I Am Coping With Anxiety & Panic Attacks, but Barely Now That I Have Kids

Young beautiful woman with depression

On a scale from one to 10, when it comes to having faith, yeah, I'd like to say I'm a strong eight or nine. I believe in God. I believe things always have a way of working out. I believe in miracles. With so much optimism in my heart, you would think that wouldn't leave much room for worry, but that's not exactly true. Nestled somewhere in my armor is a small gap, which is getting bigger and bigger because of one thing: anxiety.

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It's hard to think back to when anxiety and I became an item, but we've been in an unexpected and unwelcome relationship for quite some time. Maybe accidents I witnessed growing up have sparked these random moments of panic -- because I only worry about mishaps and personal catastrophe. I don't panic about bills, uninvited guests, or being in an awkward situation. Just accidents -- which is so odd to me.

Honestly, I'm just not sure anymore.

You and I could be talking about the most random of things (some Real Housewives reunion, the weather, or what you plan to make for dinner and share on Instagram), and while I might appear okay, what you don't realize is that my mind is slowly starting to slip into a moment of panic.

I think about a kid flipping out of a swing.

I think about someone getting hit by a car.

I think about a person taking a spill and breaking a limb.

Yes, I know this is crazy -- and no, I don't have some vendetta list of people I'd love to see end up in the hospital. My panic attacks happen randomly and oftentimes involve the most unusual things.

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For the life of me, I can't understand why they happen. Do I have some chemical imbalance? Did I witness something as a kid? Or, am I just weird? So many anxiety-inducing questions swirl through my head that leave little to no explanation. Plus, it's not like I have a fear of violence. I love watching The Walking Dead, I'm a huge NFL fan, and I even do mixed martial arts. These things don't creep me out -- or bother me -- so, why do I feel so anxious sometimes?

In the past, my panic attacks were infrequent moments of angst that passed in a minute or two, but not anymore. Since I became a mom, it's like parenting has triggered episodes on a more frequent basis -- which is no bueno.

Recently, my husband and I sat down for dinner. The kids were fed, we had the cutest little petite sirloins, and there happened to be a bountiful amount of red wine in the cabinet. You would think there'd be no reason for me to have a panic attack, right?

Wrong.

As soon as my 2-year-old and 9-month-old boys came to the table, it was like my world started to cave in. Here I was staring at these adorable little booger-nosed faces, and all I could think about was the steak knives falling and gouging out their eyes, one of my sons reaching my stemless wine glass -- even though I moved it out of reach -- and cutting his eyebrow on it, and the curtains that my 2-year-old was tugging on falling down on him and causing a head injury. 

"I just need a minute," I told my husband. Whenever I tell him this, he knows I'm having an episode (or whatever they're called). As I clasped my hands together and closed my eyes, I had the conversation with myself that always comes up in the face of panic.

Girl, you're being silly ... again. Your kids are okay. No one is hurt, and everyone is fine. Stop allowing your mind to think about all these Final Destination "what if" scenarios. They're robbing you of these precious moments with your children.

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Obviously, I know logically that my curtains aren't going to attack my kids, and I wouldn't leave a steak knife in arm's reach of a tot. But, still, my mind will wander to the most random catastrophes at times. Sometimes, I feel like I'm not in control. And other times, I just feel plain stupid.

Needless to say, having children has definitely made things ... interesting. While I'm thankful I don't have panic attacks on a daily basis, they definitely pop up more than before -- which is discouraging me from thinking about a third child.

Moms worry enough as is. I don't want to be on some other level that makes things any more complicated than they need to be. While I'm not waking up in a cold sweat or feeling smothered, if these get too far out of hand, I'll likely go speak to a professional ... or order some bestseller help book.

 

 

Image via Piotr Marcinski/Shutterstock

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