Go to fullsize imageSome readers may not know of my struggle with anxiety, perfection, and success.  Since Middle School, I have received treatment for all the symptoms that come with being too hard on yourself for too long.  On a regular basis I deal with hot flashes, dizziness, nausea, and random limb numbness.  It strikes when I least expect it.  It makes my anxiety worse just thinking about that.  What if I am out and I drop on the floor because the numbness has become so intense that I can’t move my arms, legs and lips??  What will my children think of me?  Will they remember me like this?

When I first went to a prefessional for this, I was 13.  My parents told me not to tell anyone that I had to see a psychologist.  My sister called me a head case and crazy.  We drove 1 hour north of our town to see a psychologist because they didn’t want people to know that their daughter was broken.  My grandmother, the sweetest, most loving person I knew and who I called everyday to talk to, couldn’t even know.  Something must be really wrong with me, I thought.  I felt different and isolated living along side people who loved me but couldn’t know how I was struggling. 

I grew up in the ebb and flow of anxiety and anxiety related symptoms.  I have hidden it well.  I overcompensate by “doing it all”.  I surround myself with people but I still feel alone.  The “don’t ask, don’t tell” mentality of my parents is still with me to an extent.  It’s reinforced by the fact that when you tell your “friends” that something is going on, that you are not fine, they pull away.  Who wants to hear about your seemingly unreal anxiety?  What a downer!!  I have struggled to fight this mentality.  To fight the idea that I am broken and alone.

That’s why I am so encouraged to read posts by other mom’s such as Rock’s in My Dryer’s “Wilderness”.  Women push themselves too hard, isolate themselves by silence and expect more of themselves than they should.  The tide of anxiety has come into my life again, but this time I have pledged to myself to not be ashamed.  I am not broken or alone.  I am real and unapologetic.  Thank you to all the other women who have shared their struggles with me.  The more I talk/listen to other strong women about this, the more normal I feel!  The power of connecting is amazing!!