Editor’s note: The following article is written by a Skinny Mom Resident Mom. The Resident Mom program gives a voice to our readers, allowing moms across the world to contribute content to Skinny Mom. If you’re interested in becoming a Resident Mom, click here to apply.
As a mom, we want to be strong for everyone else. That’s our job, right? So when things start feeling off, we don’t want to admit it. We aren’t the ones that are supposed to get sick, mentally or physically; we are the strong ones that take care of everyone else. That’s why it’s very hard to admit that we have an issue.
What makes it even worse is that anxiety is silent. It’s very hard to recognize that you have an issue, let alone anyone else see it, so many suffer alone and untreated. I say this to give you a backstory on how I feel and what my struggles are. I have just barely admitted to myself that something wrong is going on with me.
My anxiety comes on with no rhyme or reason; the littlest thing can set it off. The other day, I had to drive my son to a soccer game that was an hour away and my anxiety came on like a ton of bricks. I couldn’t breathe and my heart was racing. I couldn’t calm down. This case kind of makes sense because driving to an unfamiliar area might be a little scary.
>> Read more: 8 Ways to Relieve Anxiety
But what really doesn’t make sense is when I have an anxiety attack when I am sleeping. What can trigger that? A dream? An unconscious memory? It’s a very scary feeling to have wake up with my heart racing, unable to catch my breath. Unless you’ve felt it, an explanation of how it feels doesn’t come close. It’s one of the scariest feelings in the world, like you think you’re having a heart attack. And to never know when it might come on makes you walk on eggshells constantly.
>> Read more: 5 Signs Your Anxiety Treatment Isn’t Working
At the moment, I have been battling my anxiety all by myself — sometimes self-medicating — but most of the time by relying on my runs to help me run things through my brain. Running allows me the time to get in my brain and work on issues in my quiet peace. Running has helped me keep my anxiety at bay, making the instances much less than in the past. This has worked so well for the past couple of years, but I’ve noticed lately that the anxiety attacks are starting to come more frequently and stronger again. I’m not sure what is causing this.
Maybe I’m stretching myself too thin with my kids’ activities, or maybe I’m allowing the stresses of life to affect me more. Whatever the cause is, I’m realizing that it might be time to ask for help. This is hard for me; I wanted to feel I was strong enough to handle this all on my own.
I guess I write this not only to help myself realize it’s okay to need help, but also to let everyone else who is silently suffering out there know that it’s okay. You can ask for help. It doesn’t make you a bad mom or a bad wife. It makes you human. I’m human!
>> Read more: Healthy Ways to Beat Anxiety