ANXIETY & MOTHERHOOD
Anxiety. I have always struggled with anxiety and depression, but I have been doing so well in the past year especially with all the changes that have happened in our lives. This past week was a different story. Damian became very ill and I barely slept for three days. I was exhausted, he was exhausted and all I could do was pump him full of tylenol and advil and pray over his little body that the fever would go away and I would have my smiley boy back again.
Exhaustion is such a trigger for me, I know this and I could feel myself slowly shutting down and becoming less and less able to handle the situations. By Friday, I was hiding in my bedroom holding Damian and crying because I couldn't make him better and I couldn't make myself better. I couldn't handle his screams of pains and my body ached from either carrying him around for two straight days or from my anxiety. The thing is, people were offering help. I wasn't alone, yet I felt alone. As I write that I have tears in my eyes because I still can't describe the feeling I get when my anxiety takes over. Even when my mom and MIL were offering help, I felt like I was failing as a mom, not being able to take care of her son, failing as a wife because I couldn't handle just the last few days before Josiah got home. The anxiety had taken over and I couldn't respond with anything, but "No, I've got it."
Saturday night I began feeling very on edge, I cleaned bathrooms and tried to clean up as much as I could and then my body gave way. I climbed into bed with Damian and was not able to sleep. My body was in so much pain, by early Sunday morning I realized that I was having an anxiety attack, something that has not happened in a very long time. I couldn't fully move my body and I knew I was in trouble, I called my MIL to come and get Damian and then phoned my mom to come over. Sunday morning was one of the scariest mom moments I have ever had. My anxiety took over to the point where I knew I was actually unable to pick up Damian and care for him. By 6am my house was full of parents caring for me and Damian and I was still so scared and felt like I had failed.
My anxiety plays a different card game since I became a mom. The routine and behaviours I know I need in my life to keep my mental health a priority are not always possible. A baby that won't sleep or is up sick means a mama that is up too. I can't always eat perfectly healthy because well, sometimes all I can do is cook a frozen pizza. I have been struggling with my mental health in ways that I never have before, trying to figure out how to balance my health and Damian as my top priority has become such a battle at times that I throw in the towel and we cuddle up and watch Finding Dory.
Friends. Im writing this as a reminder to myself that I need to ask for help when I first feel myself slipping and to tell myself that I'm not failing as a mom because I can't do everything. I am writing this to my mama friends out there that struggle with their mental health and just need to hear its okay to need extra help some days. The more I try to be okay and strong is the more I am teaching Damian to hide your weaknesses. Today I am sharing my experience of anxiety taking over to show myself that there is a light at the end of the tunnel. To be honest, I am not fully there yet. This past weekend wiped me out more than I knew was possible, Im still feeling like I'm not cut out for motherhood and I'm reminding myself that its the hardest job out there. But the light is there, my brain is feeling clearer and my heart is not as heavy.
Thanks for following along on such a ramble of a long post.