Days that make you

 
Life is hard. It doesn’t matter if you’re a mom, a young mom, a dad. Have mental illness. Or anything else. Life is always going to be hard. not all the time but there are going to be moments in your life that are just harder than others. But those days that are really hard, are the days that make you.

As a mom who had kids at a very young age, first one being born right before I turned 20, and a sufferer of anxiety, life tends to seem harder than not… Or at least the anxiety disorder would make me feel like its extremely hard. You know the saying, make a mountain out of a mole hill. Thats what my brain does. It makes a mountain out of a mole hill. Every single time.

I have a hard time accepting the fact that these are the days that teach me something. And if I look at it as a lesson learned…..then I won’t feel broken as often. The days that seem the hardest are the ones that make us. There are many days that I feel broken. beaten. bruised. just want to give up. don’t want to get out of bed. just want to sleep….

But as a mom…. I have to. I have to remember there are two beautiful amazing kids who depend on me every single moment of the day. Well not actually my 7 year old doesn’t need me as much anymore. She’s wildly independent. But there are moments she still needs me.

For instance, the other day. I just wanted to sit in the corner and cry. Bawl my eyes out and cry. My lawn mower had snapped a belt. And lowe’s didn’t have it. I could order it from Sears….but they were out of stock…. I had finally found on at Tractor Supply and had crawled my fat behind under the lawn mower and changed the belt…..but it still woudn’t start. It wasn’t even turning over. No click nothing. So I went and spent 32 dollars on a new batter thinking maybe the whole mower just wasn’t getting any juice because of the battery. So I go to the store… I live in the country…it takes a good 10 minutes to drive to the big Walmart…. got it put in and guess what…. still wouldn’t start…. UGH… Then I go inside and cannot get on the computer. Can’t watch Netflix or Youtube because my internet is out AGAIN!!! and I can’t seem to get it fixed. It was like everything was crashing at once…

But, instead of losing my cool… I went to the grocery store and bought stuff to make mini Taco Pizza’s for my husbands wrestling class. Like I told one of his buddies…. I was cooking thru my anxiety. It helps. I don’t know the exact words to describe why it helps. I let it go for the day. Let my brain work thru everything. I got the computer back to working and all of that the next day. Later that evening… I went back to work on the mower…. Turns out, one of the spark plugs had blown. And I had fixed that. We got it working…until my husband went to mow the front yard which was really high and something else went wrong. Big white cloud of smoke and mower is down again. But thats another days hassle.

 

There’s reason why there’s the saying ‘what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger’ even your worst day will make you stronger.

Why did I start writing

I love reading why bloggers started their blog. It is like reading and understanding who they are. A behind the scenes kind of thing.

So I thought that I would write about why I started writing. Almost a year ago.

So when I started experiencing anxiety more frequently for no reason without any insurance to see a shrink, I thought to myself how can I get these thoughts out? How can I talk about it without making anyone uncomfortable? I could write it out in a journal. But then I get issues with my hand hurting from writing by hand too long. Then I stop writing in the journal after time. How can I help get the word out about mental illness? How can I do my part in breaking the stigma?

That is where ThisAnxiousMom came in. I wanted to write about my struggles. Things I like. Things I’ve done. How I handle things. How I could handle things differently and just my life in general as someone who constantly has anxiety and who’s mind NEVER shuts off. I have over 200 followers now which is amazing. I never in my wildest dreams would think that I would have anyone care about anything I say.

So Thank you. All of you. Who take the time out of your busy day to read my blog. To read my struggles. And thank you to those who comment. Those that let me know that I am not alone. Those who send encouragement. Those who just say hi. It means a lot. I have tried to be an open book. I have tried to let each and everyone of you into my thoughts my mind my mental illness. I have always encouraged any of you to share my stories on social media or anywhere. I have all type of share buttons. I have also tried to encourage you to share your own personal stories, struggles or just to say hi.

Well, this is my short reason for why I started writing.  If you’re a blogger, why did you start to write?

Cyber bullying

So I have this friend that I met thru some sad circumstances.  We met at the Chester memorial. It wasn’t the best way to meet someone, but I am glad that I did. We have connected on social media and I love seeing her posts as she has gone thru some tough situations lately and come out on top swinging.  She is a warrior.

Now every morning I wake up around 6 am and scroll thru facebook to see whats going on. See what I have missed since the day before. Cause honestly, I am not on facebook as much as I used to be when I was younger. There is just not enough time in the day to spend that much time on one thing like social media. There is also just so much awfulness in the world today that spending too much time on social media can be kind of depressing.

So the other day I was on facebook and I saw a post from said friend. Now I usually love reading her post because she usually posts something inspirational or entertaining. However, not this day. She posted about being cyber bullied. She had an interaction with someone who could not argue at the same intellect as her, because well she is absolutely brilliant. So since they couldn’t argue on the same intellect, they decided to target her weight and insinuate that she is Miss Piggy from the muppets. Seriously. The worst part was that it was a grown adult stooping to such a middle school tactic.

In the post, my friend stated that this wasn’t the first time that she has been targeted for her weight and in all honesty, it probably won’t be the last. I should know. I am in my view, fat. In the doctors charts I am obese. (I swear I work out and try to eat healthy as much as I can. Honestly, working out is really hard because of the car wreck messed my hips up. But this isn’t about me right now)  She made the post letting her friends and family know that this had happened because she is awesome. She shined a light on something that had happened to her. Something that shouldn’t. She is shedding light on cyber bullying.

Is she supermodel skinny? No. Is she happy? Yes. Is she healthy? Yes, I have seen all the post where her and her family are trying to eat right and be healthy. So why does the fact that she isn’t a size 2 grounds for bullying?  Sadly, this is something that is happening every day. Every day somewhere in the world someone is being bullied.

Do they care that this can cause someone with extreme depression to have suicidal thoughts? Do they care that bullying actually causes some to take their own lives? Do they care that bullying someone with a mental illness can send them over the deep end?

While mental illness is something that has been frowned upon for so long, there are many who are bringing light to this illness. In the wake of the passing of Chester Bennington, his wife, Talinda Bennington, as well as best friend and band mate, Mike Shinoda, have spent the year since his passing spreading the word on his illness and trying to provide a platform for those who haven’t felt like they could open up about their illness.Cyber bullying is something that is only talked about when it has gone too far. It is up to us as human beings to shine a light not only on mental health and bullying.

Now my friend may suffer from mental illness but she has taken this incident with courage and amazing stride. She didn’t let this person get to her. Well maybe it did a little. But it hasn’t pushed her over the age because she is amazing and fantastic. But cyber bullying is NEVER okay. You should never result to insulting someone’s figure, size, family or anything else because you cannot match the argument at the same intellect as the other person. I am going to repeat this again.

 

Cyber Bullying is NEVER okay!!

 

Since becoming a mom

 

When you become a mom…..everything changes.  I don’t just mean your body either. I mean everything changes.

Your body does change. I have had two kids and still haven’t lost all the baby weight. It sucks. I also have more stretch marks than I have ever thought I would. Taste buds change. your sleep patterns change. The way you think changes.

If you had an anxiety or depression issue before kids, it changes as well. Before kids, my anxiety or depression level only rose due to stress. The more stressed I was the more depressed or anxious I was.

However, since having kids…. I get anxious over pretty much anything. I have days where I just feel down or blue, depressed. Now I work very hard to get thru these days so that it doesn’t affect my kids or those around me.

But when my first kid was born….something changed deep inside me.  My brother likes to say that I became a bitch. Because I would no longer allow him to run over me. I was stronger because I had this little person dependent on me. I had to be that person who would fight for her tooth and nail.

 

Becoming a mom… it is one the most amazing things that I could have ever asked for. I love it. I love my girls. I love how they made me grow and change. I was 19 when I got pregnant with my first kid. Because of her, I grew up. I didn’t become some couch jumping young adult with nothing going on in their life. The minute I had that positive pregnancy test in front of me. I knew. I knew that moment that I wanted to be a great mom. That I would fight tooth and nail to be that kind of mom. We literately started from the bottom. We were barely able to pay for a motel room each week. From there staying with friends and family. To our own apartment, then to staying with my mom, to a trailer and now owning our own home. I have fought for everything we have. For my kids. When I was little, we didn’t always have food, water, or lights. Things were difficult. I knew when I looked at my first pregnancy test that I wouldn’t ever let my kid know how it felt to be hungry because there was no food in the house. I didn’t care what kind of job I had to take,  I didn’t care about how many jobs I had to work. We were going to be okay.

My kids give me drive. They give me passion. They give me a reason. The person I am today, is because I became a mom.

 

What changes have you experienced since becoming a mom.  or dad

Good for mental health

 

I don’t know if you can tell that I decided to create this blog because I have a mental illness and there is such a stigma around mental health that it can make it hard to talk about it. That is why I decided to write about it. Write about me. My struggles. My issues. My anxiety. Because not only do I want to lend a hand in breaking the stigma like Mike Shinoda, Anna Shinoda and Talinda Bennington. But I feel better when I write about what is going on. It helps to get it out. I know you all could judge me. But what I have seen from the first time I started writing is that you guys do not judge. In fact, many of you are very understanding because what I am going through many of you have been through.

It is so amazing to know that other than my best friend, there are others like me. And I will continue to write as long as I can.

I find that writing about the things that make you depressed or anxious is a great exercise in the step to understanding what is your trigger. Notice that I didn’t say get better. or fix it. Because I will always have this battle. It is not something that you can just get over. Even though people like to assume that you can just get over it. You can’t. It is just impossible. There is a chemical imbalance in my brain that I don’t know can be fixed.

Writing allows you to describe what is wrong. What happened. And why it made you feel that way. Over time, writing will allow you to define what some of your triggers are. That way in the future, you may be able to either overcome the trigger or identify it so that you can make changes before it triggers you.

Either way, if you have a mental illness…. I suggest keeping a journal of when you have those bad days.

Kids Change Everything

If you have kids, then you know that there are numerous books that describe what pregnancy will be like. They tell you what to expect from conseption up til you give birth. They tell you how your body will change, how your moods will swing. The books will even tell you all the gross, nasty details of actually giving birth. Never google what after birth looks like.

And movies kind of show you what is going to happen but never really prepare you. You see with my first kid, when it came time to push (which that labor story is pretty simple, both kids were born within 30 minutes of getting to the hospital) I thought I had to scream. Honestly, I started yelling like it was the end of the world. Like Bruce Willis didn’t sacrafice himself on that astroid in Armagedon and we were all going to die. Why? Because if you see child birth in any movie, you see the mother screaming so loud that those waiting in the waiting room hear them and think something is wrong. But I didn’t need to scream and maybe that is because of my wide hips. I was always told that I had birthing hips. Maybe that is why both of my kids were born quite easily naturally. No epidural needle has ever touched my back. And that is the way that I wanted it. Because my aunt got an epidural back in the 80’s and they never told her to not get up after getting it and it honestly messed her back up and now she gets these insufferable migraines.

Now, I have been around kids for a very long time. I have been babysitting since I was 11 (not always by choice, thanks to my oldest brother) But I never read anywhere what to expect when having kids would do to my already messed up mental health.

When I was a kid, my mom worked all the time. My oldest brother is 9 years older than me. And as time went on, day cares got more expensive. So by the time my brother was 13 he was watching after me and our other brother who is only 5 years older than me. But as my brother got older he no longer wanted his weird little sister tagging along with him everywhere with his friends. So I would be left home alone. I remember being in 3rd grade being home alone at night, making my own dinner (thank you tv dinners) and putting myself to bed by 7 pm because I had EOG’s the next day.

My oldest brother loves scary movies and those creepy clowns. And I think I hate them because of him. He thought it was funny to run around the outside of the house banging on the windows while I was home alone inside. Which is partially why I am always so anxious at night. alone.

I was diagnosed with anxiety disorder when I was almost 16 because I was having constant panic attacks. In the middle of school. hyperventalating to the point that I almost pass out ( I did pass out once) So the school called my mom and she took me to the ER and my regular doctor shortly after where I was diagnosed. With this awful anxiety disorder. And my brother only continued to make things worse after that.

So, there I am with a kid. Who was premature. And so tiny. And I wasn’t as scared with her as I was with my second one which is weird. But there I was at almost 20 years old, responsible for this whole new human being. She was mine. My responsibility. And there my anxiety began to get worse. not that it wasn’t already bad. But it just made things a thousand times more there.

Before kids, I could push it so deep inside that no one could ever see. But now that I have kids…. that anxiety is so close to the surface. Because not only am I anxious about my actions and myself, I am anxious about my kids. And it is not the normal anxiety you feel like should you change jobs or not. Noooo

You see, what they never tell you in those expecting books is that you should expect your mental health to take a hit. You should expect to feel more overwhelmed because you’re battling a mental illness that now circles not only you but how your kids are. They never tell you that having kids changes everything.

My oldest daughter is the most sensitive child that I have ever seen. So when I am repeating myself for the 20th time in 10 minutes and I get a little aggravated so I get a little stern, she starts to cry and looks at me with these weeping eyse like I just killed her puppy. Which sends me into a whirlwind of am I a bad parent? This happens quite often.

When I was pregnant with my second child, I was in this awful car wreck that totaled my SUV. which isn’t as easy as you would think consider half of my windows were shattered and the rear end was in my second row. I had to get shots every week from 15 weeks to 34 weeks to make sure that I didn’t go into preterm labor. It was a rough pregnancy. There was a lot of back and hip problems that came from that wreck that couldn’t be addressed because I was pregnant. And having a second child, made me that more anxious as a mother.

I feel like a failure as a parent. Yes my kids are spoiled and 90% of the time they earn every toy that they get. My 1 year old picks up trash and throws it away. They get this little mental ATM credit that they can use when we go to the store. My oldest will ask if she has enough credit to get a small, medium or big toy. But they also know that twice a year they have to donate toys to those who don’t have many like they do. So I am trying to instill some responsibility and make them humble.

But more often than not, I go to bed wondering if I was a bad parent today. Did I yell too much? Did I not show enough love? Did I not love one them enough? Did I break their spirits? Did I put them down too much? Did I crush their dreams? When I was my oldest age…. I knew way more than I should have and I was way more afraid than a child at that age should have. I want my kids to be protected more than I ever was. But am I a bad parent?

What I wish I knew when I was pregnant was that having kids will and does change every single thing. I wish there was a book that could help expecting parents who have depression or anxiety on how to cope with the changes of becoming new parents.

Searching for those like me

I hate attention.

Literally hate being the center of attention

I avoid it at all possible.

I have suffered alone for many, many years.

So I know how depressing it can be to have a panic attack and NO ONE notices. NO ONE cares.

I get it.

And honestly…. I hate feeling like I am alone. I hate feeling like no one understands me.

Luckily, as my circle grew smaller from those who only used me… I found one friend who suffers with anxiety, depression, panic attacks and PTSD. We balance each other I think. We listen to each other. Literally.  If I stop at her house when I’ve had an anxiety attack… I end up staying there for goodness 2 to 3 hours just from talking. and our conversations drift to random topics so seamlessly.

But I am getting off topic….that darn attention thing again.

What I have been doing since Chester Bennington passed is searching Twitter.

You see….When Kurt Cobain died….The world saw a massive number of copy cat suicides. Because they felt that if Cobain couldn’t make it…then how could they. Right? It is hard to see one of your idols who you relate to leave us in such a traumatic way. It is awful.

Linkin Park spoke to me thru so many situations. I remember being 9 years old listening to them on MTV. Chester was so pretty (and it hurts to say was, I keep wanting to say is)  His vocal ability was so inspiring. I mean here is this guy who can sing and then scream with such ease. The words he sang….I could relate to many things that I personally went thru growing up. Even now… I can listen to these old songs and relate them to things that I see or feel today.

You see, I am the type of person who feels music. I don’t just hear a beat and hear some random words. I feel them. I can listen to a song a million times if it speaks to me. If it moves me emotionally.

(I feel like I have said this before. and if I have… I am sorry)

So since we lost Chester in July. I been looking for people on Twitter who express their mental health. Especially those who feel alone. Those who are experiencing panic attacks or feeling depressed. And just letting them know. Hey, you are not alone. I am sending positive thoughts your way.

Typically I just simply say ‘sending positive thoughts your way’ It is a simple and easy way that I can spread kindness. That I can let them know they are not alone. There are others out here that feel the same way.

Now I am not posting this to gain any attention.

My sole purpose is that well I have about 96 followers now. Which I am ecstatic about. Thank you guys. I am more thankful that you could ever know. But if each one of you guys searches twitter for any mental health condition and just let one person know that they’re not alone, that you’re thinking about them….Then maybe…just maybe…we will be that closer to making it easier to talk about our issues.

How is it that a patient with heart failure gets sympathy but those suffering with a chemical imbalance gets shunned? Now please don’t read that the wrong way. My dad had heart failure. He had 3 heart attacks before he passed. I feel for everyone who has anything going on in their life (that’s the overly empathetic part of me again.) But I also don’t think it is right that we who suffer a mental illness should feel like we have to suffer alone because the world cannot show an ounce of empathy to what we may be going thru on a daily basis.

So what do you say guys???? Will you send a tweet to a random person letting them know that you are thinking about them?? That they’re not suffering alone? That there are others like them???