To The Mom With Anxiety

To the precious, worried mama,

I know what it's like to wake up some mornings and think of the first worry you have to confront. Or, maybe it's a list of worries - simple tasks like housework or making sure your child is on time for school. Or maybe it's much bigger - your health, your kids' health, money, the loss of a loved one, the unknown. Or, this one can be the hardest - you have NO idea what your worry is, you just FEEL off.

I know these feelings too well.

You feel terrible because you are really okay - you are physically fine. But, there's something that just doesn't feel right. Most of the time, you can't put your finger on it; you just have this heavy burden pressing on your shoulders and sometimes your chest. You can't lift it off for some reason. There's nothing to grab so you just fall a bit deeper into the worry.

I know this feeling too. I've been there.

Maybe life has been tough - there's been death or maybe sickness. You struggle with relationships. You can't make ends meet. So, you know the reason why you worry. Or, maybe life has been pretty good, but the world around you seems scary for you and for your kids, so you worry about any of you going into the thick of it all.

It's scary. I know it.

You see other moms with the cutest clothes, the perfectly coifed hair, or maybe even that chiseled physique you can't imagine having in your postpartum life. You wonder why you can't do all of these things - be all of these things.

The feeling wears you down. I know it does.

I know the triggers to my anxious moments. Writing a recent post about my skin cancer threw me into a panic that I hadn't had in a while, so I needed to get the words out here. Suddenly, these memories and the thought of an impending appointment left me in a puddle of tears right after hitting publish. Then these tears made me think of my brother. Worry came crushing down - thinking of all of us he left behind and would we make it to the other side of grief. One thing after another then another.

It's a fast-moving train; a fear with a crazy ripple effect. I know it and feel it.

When that anxiety or worry comes, we have to talk about it. Just as you would talk about fixing any physical illness, we need to talk about these feelings too. Not just with friends and family, but with a counselor or trusted doctor. We must not add to our worry by worrying over what others will think. Seek your help - know whom you can trust and do not be afraid to get the words out into the open.

I love my people - those who love me and guide me no matter my fear. Share with yours.

Take your time in finding what makes you most anxious. Take your time understanding your triggers. Write your thoughts down - in a letter or just brainstorm. Use these words to start a conversation with someone who can really help. And know this is not going to go away overnight or maybe ever. But, you have the ability to find your ways to monitor and keep the worried thoughts away.

I am in a daily struggle, but I fight it still. With prayer, with exercise, with support.

Take a walk. Move more. Find a counselor. Love one another. Trust yourself. Forgive yourself.

Please know you are not alone. You will never be alone. You do not need to be ashamed because you are passionate and strong.

I am with you.

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