Anxiety Mommy

It’s hard having anxiety.  Crippling, overwhelming, hard to breath anxiety.  I’m lucky to only have anxiety that bad a few days a month, but that’s not all anxiety is.  Anxiety is always with me.  It is in every decision I make, every event I am planning, every future I foresee, and it is not nice.  Anxiety does not give me visions of seeing my daughter in high school, it gives me visions of something terrible happening to her.  I see every way in which she or my husband could be taken from me.  I even see ways that I could be taken from my family, never able to see my daughter grow up.

Every day I make sure she doesn’t pull on dressers, because I read a story about a three year old who pulled a dresser on herself while her parents were still sleeping and died while they slept.

I didn’t buy her a cubbie shelf (per the suggestion of her grandmother) because I had just read a story about a 13 month old girl dying from pulling one over and being knocked unconscious and suffocating.

I make sure the blind cords are up too high for her to reach because I read something about a five year old boy hanging himself accidentally in blind cords.

Everything I hear or read stays with me.  Forever.  Anxiety doesn’t let me forget.  It dwells inside me.  It lives there and breeds and grows and envelopes my brain.  The older my daughter gets, the worse it gets because the more she’s doing, the more danger shes’s in from the world.  I know these events are rare, but they are so incredibly tragic that I cannot ever forget.

…and it doesn’t even have to be something in her age group.  I just sobbed in the bathtub as I read comments on a post about delivering a stillborn baby (I couldn’t bring myself to read the post).  There were mothers talking about the heartache of losing their children to SIDS at two, five, six months old.  I flashed back to that age where I was so terrified of the same thing that I would wake 10-20 times a night to check my daughter to make sure she was still breathing.  She slept by my bed until 10 months.  After that I woke 10-20 times a night to watch the monitor and make sure she was breathing.  I still check her monitor 2-3 times a night (she’s 19 months old).

I worry about everything constantly.  It will most likely wear off on my daughter, as my mothers anxiety wore off on me.  I like that is makes me cautious, that I understand that bad things happen, but I’d really like to not fear walking along the sidewalk with my daughter because I’m scared a car is going to drive over the curb and hit us.  I’d like to leave the house without her without worrying that I’m going to die in a car wreck and never see her face again.

This anxiety is with me forever.  Medication will probably help (and i’m discussing this with a doctor soon), but it will never go away.  And that is exactly why I cannot fathom having another child.  How could I make it through another pregnancy, another year of SIDS watch, another full life of another human that I made, without completely losing it and locking everyone in the house and never leaving.  I can’t do it.  I can’t do it and take care of myself and take care of my daughter.  I know that, my husband knows that, and my daughter will know it one day.  I hope she can forgive me for my anxiety, and know that the decisions I’ve made to keep us a three person family were the best for not only me, but also her and her daddy.

4 thoughts on “Anxiety Mommy

  1. I am so sorry you experience such debilitating anxiety. Anxiety is one of those really strange things. It serves us well in some ways but when it’s in hyper-gear it can make us totally dysfunctional! You sound worried about how it might impact your daughter in the long-run. If you’re talking to your doctor about medication, you might also look into therapy (especially Acceptance and Commitment Therapy) or Mindfulness Based Therapy. It’s not about getting rid of the anxiety, but about relating to it differently. Medication usually provides temporarily relief but then you can even get anxious about the meds. Maybe perhaps, if you are motivated enough, do a self-help workbook first? I would recommend something like this. Cheaper than filling prescription meds or seeing a therapist 🙂

    • I am already anxious about medications and I haven’t even talked to a doctor about them yet. I have really bad reactions to almost every medication (even birth control). I just told my husband about this and he wants me to give the workbook a try, and I am also curious, so I will order it today! I will also talk to you about it once I get it in case I need some help. 😉

      I know that my anxiety stems from my PCOS, which isn’t contagious, but I know that growing up in a house with an anxious parent can be hard and cause anxiety even before you have it from something medical (I myself have suffered from panic attacks since second grade). My daughter also has a high chance of having PCOS herself, so I’d rather her not start with anxiety and then have her hormones push her into the anxiety abyss like they have with me.

      I’d like to look into therapy before drugs, if that is the route I need to take, but it’s only getting worse with each passing month, so something has got to give!

      • I am so proud of you for ordering the book!!! I have flipped through it before and it looks AHMAZING. “ACT” is my favorite approach to anxiety and I hope it will enlighten you like it has enlightened me.
        It sounds like you have already tried so many control strategies to rid you of your anxiety. Now you’re making changes in your life (saying, there’s NO WAY I can have another kid, because of my anxiety!!) (now, there are many valid reasons for choosing not to have another child, but if it’s all because of internal “stuff” like anxiety…. look at how much that is controlling your life!).
        Please chat with me ANYTIME and I’ll do my best.
        And, um.. HORMONES. Yes I TOTALLY believe hormones are at the root of SO MANY intense emotional experiences. 100%. And having whacked out hormones will TOTALLY explain intense anxiety/depression/mood swings.
        *hugs* you are awesome!

      • awww.. YOU are awesome!! Thank you so much! I really appreciate the love and support. I’ve been having a really hard time lately. Really hard. I will let you know how it goes with my book. 🙂

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