” Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.” (Philippians 4:6)
Anxiety: a feeling of worry, nervousness, or unease, typically about an imminent event or something with an uncertain outcome. (Dictionary)
The main reason I created this blog was to start a conversation with my fellow moms the everyday conquering of being a mom. As we all know, motherhood has so many ups and downs that I thought it would be nice to share with you what I have been going through in this journey and hopefully we can help each other in becoming a better person. I believe today’s topic is my most personal post yet. Therefore, it would mean the world to me if you share your thoughts with me once finish reading it. Today’s topic? You guessed it right: I’m a mom and I struggle with Anxiety disorder.
So, during a therapy session I was diagnosed with Anxiety Disorder when my test result showed that I presented the highest level of anxiety a person can have. I wasn’t shocked but I was surprised that my levels were that high. Also I as relieved because knowing is knowledge therefore I would finally be able to be treated for such.
For a long time, talking about depression and anxiety within Christian community was a taboo. Thankfully, this has change with so many artists and celebraties coming out to talk about meant health treatment and their struggles with it. This sort of taboo also existed in my house growing up. The idea that one person is struggling with anxiety was linked to this person inability to believe in God, therefore, not only you are not trusting God enough, but you are also weak. Solution? Pray more! 😦
With motherhood, my anxiety became noticeable to the ones close to me. I self diagnosed when my children were 2 and 1 years old. At that time, my anxiety was also mixed with depression. I used to have several panic attacks during the day and no tolerance to small bumps in life (pretty much everything!).
But what is to have Anxiety Disorder really? Well, for me means:
- my mind is always racing,
- I get extremely upset if something is not done as I expected,
- change in life scares me
- responsibility makes me nervous
- I use my phone to escape my everyday responsibilities
- are my children eating well?
- What am i going to cook today?
- What if tomorrow somebody is sick?
- Are my children being loving?
- What if their Christmas is not perfect?
- Wait, I’m late! But why am I late? I planned to be on time! But wait!
- schedule keeps me on track, but I usually forgot that there is a schedule
- Im tired
- I constantly need to take a break
- Taking too many responsibilities at once leads me to a break down
Unlike many other peolple who struggle with Anxiety, I’m not afraid of dying, but I get extremely anxious with everyday tasks that could be as simple as taking the kids to school. All the planning/organization that I have to put in my head before an event, stress me out to the point that if my husband disagrees with me, I will get really upset at him and probably give up on doing something. Just like a Facebook status, let’s just say it’s complicated!
So, after much self analysis, I realized it was time to get treatment for this disorder that was getting in the way I treat my children, my loved ones and specially myself. Done! I did it! I got medicated for this taboo thing, for this thing that made me fell weak, far from God and many times extremely hard at my kids. The outcome? Clarity! “I can see clear now that rain is gone..” Just like this song, I was finally able to enter a level of calmness state that allowed my mind not to race. I was finally able to be Ok with life’s bumps. And after 4 years into motherhood, I felt it was the first time I was actually enjoying being a mom and staying home with me children.
I learned that I needed to prioritize things and not embrace every cause. Doing too much means bringing too much worry to my brain and consequently un needed stress. As soon as I learned that about me, I eliminated chores, tasks, people, conversations, groups, places and everything that caused me to loose focus of my priorities and that caused me unnecessary stress.
Is life perfect right now? Oh boy, far from perfect! But now I do have more hope in tomorrow. I also know that Christ has always been with me throughout this whole process of discovery, and He also made me sure that He still loves me, even if I need some medical help to cope with life! Would you believe me that when I poured my heart out to my doctor she told me: “Camila, it took me 45 years to be medicated for Anxiety and until today I regret how I treated my children while battling Anxiety. I felt lonely, and my friends used to tell me to pray more about it. You are doing the right thing! ”
So, I dont know what your are struggling with right now, but whatever that may be, there is always an answer, a treatment, and somebody to help you. Motherhood can be lonely and really hard, but the same God who created you and conceded you the miracle of you becoming a mom will help through your toughest moment.