I feel like I haven’t been very encouraging lately with my blog. I want to be, but I’m just not there.
I’m struggling right now.
Life is good. I’m very blessed & I am fully aware of that. I have the most wonderful family. I have incredible friends. An amazing church. Yet I feel really held back, really stuck right now. I posted a couple weeks ago how I was discouraged. I’ve had better days and I’ve had tough days since then. It’s been coming on for awhile, but this week has been really tough.
I’ll put it out there – I’ve got some postpartum anxiety going on.
I feel like there’s two sides of me right now. Not in a psycho, multi-personality type way, but more of here’s my realistic side and then the emotional/hormonal side of me. I know my “issues” right now are purely from hormones and it’s a temporary, situational thing. This is not the first time I’ve gone through this. I had pretty bad anxiety after I had Emily too. My anxiety then was over things like driving. It got so bad that I was afraid to go anywhere, whether it be me driving or my husband or whatever. I was so afraid of getting in a car wreck. There was no rational reason for this fear. I knew that, but I couldn’t make the fear go away.
This time I’ve been afraid for the health of my family. Again, there’s no rational reason. We are healthy and the little bitty hiccups that occasionally crop up (Joshua has some seasonal allergies and had a slight asthma attack on Monday or Luke’s reflux) are very minor and really no big deal. But I am afraid and stressed.
Gosh, I can’t believe I’m sharing all of this deeply personal stuff on the web where anyone and everyone can read it. But I’m putting it out there because writing has always been therapeutic to me and maybe, just maybe, my honesty can help someone else going through the same thing. Because I know I’m not alone in this. Postpartum depression has been getting more press in the last few years and isn’t quite as “forbidden” as it used to be, but what about postpartum anxiety? I’m not sad or depressed right now. Just stressed. Anxious. But it’s all related. And even on a less postpartum/hormonal level, can’t all of us moms relate to having some anxiety about our children?
I will be okay. I’ve got some great things going for me. For one, I know the Lord is with me and He will get me through this. For another, I have the most incredible supportive husband who is there for me. And three, the fact that I recognize this is postpartum hormones means I’ve got a grip on it. I may be really anxious about something, but I can step back and say “This isn’t rational. This isn’t really going to happen. It will be ok.” Still, knowing and saying that doesn’t flip a no-stress switch in my brain.
So before you, my dear sweet wonderful readers, read this and get worried for me, I will tell you that I am going to the doctor tomorrow and I am asking for medication. All my doctors told me, back in January when Luke was born, that I was at high risk of this happening with the emotional roller coaster of this past year, so this is hardly a surprise.
Again, I went through this after having Emily and I went on some anti-anxiety meds, which really helped. I only needed to be on the meds for about 6 months before I was able to go safely off it and I was just fine and back to normal. So that’s my hope for this time too.
I’m also requesting new medication for Luke tomorrow. His reflux has gotten worse in the last couple of weeks and he’s spitting up more and become increasingly fussy. He also hasn’t been sleeping well which is adding to my exhaustion and anxiety. I’ve been having almost flashbacks from that tough first year with Joshua and while I know Luke’s not like that and his reflux is still not as bad as Joshua’s, it’s hard to not get stressed just remembering all that.
I know I will be okay. But it can be hard to not feel like a failure when this happens. I’m human. I’m not perfect. Admitting that I have anxiety and need meds doesn’t make me a bad mom. The fact that I’m recognizing the problem and doing something about it means I’m a good mom, right? But there’s that perfectionist side of me that rears its ugly head and causes me to doubt.
I know I will get through this and I will be just fine. One day at a time. Please keep me in your prayers, dear friends. Thank you.