September 6, 2019. Prizes must be claimed by October 31, 2019, and must be claimed in a For Eyes location.
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How would you like to...

As someone that has suffered with both anxiety and depression for many years, I can tell you that there are signs that your loved one is suffering. While not everyone who exhibits these characteristics is having mental health issues, it's quite possible that those who are, exhibit many symptoms as a result of their anxiety and/or depression. Today on the blog, I’m discussing those symptoms and what to look for if you suspect you or your loved one is suffering with anxiety and/or depression. .
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#anxietyrelief #anxious #socialanxiety #anxietyhelp #anxietyattack #anxietysucks #panicattack #panicattacks #panicdisorder #mentalhealthrecovery #mentalhealthwarrior #mentalhealthsupport #mentalhealthadvocate #mentalhealthawarenessmonth #mentalhealthday #mindbodygram  #mindofmine #mindsetmatters #endthestigma #stopthehate #momblog #mommyblog #momblogger #mombloggers #bloggermom #mommybloggers #momswhoblog #mommyblogger #mamablogger #momsofinstagram

As someone that has suffered...

#ad Let’s get real for a moment. While they play a large part in us becoming Mothers, periods are no fun. They also weren’t something that I knew a whole lot about up until a couple of months ago, if I’m being honest. But results from a recent survey got my attention.  3 in 5 women surveyed reported at least one symptom of heavy periods – and among those respondents, over half had not discussed them with a doctor (57%) Why? Most women have resigned to heavy periods as their reality, with 43% saying “it’s just normal for me” and 36% saying “I’ve just learned to live with it.” Sound familiar? I must have said those exact statements plenty of times over the last 30 years. 
You don’t have to “live with it”. Visit http://www.WeHateHeavyPeriods.com through the link in my bio to learn about treatment options. #wehateheavyperiods #empoweredwomenempowerwomen #healthandwellness #empowerwomen #healthfirst #healyourself #healthytips #empoweryourself #periodproblems #womenhealth #nourishyourself #periodpositive #empowerothers #workingmomlife #healthjourney #womenpower #empoweringwomen #empoweredwomen

#ad Let’s get real for...

In just about a month or so, we will start to look for our dream home. #ad I’m excited at the opportunities and better rates we can get because of the bump in my credit score. I’m so grateful for the @lendingtree app, which has helped me to monitor my credit score closely, so I know what needed to be improved. The LendingTree app provides all the tools you need for a better financial health. No matter where you are in your life or what big milestone is coming up, your credit is important and should always be a priority. The LendingTree app is free and signing up doesn’t affect your credit score. You can download it in the App Store (click on the #linkinbio and then on “LendingTree”). Why is your credit score important to you? .
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In just about a month...

Thinking back to last month and our stay in that cute little airbnb, it makes me so grateful for the opportunity to blog full-time. Not only do I get to work closely with companies that I love, but occasionally I get the opportunity to take our family on a little, but much needed vacation. It really is the best job I’ve ever had. Today on the blog, I’m continuing my series for bloggers and influencers and discussing what might be the scariest part of this job… pitching companies and applying to campaigns. Head over and check out my suggestions to nail those pitches. I look forward to hearing your thoughts! .
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#raedunnlove #raedunnfinds #raedunn #raedunnmugs #raedunnclay #homegoodsfinds #homegoodshappy #homegoods #tjmaxxfinds #tjmaxx #marshallsfinds #marshalls #farmhouselove #farmhousestyle #howyouhome #makehomeyours #pocketofmyhome #modernfarmhousestyle #modernfarmhousedecor #ighome #modernfarmhouse #howwedwell

Thinking back to last month...

Today I had a plan. Wake up early, get the girls ready for their first day of school and then take the perfect first day of school picture to post on Instagram, where I would talk about how bittersweet it is to watch my girls grow up into these incredible young women. 
But things don’t always go as we plan. Instead, Falynn and Iyla woke up at 3:30am, got ready for school and then came downstairs at 5:00am to let us know they were ready. 5:00am... two and a half hours before they actually needed to be at school. I rolled myself out of bed at around 6:50am, Super Dad made me some coffee and I quickly shooed them outside so I could take a picture and realized that Falynn was in a long sleeved shirt, a jacket, jeans and old sneakers. I’m pretty sure her hair wasn’t brushed either. Lucia wasn’t awake yet so it would be the first year without a first day of school picture of all three of them. 😫 Whatever. I was tired. So I quickly took a picture (swipe to see) and got them off to school. Lucia woke up late and I couldn’t take a picture of her because my camera lens kept fogging up. When we walked back into the house, the dog escaped, making her even later. 🤦🏻‍♀️ And my coffee’s cold. Anyway, since I couldn’t get the perfect first day of school picture, I hope you enjoy this shot of the girls and Super Dad in their @swimzip.
How was your first day of school? #firstdayofschool #backtoschool #backtoschoolshopping #backtoschoolstyle #mycrazylife #motherhoodthroughinstagram #motherhoodmoments #momlife #momsofinstagram #swimzip #girlsswimwear #familyswimwear #worldoflittles #myeverydaymagic #sharetheeverymom #rawmotherhood #momswithcameras #cameramama #mommybloggers #oldnavystyle #oldnavy #mytinymoments #ourcandidlife #momentsinmotherhood #momentsofmine #thehappynow #watchthemgrow #momstyle #momgoals

Today I had a plan....

My girls are snackers. When they get home from school, they want to be able to grab a quick snack to take with them on the way to after-school activities, or to enjoy while they do their homework. #ad Peanut Butter is a huge hit in our home, but it can get messy, so when I found out about Windstone Farms Creamy Peanut Butter Portable Packets, I couldn't wait to grab some. Instead of making a huge mess (and forgetting to close the lid) with a regular container of peanut butter, the girls can grab one packet and easily add it to just about anything. Some of our favorites are bananas, apples, pretzels, celery or crackers. They have fun creating new combinations and I love that they come in convenient 1.15oz squeezable packets. So much less mess! They are also perfect for their lunchboxes. The peanut butter is so creamy and delicious! BTW, they are naturally gluten-free! @windstonefarms peanut butter packets are now available at your local @walmart. Make sure to pick some up, and check out our stories for a special offer from Ibotta! What will you put #WindstoneFarmsPB on?
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#backtoschoolsnacks #foodstyle #foodpassion #foodography #foodinsta  #foodielife #foodielovers  #instafoods #kidfriendly #yummyyummyinmytummy #yummyyummy #foodielife #deliciosa #raedunnlove #raedunnfinds #raedunnclay #walmartfinds #walmart #homegoodshappy #tjmaxxfinds #farmhousestyle

My girls are snackers. When...

My Truth – A Mother Living With Anxiety

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In November of 2015, I wrote the following blog post. I shared it on my personal Facebook page, making sure to edit the privacy so that only my friends and family could see it. I posted it on an anonymous WordPress account and couldn’t imagine complete strangers reading these very personal things about me and knowing that it was me that wrote it.  I thought of my reputation. I didn’t want people to think differently of me. I’m not sure why I made the decision to keep it private, but what I do know now is that there are so many people who are dealing with similar situations, including people I’ve known for years.

Since I launched this blog, I’ve gotten comfortable speaking about anxiety on my Instagram page and I found people reaching out to me to tell me that they too suffer from anxiety but were afraid to speak out. And so, here we are, three years after I told my friends and family what I was dealing with and I’m finally ready to share it with the world. No more secrets. No more mask. Please know that if you are also suffering from anxiety and/or depression, you aren’t alone. There are so many people out there that are just like you. I am just like you and this is my truth…

Looking at me from an outside perspective, I have it all. A beautiful family, an amazing husband, a couple of fairly successful businesses, a nice home and overall, the life I’ve always dreamed of… but there’s one thing that many people don’t know about me. One thing that has taken over my life this past year. It’s something I’ve hidden. I smile through it, I pretend like nothing’s wrong, but the truth is, I am living with something that I can’t control.

The truth is, I’ve been struggling with something that has completely crippled me. It’s something that I fight daily. It’s something that keeps me in bed more days than I’d like to admit, afraid to get up. It keeps me from doing my hair, putting on makeup, from caring what I wear.  It’s something that stops me from leaving the house. It’s the reason that when most people ask me to go and do something, I immediately come up with an excuse why I can’t. Mostly, it’s the reason that I’ve lost friends and contact with family members.

The truth is, I suffer from anxiety. An anxiety that gets my heart racing and causes me to feel like I’m going to pass out.  An anxiety that brings with it a fear that I will never be able to go anywhere without feeling this way. An anxiety that has kept me from birthday parties, family functions, my daughter’s dance competitions and even everyday things like grocery shopping or picking up my kids from school.

I have always struggled with some form of anxiety, but it really reached it’s height in 2014. I wanted to take the girls to Disney since they had a day off from school. The plan was to drive up by myself, with the girls, but thankfully, one of my friends and her two kids came along, and she wound up driving.  The whole way up I felt anxious but I tried to ignore it. I knew if I could just get there and get into the park and could see the kids having the time of their life, I could get past it.

We made it to the ferry line when my mind started racing. The line was huge. We were toward the back of the line. I knew that if we made it on that ferry, there would be no where for me to sit. Instantly, I started to panic. It probably took less than a minute for the anxiety to escalate and I ran for the nearest bench, fearing that I was going to pass out.  By the time I reached the bench, I was so far gone, I had to lie down. I was light-headed, I was panicking, I was sweating and I knew that if I could just let it pass, I would be ok, as I have in past situations.  The next thing I remember is the paramedics taking my blood pressure and watching as my kids looked over at me, with a look of fear, not knowing what was happening to their Mom.

We wound up heading back to the car and driving home. The entire 3 hour ride, I felt horrible. These 5 kids were so excited and I had taken away their opportunity to see Mickey. I was heartbroken because I couldn’t control what was happening. I couldn’t just deal with it so that they could have their day.  To this day, I still feel embarrassed about it.

Although I’ve spoken with a few people about it over the last year, I’ve never wanted many people to know. I thought that keeping it a secret would make it go away. I thought if I kept it to myself, I wouldn’t be admitting that it was real.  Over the last couple of weeks, it’s gotten worse and I think it’s time that I speak about it. It’s time that I stop hiding my truth. People’s lives aren’t always as perfect as they appear on social media.  Most people don’t take pictures of the sad moments. They don’t take pictures of the fights they have. They don’t talk about their fears and their failures but maybe we should. Maybe sharing something like this will not only help me to deal with it better, but will also help someone else to get their truth out. Maybe it will help us to connect with others that are going through similar situations, but are also afraid to talk about it. From this day forward, I’m not going to be afraid. I won’t let anxiety win.

So there it is, my truth. And I’m not ashamed of it anymore. In fact, I’m proud. While I don’t want to be labeled, I know that my battle with anxiety has made me into the person that I am today. From now on, I’ll be sharing more about my journey with anxiety. I’ve accepted it but I won’t surrender to it. I will continue to live my best life because I deserve it.

 

XOXO
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45 Comments
  • Elana Dunn
    November 30, 2018

    It’s okay to no be okay sometimes. Expecting to be okay all the time means also expecting to not be human. Anxiety does not mean you aren’t okay. It just means that some days are better than others.

  • Tami
    November 27, 2018

    Knowing other mommas are dealing with anxiety helps me not feel so alone in this battle.

  • Danish Rasool
    November 13, 2018

    A very inspirational post, best thing to do is try to stay positive and pray for the best.

  • Hannah Marie
    November 12, 2018

    I have anxiety as well and it’s really not easy. But hey, we can do it, we are okay. You are loved and appreciated and amazing!

  • Ashley
    November 11, 2018

    Speaking your truth, I love it. I have enjoyed reading your story. I am a champion of anxiety and depression, and I always enjoy reading a story along the lines. You are not alone, and you are okay.

    • Heather Castillo
      November 12, 2018

      Isn’t it funny how those three words “you are okay” from a complete stranger can really be so effective? Thank you.

  • Debra
    November 11, 2018

    I am an anxiety sufferer and sometimes it can be so debilitating. I am so glad you are becoming comfortable talking about it. It can really help!

  • David Elliott
    November 10, 2018

    I know that my ex suffered from some sort of Anxiety. I know it’s pretty crippling when it happens. Hopefully you being open about it will help others to be so as well.

  • MELANIE EDJOURIAN
    November 10, 2018

    Having both anxiety and depression can be very hard to cope with. Adding in the stresses of motherhood and that makes it far harder. It’s great that you are speaking out as it will help other that are going rough the same thing.

  • Cristina pop
    November 10, 2018

    Anxiety can be difficult to handle many times. But as you said, we should never surrender. Great inspirational post!

  • What Corinne Did
    November 10, 2018

    Anxiety can so tough, especially when you haves kids. You’ve got so much on your plate already! but you’re doing so great, handling it all.

  • Pooja Shama
    November 10, 2018

    I must say being a mother itself so overwhelming.. A few weeks back i shared my post how I handled depression after being a mother. I can so relate to your state and handling anxiety issue is another level.

  • Kim Burnette
    November 10, 2018

    I want to commend you for being brave and speaking up! I am so happy you did! I used to have crippling anxiety when I was younger, it is so much better now! In fact, I educate about things like anxiety, depression and other mental disorders. There is no shame in them, they are biological just like any other illness. You will be helping a lot of other people by speaking out like this so thank you!

  • lexi
    November 9, 2018

    anxiety is def a killer! im happy you shared your story for others to know that they are not alone!

  • Natalie
    November 9, 2018

    I have dealt with anxiety in my teenage years and as an adult, and I know how hard it is to talk about. I am so proud of you for sharing your story. I can relate with you on many levels.

  • Marysa
    November 9, 2018

    Carson Daly from the Today Show recently talked about how he has major anxiety, which is interesting because he is a TV host. It really goes to show that you wouldn’t necessarily know that someone suffers from anxiety.

  • Chubskulit Rose
    November 9, 2018

    Learning how to acknowledge it is the best first thing to do when battling with anxiety. Thanks for sharing it with us, it makes us understand more about anxiety.

  • Lisa Murano
    November 9, 2018

    It’s so awesome that you’ve decided to share your experience with anxiety! This post is going to help so many moms to see that they’re not alone!

  • Laurie Gannon
    November 9, 2018

    I admire you for posting this publicly and not letting this define you but be a part of you (if that makes sense). Anxiety is so real for so many people and for people to know that they aren’t alone in their feelings is so important. You are a super mom and super awesome!

  • Jona Shares
    November 9, 2018

    Anxiety and depression can be hard, especially when you’re parenting. I think it would surprise us if we knew exactly how many people were struggling.

  • Catalina
    November 9, 2018

    Good luck in your battle with anxiety. I am sure the things will be better as you understand that anxiety is a problem that you need to deal and learn to live with it. You are not the only one, but you are doing a great job that you are talking about it.

  • Monique Starks
    November 9, 2018

    Accept, but not surrender. I love that. I’ve dealt with anxiety in the past. Having quite time in the morning before I start my day has really helped, as well as a few other things I’ve tried, like breathwork and journaling. Thank you for sharing something so personal.

  • Gervin Khan
    November 9, 2018

    I don’t suffer from anxiety but I know how hard to deal with it. I am glad that you were able to share your story with us to inspire and help others to fight and deal with anxiety.

  • GiGi Eats
    November 8, 2018

    I give you so much credit dealing with anxiety as a mother. I don’t suffer from anxiety, however, I know for a fact that when my son comes along, I am going to be pretty concerned about a lot of things. Not necessarily as a newborn and a tot when I control him, but when he becomes a teenager and makes his own decisions.

  • Leigh Suznovich
    November 8, 2018

    Anxiety is so hard, and with all of the mommy shaming it gets so tough. Love how honest and real this post is, thank you!!

  • Melissa
    November 8, 2018

    Thank you so much for opening up and sharing your heart. It is going to be so helpful to so many others. Sending you great big hugs today!

  • Pam
    November 8, 2018

    Anxiety and depression can be hard, especially when you’re parenting. I think it would surprise us if we knew exactly how many people were struggling.

  • Helen Little
    November 8, 2018

    You’ve been so brave sharing your story, it will really help people in the same position. It’s so good you are proud of your story.

  • Sarah Bailey
    November 8, 2018

    Anxiety is such an awful thing to have to deal with, I don’t think you realise quite how much it can effect all aspects of your life until it is something you have to live with.

  • Natalia
    November 8, 2018

    I used to suffer from anxiety, but I’ve been learning how to overcome it and now I feel way better than in the past. I bet that being a mum can make a person really anxious. Great read! 🙂

    • Heather Castillo
      November 8, 2018

      It’s encouraging to hear that you’ve been overcoming it. May I ask how?

  • Melanie
    November 8, 2018

    Anxiety is very difficult. I have a friend who deals with this, and every day is a struggle. Thank you for being brave and sharing your story!

  • Mimi
    November 8, 2018

    For as long as I can remember (talking I was 12 and I had the first episode) I’ve been dealing with depression and it took me 8 years to discover that the periods of my life where I felt numb (best way I have to describe it) where actually depression crisis. That I wasn’t just weird or lazy. Thank you for sharing your story, you are not alone in this and you surely don’t have to be ashamed

    • Heather Castillo
      November 8, 2018

      I’m blown away at the number of people that suffer. I’m sorry you had to go through that!

  • Tasheena
    November 8, 2018

    Thank you for sharing your story and opening up about your experience with it. So many people suffer from anxiety. This post will truly help someone.

  • Jolene
    November 8, 2018

    Anxiety is a real struggle that many people deal with. It looks like you are managing as best as you can. You’re not alone! I hope you’ll be able to overcome it!

  • Tomi C
    November 8, 2018

    Thank you for sharing YOUR truth. You never know how your story may help someone else. Keep sharing as you overcome and looking forward to reading more of your journey.

  • Jessi Joachim
    November 8, 2018

    I relate to this so much! I have decently mild anxiety most of the time but there are days that I just have a really hard time. I feel like becoming a mom made it enhance a little bit but it is so important to find ways to deal and live with it.

    • Heather Castillo
      November 8, 2018

      I definitely feel that it increased when I became a Mom, especially with how scary the world is right now. I’m sorry that you are dealing with it too.

  • Amber Myers
    November 8, 2018

    Anxiety can be tough, that’s for sure. I struggle with social anxiety which is why I’m a huge introvert. I’m always glad when people share their struggles, because it can always help other people.

  • Scott Gombar
    November 8, 2018

    It takes strength to put this on a blog post for the whole world to see it. It’s important that other moms (and dads) read it. Anxiety is real and can be crippling.

  • Jeanette
    November 8, 2018

    Anxiety can definitely be something hard to overcome. It looks like you are doing the best you can do. I think you are doing wonderful as a mother living with anxiety.

  • candy
    November 8, 2018

    Good that you are writing and sharing your story so that other people know they aren’t alone and it is a daily struggle. Hope help is sought.

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