Pam - posted on 02/12/2013 ( no moms have responded yet )
It's a bit nerve wracking to put it out there but if it helps anyone... I've always experienced social anxiety as a teen and it could have been heightened by smoking weed. I started jogging to get into better shape while in college, and kept it up ever since, but after having my second child I found I gained some weight, I wasn't jogging, and my eating habits were less than satisfactory and sleep was hard to come by. This was a breeding ground for my anxiety and it snowballed. It started to become an excessive amount of Anxiety, so much that I would go into panic attacks where I felt like I was going to die. My heart raced, I couldn't sleep, and if I started to "fall" asleep I would jump up thinking I was actually falling. Some nights I would pace back and forth not knowing what to do with myself. I was breastfeeding and with all the hype about post postpartum I did not want to go and label myself, be medicated and have to stop breastfeeding. So I started jogging, eating better, smudging with sweet-grass, and I had to quit anything mind altering. So no coffee, aspartame, a glass of wine...zilch. It would have helped to not be stressed but as we were slapped with a request to move suddenly, my anxiety and panic levels risen and I found myself surrounded by boxes, some suffering family relationships, not to mention I was all alone with two kids in the boonies all of a sudden. I had to get busy to try and ignore the constant panic attacks, I unpacked the whole house within weeks, and got my kids into a playgroup where I found some support. I started to run there with my double stroller almost daily, and also went to park after park, taking pictures and trying to keep myself busy, the kids happy, and distract myself from all that was going on internally. I don't know when it happened but I started to forget all about the panic attacks, and was able to have coffee again, a glass of wine here and there, and I always have my chamomile during the day. I'm always going to remember how much that time affected me and also helped to change me. I also know how to take care of myself now more than before and I'm better tuned into myself.
I have what is called Existential Anxiety, which means I am somewhat satisfied with life and generally able to handle the fact that there are things beyond my control. I feel OK about myself on the whole, but sometimes experience an excessive amount of discontent. I used to have difficulty finding meaning in life (but my kids took care of that), and still experience sporadic feelings of futility, and I worry about the future. I'm aware that this is not the extreme but as with all anxiety, it has the ability to snowball, like it has with me in the past. I urge anyone who is feeling this way, to take steps to take care of yourself, and find someone to hold your hand. Anyways, that's my contribution to mental health day. It's also a fun fact to know that Anxiety may be the symptom of the wealthy or the intelligent, because it shows we are thinking about other things besides survival. Please share your story and possibly help someone, be a buddy to overcome depression... anything :-)