'Postpartum' Aneixty and Coping
So recently my anxiety flared up due to some family drama. I try my best to keep everything in check because the slightest thing can cause a flare up. A sad story, random happening, a bad day, a misunderstanding. You name it.
I call it postpartum because it hit at an all time high after having my first baby. But in all honesty it's just anxiety. Paralyzing, unproductive, exhausting aneixty. I've always been prone to anxiousness, but it progressed rapidly after the birth of my daughter. I initially diagnosed myself with baby blues, hoping that after a while I would be back to normal. But instead the opposite happened, everything seemed to get worst and everything seemed to be a trigger. One minute I was ok. The next minute everything was crumbling around me. For the first 3 months of her life I struggled to get my footing and muster up the courage to even venture outside. I was drowning in my emotions and fears. I felt like no one understood me or would care too. And when I tried to open up and share with people I felt judged and misunderstood, even dismissed.
So I looked for help online. Most of the advice was practical, but hard to put into practice when you're in the thick of everything. I didn't live around family, and I felt my support system was severely lacking. I didn't want to 'bother' people with my issues, so I suffered in silence. I felt stuck constantly. Fall and winter were especially bad because of the weather and the darkness. I had trouble sleeping. At times I would see glimpses of normalcy, but it was always fleeting.
And when it didn't get better after a while I realized this was my new normal, and I needed coping mechanisms. Things to help me fight past the drowning feeling. I sought professional help, but didn't follow through because part of me wasn't ready to cope in that way yet. But eventually, I ended up back here. You can't do it alone. My biggest lesson learned here was no man is an island. It's so refreshing to have a different perspective. I know going to a therapist usually means you're crazy, but the reality is most of us are. 😂
So my help started there, I released. I continually release, even when it's not comfortable. I talk about how I'm feeling. I share, I allow people to hear my concerns and give them a chance to help me even if they are just providing a listening ear. This is more valuable than you think.
Next, I'm careful about what I put into my mental spaces. I watch what I read. I stay off FB, mostly. I don't watch the news. I don't believe eveything I read on social media. I minimize my drama and limit my time with those who cause it.
I try to be more emphatic and sympathetic, but realize everyone's problems are not mine. This is big one, I internalize EVERYTHING. I take on the weight of the world. Your issue is my issue. I am learning to detach myself. I can't save everyone especially those who don't want to be saved or people who are not helping themselves.
I focus on my mental health daily. It's a daily struggle for me. I pray. I do things that make me happy. I do things that make me healthy overall (exercise, juicing). I focus on what I can control. I hang around people who enhance my life and make me better.
I wanted to share my story because so many people struggle with depression and anxiety. They feel alone. And let's face it life's hard enough without this challenge. So next time you talk to a new mom, or someone going through a big life change, just offer to listen. Give them the gift of your presence. And if you're someone who struggles with Aneixty or depression seek help, we all need a little help sometimes.