I’ve tinkered and re-read this blog post about a hundred times. I’ve felt anxiety about sharing this (oh, the irony!) I’m about to be completely and utterly honest with you in hopes that you can get a glimpse into my world: I have struggled with anxiety since I was 18 years old.
I remember distinctly when I had my first panic attack. I was at the mall, just a normal day with my best friend when I started to get dizzy, so I ran to the washroom and had no idea what was happening to me. I was so afraid I was dying that my Dad had to come get me. Spoiler alert: I was indeed, not dying. And so the problems began, one after another, I would go off and on medications until finally right after my wedding I received my official diagnosis: generalized anxiety.
I am permanently on medication just so I can feel normal, and I am not ashamed of this anymore. Luckily, mental health is losing its stigma; it’s ok to open up, and speak up about it without being ostracized from society. For a long time, all I heard was, “It’s all in your head.”
Thanks to programs like “Bell let’s talk” in Canada its comforting to know I am definitely not alone. I’m glad to live a normal, happy productive life with assistance.
So, let’s talk shall we?
I knew I had a high risk of postpartum depression and anxiety from conception. At my first doctors appointment, my doctor was essentially booking my postpartum mental health appointment. While I do not suffer from PPD, there are some cues I have noticed as Ben gets older of postpartum anxiety. Here are some of my experiences.
1. Anxiety while in public. Social anxiety is nothing new to me. Although extremely outgoing while growing up, as I got older, the more introverted I became. Now, add a newborn baby (who is small!) into the mix and cue the stares. Also, did I pack every single thing I need or could possibly need? What if the baby won’t stop crying while I’m out? What if I need to feed him and I’m not in a good place to do so? Racing thoughts were definitely a part of this.
The worst. For Ben’s first month of his life, I slept the couch with him within arms reach and basically stayed up all night listening to him breathe. Now we sleep in my bedroom, I pretty much do the same thing although I am getting better. Hey moms, do we ever stop worrying?
3. Separation anxiety.
I had my first experience with this when i was about to go to my work Christmas party after two months of being on maternity leave. I am not sure why because I had been out without the baby before, but it had hit me like a ton of bricks right before heading out. Luckily, I had my husband and Dad encourage me to go out and I had a great time.
Benjamin is formula fed, and with formula comes the ultimate trial and error of trying to figure out what works best for him. With it came a myriad of digestive problems, coupled with him being so small for his age I was in a constant state of anxiety when it came to feeding time. What was normal? What was not? I’m still seeing a paediatrician for him, but the advice of , “itll get better” is starting to click with him. I always trust my gut but, sometimes you need to let go and see what happens. Probably will never stop googling though 😉
Now these may seem like normal worries for moms and they totally are! But there is a distinct difference between normal and not so normal. It’s the symptoms that come with it. Everyone is different, but when anxiety attacks, I get dizzy, hot, “out of it” and essentially want to go lie down.
What has helped me is talking to family, to friends that can relate, and seeking out advice from others. When it happens, sometimes just saying it out loud is all I need to do to silence it.
Does anyone else have experience with anxiety, or postpartum anxiety ? Share a comment below and let’s talk!
As always, if you feel you may have postpartum anxiety, depression or any type of mental health issues, visit your doctor immediately.
Take care ❤