By: Patricia Nicolas (guest blogger)
I recently heard this definition for anxiety - Anxiety is fear of the unknown.
I had to think about that for awhile...
I have had a long 10+ year relationship with my anxiety but I am just now starting to realize how much of it is rooted in fear. Fear of big things like making bad life decisions but also little things like going to a social event.
What does it feel like?
After my first daughter was born it got really intense. I remember after my husband went back to work and the visitors slowed down I would get up with her in the morning and just freeze. I did not know what to do with my day. I all of a sudden had all of these new and strange responsibilities and I felt so much on my shoulders that I was literally paralyzed. It was so bad my milk almost completely dried up (which ended up being fine because breastfeeding was not going well anyways and then I could get back on my anxiety medicine). Then I was scared to tell people I wasn't breastfeeding. I was scared to tell my Mom I wanted and needed to go back to work. And all the fear just fed the Anxiety.
Instead of reaching out for help or comfort, I hid it. I pretended everything was ok. I was scared of how I was feeling but even more scared of what everyone's reaction to how I was feeling would be. Over the years this became a pattern. Hiding from my feelings. Pretending to be something I was not.
Then I became a mother again with my second daughter. Right off the bat she busted through a big fear of mine-- feeling pain. My warm and fuzzy epidural wore off right at crunch time when I had to push and I felt EVERYTHING. After that I started reflecting on how motherhood pretty much kicks fear's ass. I mentally listed so many fears that motherhood has pushed me through. Here are a few of them:
Fear of feeling physical pain.
There's no way around this one if you become a Mom- somewhere along the line during your pregnancy, delivery or aftermath you will feel physical pain and discomfort.
Fear of having zero money in my bank account.
This was always a big fear of mine. Being a parent is expensive! Hopefully this won't happen to you but there came a day when I had a negative bank balance and had to face the reality that we needed diapers and I needed to take my daughter to the doctor for an ear infection. So i conquered another big fear- asking for help. And we got through it!
Fear of going off my anxiety meds.
It wasn't fun but I did it for as long as I needed to.
Fear of what others think of me.
Motherhood slowly but surely kicked this fear's ass. I mean- I don't have time to worry about this anymore!!
Fear of failure.
I fail every day. And I get up and try again the next day. And we are still alive and most days love each other :)
So put on your Mom armor and get out there and be amazing today!!!