I have contemplated a lot before deciding on writing this post. I am still not sure if it will help me or make things worse but I guess there is only one way to find out.
Once becoming a mother all worries in the world come upon you and few hours of continuous sleep may turn into a nightmare. The “what ifs” are pouring down as soon as you open your eyes in panic.
“How long did I sleep for?”
“Did she cry, cough, sneeze… and I didn’t hear her?”
“What if someone got into my house and stole her while I was sleeping soundless?”
“What if the blanket covered her face and she can’t breath?”
“What if she is so cold she can’t stop shivering and she gets ill because I fell asleep instead of checking on her?”
You see, there are so many questions attacking me in just seconds from the moment I open my eyes. My heart is racing, my head is pounding and I feel like I can’t breath. I am shaking before I get out of bed. My knees are weak and they make efforts on carrying me to her bedroom while I imagine the worst scenarios a normal person would not even consider.
I rest my hand on her tummy and feel her breathing. She is so peaceful, sleeping in her baby bed. I smile and try to get back to my normal self. I want to leave her bedroom but my mind plays tricks on me. I start thinking again: “What if she’s not breathing and it just seemed like it?” So I check again. I do it about three to four times so I can be sure everything is ok. I go back to bed and it takes me ages to fall asleep again. That is if I actually sleep. Most times I just make a coffee and sit by myself trying to slow my mind.
I am in pain until she wakes up. When I hear her I just rush in and pick her up. I kiss her like there is no tomorrow and hold her so tight to me, breathing in her smell and letting tears run down my face, happy and relieved that she is perfectly fine.
This is just how my day starts. We make plans, we try and go out as much as possible so my brain can leave me alone for a while. I stress about her food, thinking maybe she hasn’t eaten enough, I stress about the fact that maybe she doesn’t have enough friends to socialise. Maybe I am not good enough and I should get better.
There are so many thoughts stressing me out and taking over my life. They overwhelm me and at times I find myself feeling powerless. I question every move I make and doubt myself more than you can imagine. I stress out over such trivial things sometimes I wonder if I am actually insane. I get anxiety over hypothetical things, things that might happen and things that most probably won’t.
You see, I always post the beautiful, the positive, the empowering and the motivational but at times I am everything but that. All my pictures are filled with smiles and unless you know me well, you won’t realise what hides behind those pretty glasses and matching outfits.
My knee-jerk reaction to almost every situation is to stress, worry, and imagine the worst-case scenario possible. It’s automatic and out of my control. I don’t really want to think of someone kidnapping my daughter but I do. I don’t want to imagine myself in a car and having an accident. I don’t really want to think of people judging me for who I am but I actually do and it hurts like hell.
If one day I go out the house feeling self conscious about the way my hair looks, trust me I will check every person I walk past to see if they look at my hair. If someone actually does, I will imagine them feeling disgusted by my horrible hair and convince myself that I shouldn’t have left the house.
Sudden noises in my house will get me on army mode, ready to fight burglars who broke into my flat and want to murder myself and my child.
My kitchen sink is dripping. It doesn’t annoy me but it does make me think of my flat being flooded in a matter of seconds, me emptying my bank account having to repaint my neighbours house and pay further unimaginable damages.
Someone just refused to pick up their crying baby. You know what that does to me? Makes me imagine shouting at that person, lecturing her on how important it is to hold your newborn, on what being a mother actually means. I will stress thinking about how abandoned that poor baby feels and even cry at times.
Does that sound ridiculous? I know it does. It actually is but these things are uncontrollable. They are stronger than I am at times and I have no strength to chase it away.
I work out, I read, I write, I walk for miles every day, I am a very active person. I love life, I love beauty and I dream of a perfect world but see, sometimes I am different and I can’t do anything about it. Hate me or love me. This is who I am.
A mother living with anxiety.