Though I talk openly about my postpartum mental illness, part of me is still ashamed of my battle with this anxiety. Though, I know I shouldn't be, it is hard to practice what I preach.
When writing about anxiety I often have an entire blog post, or caption written and then erase it, too afraid to post it. Afraid of judgment. Afraid of people thinking I wasn't cut out to be a mom. Afraid that people will think I'm not capable taking care of my child... Every anxious thought seeps in to tell me not to share my battle, for fear of losing my child. Today, I am stronger than my anxiety and I will talk about it, because if you are going through anything similar, you need to know you are not alone.
Anxiety is an illness and I refer to my "slips" as flare ups. As with any disease there are moments that are better than others, moments of almost being completely "healed" and then there are moments that are worse than before. Well, I would chalk up the last two months as a flare up worse than before. It doesn't happen over night, not for me, anyway. It slowly starts to itch in my brain. When that itch isn't scratched and given more power to grow it begins to seep into every corner, until the itching becomes so constant that I can't keep up.
My illness has taken me to dark places before, all were do to with Jaxzen falling ill, being kidnapped... Intrusive thoughts, irrational fears and vivid illusions of my fears coming to life. This go around, my anxiety had me convinced that I was not enough. I wasn't enough for her. That she would be better raised by her dad and I was the reason that kept him working away... This next part is going to be hard to read, and even harder for me to type, but I need to get this out, I feel the need to share this darkness in hopes that someone else will see a beam of light, a ray of sunshine that clears your path to wellness.
How I knew to seek medical attention scares me to even think about. I thought I had it all under control, even though I was convinced that someone was going to take my child from me, that I was never enough for her and that I never slept, I believed the dose of medication was working, that I was okay. Until I wasn't. I subconsciously stopped wearing my seat belt when in the vehicle... I never wanted to hurt myself or hurt my daughter (I cry as I write this, it is still very hard to process what my thoughts are capable of, without me realizing it). Anyway, I didn't want to intentionally hurt myself, I thought maybe, if it was meant to be, then someone would hit me while I was driving, her dad would have to work closer to home and she would have him instead of me. As I type these sentences my stomach is turning, I have a lump in my throat and I am sweating at the thought of thinking this could have been reality. I'm not really sure what snapped, but one night when Jordan was home I had the courage to spill everything I'd been bottling up. He held me while I sobbed, we went to the doctor's the next day.
NONE of these thoughts were normal. I did not have them under control and NONE of this would have been better for Jax. Never were my thoughts to hurt Jax, some mental illnesses create those thoughts but mine were different, whichever your journey though, know that you are not crazy but you should seek help if your thoughts are harmful to you or anyone else.Though I wasn't thinking of physically hurting her, I was subconsciously trying to, by thinking she'd be better off without me. That was enough.
I am more than ENOUGH.
You are more than enough.
Your mental illness does not define you. Do not be ashamed to seek help.