Anxiety can happen to anyone and it comes with no warning, you suddenly find yourself in its grasp and it has no preference on age or gender.
It is a treacherous beast, and like a beast, it attacks with silent stealth and stays for as long as it wants to unless we take it in hand which is far from easy.
It came into my life when I was least expecting it, a time when I should have been happy, full of hope for the future and enjoying my first time as a mother.
Being a mother for the first time is hard for anyone, but to add anxiety into the mix life suddenly becomes hell.
I tried the ‘talk’ you know the one where you tell yourself to get your shit together and handle life, the one where you remind yourself you have a little human relying on you for everything, so, no pressure there then.
The feeling of my whole world falling apart made me question could I even be a good mother, which then prompted an anxiety attack and so the vicious circle continued.
Something as simple as taking my baby out for a walk, taking in the sites and having fresh air became a challenge I struggled to face. Wild thoughts of how dangerous the world is outside of my home would send me into a panic attack.
My husband whilst understanding couldn’t understand why this appeared out of nowhere. I had always been an outgoing person who lived life to the full, and suddenly he was living with a woman who saw danger in everything and everyone including him, he was looking for answers that I couldn’t give him.
I know all new mothers go through some kind of fear for the safety of their precious child that’s normal, what isn’t normal when you start imagining every bad thing is going to happen and because of this you can’t enjoy being a mother and your anxiety will be felt by your baby which causes them to be fractious which then makes you feel an unfit mother and so the vicious circle continues.
I had two choices seek help and face this problem head-on or allow it to impact not just my life but our whole family and ruin what should have been a happy time for us all.
I did see a psychologist and for me that didn’t work, it could just have been we didn’t vibe and perhaps I should have just found another, but the experience put me off, but what did happen is my stubbornness kicked in and I decided enough was enough, life was passing by and I was missing out on so much.
It was time for the bitch in me to fight back and fight back I did.
It didn’t just happen overnight, I wish it could have been that easy.
Over half the world experiences anxiety at some point in their life and they continue to function, work, live, love, so why couldn’t I?
The first time I decided to go out for a walk the very thing that was one of my biggest fears, I can remember feeling sick, sweating and this weird sensation of light-headiness. I was shaking but I wasn’t going to let this beat me.
Opening the door was complete torture, pushing the pram over the thresh-hold was even harder, but I made myself do it. I’ll be honest it was without a doubt the shortest walk in history, but I had broken the first part by stepping outside.
I built this up over the coming weeks, every day come rain or shine I went out with my beautiful child just so she could experience life outside our home.
Then I started meeting friends for coffee, going out for lunch whilst my husband babysat, I no longer viewed him as incapable of looking after our child, which I knew wasn’t the case but my anxiety had told me otherwise.
Don’t get me wrong when I did go out to meet friends, I would always position myself near the door so I could just get up and leave, I was lucky that I had so many understanding people around me who stood by me and supported me every step of the way and I know not everyone is as lucky as me.
Even now all these years later I have days when my anxiety kicks in and I must fight it with every part of me. I will always be nervous and anxious but it will never be as bad when I tried to shut the world away.
My anxiety does not define me, it came expecting to conquer me, what it found was a woman who is way stronger than even I thought I could be.
To everyone who suffers from anxiety, just know you are doing your best every day and that makes you one badass bitch.