I’ve mentioned in past posts that I suffer from anxiety. There are so many things that I seem to not be able to do because of this illness but how has it affected my mothering? In some ways it has made me a better mother because of how deeply I think about everything. I think deep deep thoughts much of the day and take my role of mothering very seriously. Yet I fall short. As most people do.
There are many illnesses that mothers can go through. Anxiety is just one of the many. Parenting with an illness or handicap is quite common. Life is unpredictable and suffering can be around any corner. We live in a fallen world, tainted by sin and sicknesses. I’ve met mothers with vertigo, some with depression, some in a wheelchair, some with hormonal issues, autoimmune diseases, I even know one young mother with cancer.
So why is it that I feel so ashamed about this anxiety? Maybe because it is a silent illness that from looking at me you cannot tell. Most people who know me closely say I have a calm demeanor, an easy going personality and am bubbly and joyful. Which I am all of those things. The effect of anxiety on me is completely internal and mostly, cannot be seen with your eyes.
A racing, pounding heart, shaking (skin crawling) feeling inside my legs, arms and hands, racing thoughts, panic, painful shoulders when under stress, headaches, a tight chest and feeling like I can’t breathe, picking away at the skin on my thumbs and feet, clenched jaw, fatigue, insomnia, foggy brain, overeating, itchy skin, stomach in knots, nausea, diarrhea, (IBS), stomach aches, OCD compulsions (hand washing, checking things), feelings of guilt, shame and inadequacy usually follow.
Phew…that was a long list of crazy things going on inside my body. I don’t feel all of these things all of the time. They come and go. Some never completely go. And I never can tell when I’m going to have a panic episode but I do know that I when I get overloaded with stress, even just normal everyday stress, this is when the symptoms worsen. I have chosen to live a simple, gentle life with not too many other activities going on besides the primary care of my family.
This was never meant to be a ‘woe is me’ type blog post but I thought that there may be other mothers and fathers out there with anxiety who could benefit from somebody taking about it.
If you are misunderstood I know exactly how you feel. Anxiety has been my ‘Achilles heel’, in which I can only seem to get so far in life before anxiety pulls me back like a chain upon my legs. Impatient people cannot handle me, as I pull out of things at the last minute. All. The. Time. I have been given labels like ‘unreliable’ and ‘full of excuses.’ (mostly by myself).
The Lord may heal and deliver me from this one day and I have grown stronger as I’ve gotten older. I no longer have the phobias and fears as extremely as I did as a child. But until that day I will fight this battle called anxiety.
Of course, there are many things that anxiety has not stopped me from doing and I am determined to keep going, keep trying, keep dreaming big, keep praising my saviour and keep on trying to be the best wife and mother I can be. Thankfully the Lord is full of grace and compassion and my sweet husband is too.
I always appreciate it when bloggers and YouTubers are honest and share from their hearts so I thought I would be honest with my readers about my struggles as well as the things in my life that I’m super proud of.
Thanks for reading!
Don’t forget to leave a comment, I read each one and reply when I can. Let me know if you would like more blog post chats about anxiety or hear about my current natural remedies to heal my nervous system.
Blessings, Peta xo
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