“Write about what you have been struggling with.”
Oh, where do I begin?
It all comes down to anxiety. I can tell you that I’ve had my fair share of issues with it, but none of those compare to what it has been like over these last nine months. Anxiety, for me, is like… knowing that things are ok at the end of a scary movie and then getting a phone call and only hearing heavy breathing on the other end. Or, being late for an important interview and getting stuck behind a slow driver and trying not to let the road rage peak it’s ugly head out. Or, to be specific, knowing that my child is perfectly safe but having an overwhelming fear that I will never see him again. Anxiety, for me, is the giant pink elephant in the teeny-tiny room that nobody wants to address.
My sweet child is 9 months, going on 10. Raising him has been such an amazing (and to be honest, slightly tough) experience. It wasn’t until recently that I considered what I was going through to be postpartum anxiety. I mean, I had heard of postpartum depression. I even considered at one point that I had it, I did after my first child. I took a quiz online that I had found – I was considered “borderline” to postpartum depression and if I had just one more point they would have suggested talking to a professional. The thing is, I was talking to professionals but felt like I wasn’t being taken seriously. A couple of weeks ago I took a psychology assessment and scored highest in generalized anxiety disorder, posttraumatic stress disorder, and panic disorder, lower in depression but still a little high, and didn’t score anything in bipolar disorder which was surprising to me considering that is what I have been diagnosed with since I was 11 years old. So I made a list of what has been going on with me:
1. Since the beginning I haven’t liked to ask anyone to watch my baby for me, not even his dad.
2. I am literally afraid to have baby out of my sight because something bad could happen to him. (This was the case for the first 6-7 months after he was born).
3. I am more irritable than usual.
4. I constantly felt like baby’s daddy didn’t love me anymore and was trying to find a way out and take baby from me.
5. I would argue with baby’s daddy about house duties and parenting styles and start to panic when I felt like I wasn’t being heard and validated.
6. I spend a significant amount of time researching ways to interact with my baby and different things I can be doing with my baby to support his development because I worry (A LOT) that I am not a good parent. In fact, I have convinced myself that I am not a good parent.
7. I get frequent migraines.
8. I have actually vomited on a few different occasions thinking about how badly things could go wrong when he’s been out and about with his daddy.
9. In the first few months I was so worried that something was wrong with my baby. I thought he had a sunken fontanelle, I thought he was sick every time he cleared his throat, I thought he was dehydrated, I thought he was spitting up too much… I was a hypochondriac in a way I suppose.
I am sure there are other things, but I get upset enough thinking about the things I already listed.
I don’t know if it is the small town vibe, or if there was something wrong in the way I went about getting help, but not being taken seriously has damaged my faith in the mental health system and even a little in humanity. I have an appointment tomorrow with a different professional and I can only hope for the best. I am hesitant on taking any medications right now. I don’t necessarily believe I need medication, but am still open to the suggestion… What I do need is a strong support system. I need people to listen to me and believe in me. Mostly, I need guidance in letting go of things from my past so that I can cope with my anxieties of the present and start to make plans for my future without all this f@*$ed up sh*+ getting in my way.
I love my little pumpkin patch kid ❤