THE SEROTONIN STORY
A Path to Loving Life and Loving Yourself
My Anxiety Story
In 2017 I became a first time mom to the best little girl I could ever ask for. I love being her mom, and hopefully a mom to another little one in the future, but with motherhood came an intense feeling of being overwhelmed that seemed to hit me out of nowhere, shortly after my return to working full time. Now, our family is complete with our second daughter.
No one really can prepare you for how severely separated you may feel from your baby when you go back to work; needless to say, for most of us, we cannot afford to stay home. This is the case for our family today. We had a new home, new vehicles, and now a new baby to care for - without my income, it would be impossible to live and I couldn't selfishly put the entire financial responsibility on my husband - regardless of how sad I felt. Though the joys of picking her up from daycare brought me an incredible amount of happiness, I was being run down mentally. I was the taxi both day and night, I barely got any time to myself, and while a part of me loved it, the other part of me wanted to pull my hair out from the roots.
It wasn't until my daughter was about 5 months old that it really hit me. I was over-anxious, guilt-ridden, and overwhelmed beyond belief. I thought for sure I was close to the 6 month mark, I was almost in the clear for being past the "depression danger phase." I thought, "It's not going to happen to me. I'll be fine." And when it did, I was scared, and felt like I was going crazy. When seeking out my doctor, with my husband at my side, it was confirmed - I didn't feel as though I needed anxiety medication at the time, with what happened to me in 2019, I often wonder if maybe those feelings never fully went away.
Often times I was worried about everything:
- What if someone hits us in our car when I'm taking her to daycare, and she dies?
- What happens if she chokes on something at home, and I can't save her?
- What happens if she suddenly gets SIDS?
- What if she gets hurt at daycare?
The worries were endless, and always about the extremes - What if something bad happened, and I wasn't there, or I couldn't help her? As she grew older, between work and sometimes taking care of her on my own, I hardly had time or energy to take care of myself. Everything came to halt in 2019. I wasn't eating well, I was barely drinking water, I was severely dehydrated, starting a new role at my job that was far too challenging for what I had signed up for, my daughter had become an unruly toddler with tantrums in tow, which had caused a full body melt down.
I was nauseaous all the time which furthered my inability to eat. Panic attacks started, I could hardly get out of bed, even motion sickness from the nausea made me feel like I was dying. What I later found out was that my body was crashing due to stress overload, and anxiety.
This is what inspired my journey to help others with anxiety and self love. To seek help first and foremost. I thought I was insane, and that it was simply mom-fatigue that was running me into the ground. I always thought, "This is what parents must feel every day, so get through it - this is apart of life now."
I'm here to tell you that it is NOT NORMAL to feel that terrible mentally or physically, and to get help - mild or more serious is still a path in a positive direction. It helps remove oneself of the parent-guilt, and try your best to let go of the things you cannot control. Your happiness, and the happiness of those closest to you rely on you being okay with saying, "I'm not okay." In the end, those you love simply want you to feel that you are at your best - even if it isn't all the time, it's better than hopelessly watching you suffer through the emotions. Anxiety does have help out there - and hopefully, this collection serves as a reminder to follow the path towards feeling a little more like you.