Number Two: We All Have S.H.I.T.
After my first blog about S.H.I.T. (the concept that many of us, especially women, deal with struggles in one or more of four main categories).
S -Silent suffering
H - Hate toward Self
I - Insecurity
T - Tortured Comparisons
(Social media vs reality)
After an incredible response online, several personal messages, and continued airing out of S.H.I.T., I decided to invite just a handful of past clients to get involved too. I sent out the following text message to some JUST to see what sort of response I'd get.
It’s Donna with Evermore Stories and I hope you’re doing well. This year (after the pandemic) I decided to write a very real and very raw blog about personal struggle. It’s a project I’d love your help with; to take it one step further.
I’ve always heard the phrase, “you are as sick as your secrets.” I didn’t understand that until I was older and my “secrets” had poisoned my outlook on life for a while. Until one day, I started sharing my burdens with loved ones, deciding I just didn’t give a damn if they judged me for them or not. On that day, I started living my most authentic life in the foreground instead of hiding behind a Facebook fantasy I’d created. My life is not perfect, but now that I’m honest about it, I’m not feeling crushed under the pressure to make it so. Because in sharing my “SHIT” with others, they’ve felt comfortable to share theirs with me.
WAIT - other people feel this way!?! Imperfect, sad, anxious, like they’ll never measure up? My friends and I had shared experiences and once we started being real, the flood gates opened. We are now closer, we talk more, we hear each other, we help each other and we don’t lie about where we are. I’ve had miscarriages. I’ve had a tough time in my marriage thereafter. I struggle with mom guilt and balancing my career. I compare myself constantly to everyone even though I know “to compare is to despair.” I’ve got shit, because I’m human.
I wrote this blog for all my clients, specifically my female clients who got married and learned that life gets real, problems get bigger, and finding a friend who you can trust and truly cares - well, that feels like the HARDEST thing sometimes. I wrote this because life after the wedding isn’t rainbows and butterflies. I ask you to read it with an open heart and then to consider helping me take this one step further.
I’m planning a PART TWO. I’d LOVE if my clients shared their “S.H.I.T.” with me as well.
I NEVER IMAGINED WHAT CAME NEXT!!!
So many responses came back. The people around me, even those that I was closest to, were dealing with things I couldn't imagine and I'd have never known without this conversation. A woman on the verge of divorce, someone with an addicted loved one, and another in active addiction herself. A friend dealing with being the mother of a child on the spectrum and another mother of a child with critical special needs. Stories of sadness, depression, strength, and redemption. Stories of love, hate, anger, and frustration. Women dealing with anxiety, postpartum depression, infertility, and cancer. The problems were all different, but not one person was without problems.
I challenged the women around me to open up and normalize the fact that everyone struggles and it's okay to not be perfect. These are just a few of their responses and they did NOT disappoint.
Allison L. - From “I do” to “You’ve got cancer”
Last year at this time I was coming up on 2 ½ years of being married. I had a good job and a cute little rent house. Everything seemed to be good.
IT WAS NOT.
Flashback to November 16th 2020. I decided to call it quits with my then husband. I had struggled mentally for so long without any support or help from him but even though I knew I tried my hardest and gave my marriage my all I still felt like this was a failure.
The truth is: I had known it wasn’t going to work for a long time. We got married while he was in the military at a courthouse and planned the “big wedding” for after he was to be discharged. I can honestly say now that I knew while walking down the aisle that this would probably be ending one day but I had already made vows a year and a half earlier and I was determined to prove we weren’t a military cliché.
Moving forward exactly a year to the day of our “big wedding” I hit the end of the rope and had to do what was right for me and my mental health. One of my main struggles with my marriage was that when I would break down or try to get real and raw with my ex, he would always brush it off or tell me I just needed to get over it. He would say he didn’t care to talk about it and then very obviously suggest that I should just go to my mom's or sisters and leave him alone so he could play his video games. I could get past us not really having anything in common, or the fact that it was taking him a while to get on his feet, but what really broke the camel's back was him making me feel completely alone. It got extremely dark and there were nights I just laid there wondering if I would ever be happy again.
As soon as I said the words “I want a divorce” a weight was lifted and I knew it was the right thing to do and even with the “failure” I was excited to start over and find myself again.
Then, February 2021 rolled around and I heard the words, “We think you have cancer.” A few weeks and a bunch of testing later I was diagnosed with stage 3 Hodgkin's Lymphoma.
At first it felt like what else could happen to me? I must’ve done something to deserve what seemed like a bunch of bad shit all in a row right? But while going through all this stuff I've learned a lot. I learned how to deal with the fact that sometimes no matter how much we love someone we have to love ourselves more. While this may seem selfish, I believe now that it's necessary. I loved my ex with everything I had and at first it hurt to realize that he didn’t love me as much but I've learned to be okay with that. I also learned that I am stronger than I thought I ever could be.
While at first, I didn’t understand why God gave me this challenge, I now know it was to show me what all I could do. I have my bad days, for example, the days that I get my chemo treatment but I remind myself that I am doing something that is extremely hard and it’s perfectly normal to have those days and let myself hurt. I can appreciate my bad days because I finally have good days again. My family and friends have surrounded me with more love than can be explained. Also, while at first I thought it would take me a long time to fall in love again, I found a man who is always there for me, spoils me, and loves me like I deserve to be loved. It definitely makes me thankful for all the things that didn’t work out like I wanted them too.
I hope if anyone reading this is struggling to see the light at the end of the tunnel that this helps you realize that the bad things get better and you are definitely not alone.
Dena R. - “I don’t even know who I fricking am anymore!”
I always knew I was going to be a wife and a mom. From the beginning, I didn’t dream about the actual wedding, but I did spend countless hours dreaming about that perfect family that I knew I was just going to have.
And boom… One day I had everything I had ever hoped and prayed so diligently for. A man who loves me as close as humanly possible to the way Jesus does, and four beautiful children… rather close in proximity to one another. So close, in fact, that I spent much of my married life thus far either pregnant or breastfeeding.
John and I got pregnant for our first child only a month after our wedding and the semi-large gap between children 1 and 2 is only explained by my attendance in Physician Assistant school. And boom… again…. 3 children in 3 years.
Amidst starting my career and raising these tiny humans… I started to change. I remember my husband asking me what was wrong one day… and I just blatantly yelled, “I don’t even know who I fricking am anymore!”
At that moment… I truly didn’t. I had spent years isolating myself from my friends because… there’s no time for that when you have goals to meet and kids to raise. I only had my husband; thankfully he’s my best friend above all. But sometimes… you need that girlfriend to lean on.
I was so consumed by anxiety and depression that I literally became a hermit. Going out meant worrying about how the kids would behave, what they would eat, if it would be on their schedule, etc. Date nights…. Ha what?! We rarely did that because… who wants to watch multiple kids at once?! You see, I became so consumed in raising those tiny humans… that I lost sight of myself and, if we’re being honest, my marriage. I wasn’t putting our marriage first… I was putting those children first. I knew how Brielle liked to wear her hair, what fruits Jaxon liked, what toys Wyatt had to have, and don’t you dare forget Emiliana’s nunu.
But… Please do not ask a question about me. Because it just didn’t matter… all that mattered were those tiny humans.
Losing myself caused significant damage… to my health, my mindset, my self esteem, my self worth. You name it… it took a hit. I looked in the mirror and didn’t know who I was and I couldn’t recognize her either.
The first lie we tell ourselves is that: our kids come first. Truth is… they don’t.
The second lie we tell ourselves is that self-care is selfish. Truth is… it’s not.
God first. Husband second. Children third. You don’t like it, we can fight about it… or I can direct you to the nearest priest. Okay. Well then… where does self care come in?
“You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. This is the great and first commandment. And the second is like it: ``You shall love your neighbor as yourself.” Matthew 22: 38-40
“The commandment to love your neighbor as yourself implies something important; it implies that you actually love yourself. It means you want the best for yourself. It means that you strive to see yourself as God sees you, not as better than you are and not as worse... but as you are. To see yourself as God sees you; broken but chosen, a mess but loved. And God rejoices in even the smallest step forward. He rejoices when even one of His little kids just so much as lets Him love them. And the Father rejoices when you let Him love you too.” Father Mike Schmitz
Learning this has been paramount. I realized that all the good I was doing… wasn’t actually good if I was being harmed in the process. Ultimately you cannot give from an empty cup. I might have been giving my family everything… but my everything was only half ass.
A little over a year ago I made one tiny lifestyle change and devoted 2% of my day to myself. I was morbidly obese and simply started with at home workouts. That trickled into eating right. Which trickled into learning how to properly care for myself. Which allowed me to love myself. Once I started loving myself… I was able to let God truly love me back. And that… that has made all the difference. I’m not perfect by any means… but I’m definitely far from half-assing it. The most rewarding aspect is witnessing my family benefit from me properly caring for and loving myself.
Now… now I finally know who I am:
I am a daughter of The King
I am Jonathan’s wife
I am Brielle, Jaxon, Wyatt, and Emiliana’s mommy
I am a Physician Assistant
I am a health and fitness coach
I am worthy. I am capable. I am beautiful. I am loved. And… so are YOU!
In today’s world, there’s a million people on social media telling you what kind of mom you should be. I beg you to direct your attention elsewhere. If this hits home and you’ve lost sight of who you are, know first that above all you are a child of God. Then, I implore you to take some time and find that woman you lost. Once she’s found, stop at nothing to keep her and keep recreating her to be the best possible version of herself. Because… YOU need HER. YOUR family needs HER. WE need HER. Then, find your true tribe and rest on them. It truly takes a village, you just have to find your’s. When you do, you’ll realize you’re not alone.
Brittany B. - Where do we go from here? - Infertility
Dating. Engagement. Marriage. Babies.
Then the “I” word comes along.... Infertility...
It’s a question I keep having in my head every second of every day. Why me? Why do I struggle? Why can’t it be easy for us? It’s not. It’s absolutely pure hell. None of it is “fun”. The medicine. Late cycles. Negative tests. Ovulation tests.
It’s something I hardly talk about. With family. Friends. Social media. I don’t want pity. I don’t want anyone feeling sorry for me. I feel I shouldn’t talk about it. But why should I not talk about it? Why should I hide the way I feel? It’s time. It’s what I need. I need to be open. For people to understand. Not to paint a pretty picture of our life of JUST the good things.
I hate the “When are y’all having a baby?” “Do you not want kids?” “What are you waiting for?” OR....“You are lucky you don’t have any.” “Don’t do it.” (The NERVE!) Yes... yes we want this. We want it all. It’s been five...five long years and recent medication...but nothing. Nothing has happened.
I have all these friends and family members having a baby. Second. Third. Fourth. While I am happy for them, it stings. A lot. Not the sting of hate or being upset towards them. But to myself. My body. Why not me? Some months are easier than others. Some are harder than others. It comes in waves. The littlest thing can trigger thoughts for me. So... why me? Why US? Why do I/we struggle? It’s a day by day challenge. But a challenge I pray will happen for us. Soon.
The worst was a few months ago. It was bad. I had COVID. Started my cycle during it. Sick as hell. I was miserable. I didn’t want to get out of bed and go back to work when the time came. Struggling with emotions. I didn’t want anyone talking to me. Looking at me. I cried and cried. It took all I had to overcome that. If it weren’t for my husband helping and supporting me... My mom and sister being there for me... I don’t know if I would have gotten out of bed and kept moving forward. But I did. I’m moving forward.
But... The struggle is real. It’s hard y’all. I try to keep all my feelings at the door when I enter work everyday. (I work in childcare) But seeing the babies. Children. It's hard. But... I put all my feelings aside, and make things happen. I absolutely LOVE my job without a doubt, and would never imagine doing anything different. But again...It’s hard...balancing work and what I’m dealing with. But I do it. Every. Damn. Day. I get out of bed and keep moving.
I’d like to think I’m getting better... day by day. Starting to stay positive. I do have a great support system. I’ve been opening up more about it. I’m starting to feel better. I KNOW I’m not the only one going through this... We need to talk about it ladies. Be open to talking about. Who cares if someone judges you. Let. It. Out. Just having someone listen and vent. They don’t need to say anything back. Hell, they might have been there once too. Or going through it with you. Because ladies.....you are not alone!
Heather C. - Abuse and Anxiety - Divorce and Depression
Anxiety, depression, divorce, self-image issues, and co-parenting with a narcissist, self-deprecating sense of humor about my weight, and the list goes on. The reason I don’t share my struggles as often is because I feel like a complainer and a bother to others. However, I suffered in silence for years, and I’m hoping my struggles can help normalize what others are feeling.
I started suffering with anxiety and depression while in college. I was stuck in a mentally abusive relationship. It took its toll on me mentally and physically. I went through the ringer medically trying to find the right medicine to help me find my balance again. Eventually I broke up with the guy once I moved home for the summer and was working 40+ hours a week. I gained the strength I needed by going home and having distance to break it off. I stayed on my medicine for anxiety and depression for years.
I eventually got married WAY too fast (within 7 months of dating, however I knew the guy and was friends with him for 10 years) and that was a huge shock. I went from being treated like a princess on a pedestal to folding the towels wrong, washing and drying the clothes on the wrong settings, loading the dishwasher wrong, etc. By the way, being divorced, my clothes and dishes still get washed and are clean. Married life was a culture shock. My ex even told me that this was not some Disney happily ever after, that’s not how marriage works. (I was his second wife.)
Fast forward a couple of years I got off of my medicine, and we have our first child. My ex always only wanted 1 child. I always wanted 3. Things were okay between us and we were adjusting to life with a baby. I have endometriosis and PCOS and was told if I wanted more kids to start trying once my oldest was 1. She turned 15 months old and I thought I was pregnant. I told my ex this. He kept telling me to wait on taking a test and to not take it. I finally had enough and took one while they were outside playing.
Sure enough the test shows I’m pregnant.
After my initial doctor’s appointment I had the standard blood work done where I found out I have hypothyroidism and Hashimoto’s disease. Yay me!
I go in for my ultrasound. The doctor turns the monitor to me and says, “What do you see, Mama?” I had not that long ago had ultrasounds done with my first pregnancy so I knew what it should look like. I was in shock. I stumbled, answering, “Two…” She excitedly confirmed there were in fact two in there. At that moment, my ex exclaims, “Son of a bitch, you always get your way!” Y’all, I was so ashamed and embarrassed.
The twins were born at 32 weeks and stayed in the NICU for 28 days and 43 days. They came home on heart monitors for the next 3 months. I eventually had to get on my antidepressants again because I had postpartum depression so bad. I have tons of examples of what I went through in my marriage, but just as hard as marriage was, divorce is just as hard but messier.
I wanted to leave for years but was so worried about how I would make it financially. So many times my friends tried to talk to me about my marriage and how it wasn’t healthy. You just get used to someone correcting you, and yelling at you and your kids. It seems easier to take it rather than keep fighting. Eventually I knew they were right and it was time to leave.
Finally I had enough of the way he was treating me and the kids. I was very worried about leaving them with him without me there, but I needed to get out. I wanted to raise my kids to think it wasn’t okay to be treated that way, and if you are being treated that way to do something about it.
The divorce process was ugly, very ugly. We still fight like crazy. Now I can hang up on him when he starts yelling at me over the phone. I don’t have to listen to that or put up with it. It’s miserable. He goes behind my back and does things and expects me to just be on board. I would write more, but I’m still in fear of repercussions.
It's disgusting how someone can have that much power over you even after divorce. The year after my divorce was the worst of my life. He made my life hell. I tried to commit suicide twice. I went to see a therapist and changed medicines often to find the right combination. I did not work at a supportive school, so work was not good either that year.
Thankfully, I had a friend that I talked with about what I was going through. She had a very nasty divorce and could relate. It was reassuring to have a friend who made it out on the other side because at the time I wasn’t sure I’d make it out alive.
My ex drove a wedge between one of my best friends and me. We had been friends since college. He was so mean to my kids and me, it made people very uncomfortable to be around. So we just stopped talking. We weren’t ugly or anything and stayed friends on Facebook, we just quit talking.
Once I started healing, through medicine, seeing a therapist, moving schools, seeing a change in my kids, I reached out to her to ask for a recommendation for a hotel in Galveston. She invited me to go stay with them. I took her up on that offer. It was like the kids and I had never drifted from them. Our kids played together and we chatted like normal. She has a healthy marriage with a great man.
She’s sad to hear I’ll never date or marry again because she keeps telling me like she did back then that’s not how things are supposed to be. I’ve got to protect my kids and myself. Plus, because I co-parent, I still deal with my ex constantly. It’s life draining.
I will say my oldest has stood up to my ex when he’s treating her badly. I have mixed feelings about this because he is her father and she should respect him, however, when you are being mistreated you should stand up for yourself. For one of her school projects this year, she had to write who she admires most. She chose me. Y’all, just thinking about it is making me tear up again. According to her, I’m independent, I stand up for myself; I’m a teacher, and a mother; a good mother at that. Her project let me know I did the right thing.
My life is messy, very messy. But it’s my mess and at times a beautiful mess. You are not alone.
Amber W. - Being a super mom to a special needs son
I've started this over about a million times in my head. Because choosing what to leave out of our story is difficult considering Elijah's diagnosis- or lack thereof -is difficult.
To briefly set the tone- we were already not in the best place in our marriage when I became pregnant with Elijah. We worked on ourselves throughout the pregnancy and mended the best we could. We were thrilled to have welcomed a seemingly perfect little boy to the family, even though the looming feeling of the end of our family was in the background.
We had no concrete evidence that anything was concerning about Elijah prior to his birth. I had gut-feeling suspicions before and right after he was born, but there was nothing that stood out enough from a medical standpoint to draw immediate attention or concern. He missed a few milestones at two months of age, but it happens and he was still gaining weight and growing so…
Shortly after that wellness checkup I began to notice the series of events I suspected were seizure activity. I was able to get an EEG scheduled (it was October and nothing was available until mid-December) so we took the slot, asked to be put on a list to take any last minute cancellation and waited.
By Thanksgiving it was obvious that something was not "right". I counted eight of the "episodes" in a 24 hour time period. I went to the ER at 5 am trying to explain that he's had multiple seizures in the last 24 hours, what they looked like, how long they lasted, if anything seemed to trigger it...I repeated this at least 10 times.
Once they saw a seizure in the ER it was decided he was to be admitted to PICU. We get there and wait to see the attending physician. He told me an upper GI scope was scheduled (we did have Elijah on meds for reflux because he would spit up/vomit after every feeding, which was part of his seizure) for right after lunch so to not feed Eli, and he asked me about his actions. Like clock-work out of a dead sleep, Elijah began seizing again and all I could say was "That. THAT is why he's here."
The doctor cancelled the scope and requested a stat EEG. Once the neurologist analyzed it all he could say was, "This is abnormal. It's more abnormal than I feel I can treat. I'm sending you to New Orleans."
I lost it because in the meantime I had a two year old daughter I just dropped off to a family member in the middle of the night and said "I love you. I'll see you soon. Bubba's sick so I'm going to make him better."
They couldn't tell me how long we would be at Children's Hospital. I was still a full time teacher, and somebody had to be with him at all times because he was an infant. The neurologist at CHNOLA was an absolute blessing because his bedside manner was impeccable and exactly what I needed in that time. We continued to work with him until we moved to Orlando in 2020.
In a nutshell, Elijah has a rare form of epilepsy caused by a genetic mutation. But it's not just seizures for him. He's non-verbal, has low muscle tone, has a movement disorder (he doesn't stop moving as long as he is awake), lack of voluntary control over actions/lack of muscular coordination, is g-tube dependent (had it placed in 2018 after multiple hospitalizations from respiratory illness due to aspiration)....basically he's a newborn in a now 4.5 year old body that is the size of a two year old and has even less ability than a newborn baby.
His mutation is of the gene GABRB2. We have found maybe 30-40 children in the world who also have a mutation of this gene, variants have been identified, and only two individuals have been found to have the exact same variant.
I had to leave my teaching career after six years, my husband had to work two jobs just to ensure we could keep up with normal expenses (house, cars, insurances, etc). Our marriage limped through the next few years because when we were told, "You need to love on and spend as much time with your son as possible because we are not confident in how long you will have him."
We completely changed our perspective on life. Even though we were apart and not the picture perfect couple most of the time our family continued to grow, and we were blessed with two more beautiful sons.
Our families have always been supportive, but they didn't always have the right words, or say the right things. When they would learn about each baby following Elijah, the question of "Don't you think you already have your hands full?" was frequently asked, and was hurtful because we both wanted a bigger family regardless of a child with special needs. We didn't want to start over with other people, so it was hurtful.
We also faced pressure from family members over the medical decisions made by us or ultimately by the physicians taking care of Elijah. I did get some negative feelings and hard times when I announced our move to Orlando. I now firmly believe that everyone sees that we are in a much better place that offers more opportunities and better care for all of our kids than we ever had in Louisiana.
I never felt much pressure from other moms about Elijah's care or condition because I was fortunate to find a community of special needs moms in the area who understood, supported, and helped guide me in making the best decisions for Elijah when the time came. I only ever felt medical pressure from the GI we saw in Lafayette. In Florida, we have been blessed to have been referred to or sought out compassionate and competent physicians who take the time to listen to our concerns and opinions and use that information in their treatment plan for Elijah.
We have spent more time in the hospital than I care to recall. I've been there with Elijah while he was still breastfeeding, while I was pregnant with his younger brothers, and while they were still nursing.
All-the-while our daughter has suffered the loss of one-on-one time with her mommy. It put a serious strain on our mother-daughter relationship very quickly. She has vocalized how she feels less important than her brother because "he gets more attention." And that's ok. It hurts to hear it. I cry every time, but I feel it has to be said so I understand how she feels. I also need to reassure her that it's not that I choose to give him more attention, but that he needs it to be healthy and survive. I also remind her that this special big little brother won't be here forever. God and Jesus are just letting us borrow this angel for a while because they didn't think we had enough to do already. That always makes her at least smile and chuckle.
I've had days where I felt like I actually had IT together. I was winning as a mom (had a healthy, well-rounded meal prepared with enough leftovers for a few nights, clothes were set out for a few days ahead of time, and there was no hunting for shoes or school work) and a wife by making life as easy for my husband who had barely been around his own children over the last four years and suddenly had to become super dad doing all the morning prep and drop-offs.
I've also had days where I just wanted to crawl into a corner, under a blanket, under a rock and cry so hard I would just stop breathing and it would just be seen as "Poor mom. She had a lot going on and it's no wonder she succumbed to the pressure." I've cried to my husband so many times in traffic at a stop light or while driving on the highway, or while trying to hide away in my bathroom where my kids won't see me in shambles and think they did anything wrong. I've cried to countless doctors in emergency rooms, in special care units/intensive care, and to the palliative care team when they proposed that we discuss what medical protocol we as parents want to have documented in the event that Elijah comes into the hospital in a crisis so we don't have to make decisions suddenly with adrenaline and emotions running high.
We've had to discuss how we want Elijah's life to be celebrated- yes, we've had to plan his funeral. We have had to save our own money as well as birthday and Christmas gift money to be used as life insurance because we cannot buy any for him because he has seizures.
I've wanted to quit and just say eff it because I've done my best and it's not good enough so just whatever. But then I look at or think about my handsome boy who has been through SO much in his short 4.5 years on earth. He goes through this daily pain and struggles that we can't fathom but he still finds a way to smile as much as he can when things are calm.
Elijah finds his ways to let us know that he understands all that goes on around him and he comprehends our conversations. I then remember WHY I've done all of this. Why I have chosen to keep going, to keep breathing, and to keep advocating for him. It's because at the end of the day all Elijah has is his family- his mom, his dad, and his three siblings.
If we've been able to do anything with our time with Elijah, we hope that we have encouraged other parents to realize that NOTHING is to be taken for granted. Your seemingly normal kid could not wake up tomorrow. With no warning. I can honestly say when I think about Ella, Ezra or Easton in that situation it makes me more sick to my stomach than it does when I put Elijah in that situation because it's something we've learned to accept with his condition. Tomorrow is never promised.
If anybody takes anything from this, especially another parent of a special needs child, I want them to know that I get it. I understand. I may not fully know how you feel or what your thoughts may be, but I understand. If you want to talk, cool. If you don't, that's cool too. I don't always want to talk either, which is probably why I've considered writing a book about this entire experience because of all the stuff I have read or shows I have watched not a single one portrays a family of six (let's be real- in 2021 that's a BIG family) with a special needs child who has an un-diagnosable/un-named condition who can be fine one day and in the ER struggling to breathe the next.
Dear Super Parent,
You're doing a great job. Please don't quit. Take care of yourself. Remember to smile, but ask for help when you need it.
Most importantly- you are not alone.
Brittany T. - From “complete stop” to “floor it” - High-Functioning Anxiety
As a mother of an older toddler, twin toddlers, and also has high-functioning anxiety, telling me to stop is something I hate. I mask my anxiety by “flooring it,” and not stopping.
I had to come to a complete stop when the pandemic happened and learn how to live with my anxiety. I had to work on myself, majorly, before I went through another green light again. I underwent EMDR therapy, routine therapy with another therapist, and continued to see my doctor. I had a team of women specialized in the perinatal/postpartum.
I spent 14 months working on me.
An anxious person does not know how to sit still to begin with, high-functioning or not. When I am having a panic attack, I pace around. An anxious mom? Well, that is a whole other mountain.
We must keep it together even when our emotions are running 100% mph. We must. Our babies are counting on us.
If you are like me, your emotions and your physical self are running at the same speed. How did I stop? How could I stop? Stopping allowed me to feel my anxiety even more and how to cope with it.
I will be honest, I hated it. EMDR therapy is just plain hard. I had to put my coping skills into place. I had to be okay with being uncomfortable at times. My depression even reared its ugly head during the process. I had to sit still at a red light for 14 months until God told me to go.
Eventually a person with high-functioning anxiety does come to a stop. That is when it gets hard. I had to be strong for my babies, so I chose to love myself before I “floor it” again.
If you are dealing with high-functioning anxiety - you are not alone.