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.

 

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Hello There!

I'm so honored that you've found us! I'm Heather, a Mom of 3 who blogs about parenting, food, occasional travel and how I overcame my daily struggle with anxiety. I miss sleeping and rely on coffee and laughter to get me through the day. I hope you enjoy and visit often!

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  1. 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.

  2. 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!

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  3. 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.

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

  4. 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!

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  5. 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.

  6. 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.

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

  8. 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.

  9. 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.

  10. 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!

  11. 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.

  12. 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.

  13. 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.

  14. 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!

  15. 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!

  16. 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.

  17. 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.

  18. 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.

  19. 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.

  20. 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.

  21. 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!!

  22. 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!

  23. 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.

  24. 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.

  25. 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.

  26. 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! 🙂

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  27. 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!

  28. 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

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

  29. 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.

  30. 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!

  31. 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.

  32. 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.

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      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.

  33. 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.

  34. 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.

  35. 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.

  36. 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.