I have always suffered from anxiety. I truly just never realized how badly I was suffering until after I got help.
Let’s start with “what is anxiety“, shall we? Because for some people, if they have never experienced it, it can be confusing on what it actually feels like. Anxiety is, by definition, “intense, excessive, and persistent worry and fear about everyday situations. Fast heart rate, rapid breathing, sweating, and feeling tired may occur.”
How I would describe my anxiety would be that feeling of “fight or flight“. If you are in a very stressful situation, your body recognizes that and enters that fight or flight mode. When it does this, your heart starts to race, your palms sweat, and your nervous system goes into overdrive.
For me, before I got treated for my anxiety, that was how I was feeling all the time. Another way I can describe it is that everything seemed like an emergency to me. And I blew everything out of proportion in my own head.
I remember so many times being in the car with my kids and they would be talking and I would feel overstimulated so I would yell at them. I remember my husband looking at me like I was crazy because he didn’t understand why I had such a big reaction when nothing was actually happening.
But that’s what mental illness can look like, right? Everyone around you who isn’t suffering can’t possibly imagine that you are experiencing things differently than them.
When I finally got on antidepressants and started taking CBD oil daily, I couldn’t believe that most people live this way without feeling anxious constantly. Anxiety and depression are tricky: you don’t recognize that you are going through it until after. It was like it creeped up on me slowly, and for years I thought it was just how I was meant to feel as a mom to two young kids.
I’ll never forget one time when the kids were younger and I was really suffering internally, the kids were outside playing in the sandbox. I was sitting there, and I had this overwhelming feeling of panic. About nothing. I remember looking around and recognizing that everything was fine, the kids were calm, playing nicely, it was a beautiful day, and yet in my head I was in full panic mode.
Once I got on an antidepressant, my life truly changed. Every single aspect of it. Where I was once a very pessimistic person who always thought the worst of everything, I now see the beauty all around me in my every day life. I am able to appreciate everything and everyone in my life. I don’t feel anxious, or sad, or self conscious. It has made all the difference in the world for me.
Another thing that has been a game changer for me has been CBD. I have jellies that I take every morning and CBD oil that I take every night. It calms my nervous system so that I am not constantly on edge. Yes, the antidepressant takes most of the edge off already, but the CBD helps me stay more calm and in the moment for my family. It also has been helping me sleep better.
If you are a mom to young kids, it is totally normal to feel anxious. I would say when I would look into getting help is when it affects your every day life. If you are against antidepressants and want to try something more natural, you could always try out CBD first.
“This too shall pass” is something I would always tell myself in early motherhood. And it did. But I know that when you are in that situation it is very hard to recognize that things will get better. The kids will get older, you’ll get a little more of your independence back soon, and your mental health can also improve if you really want it to.