"Try not to worry too much," I've been told. "Just relax and learn to take more time for yourself," they say. As much as I worry, or as little as I do, my anxiety comes out of no where. I can't control it, I can only help to relieve it.
The nausea, the rapid heartbeat, the loss of breath - controlled by counting to 5 and back down to 1, tapping each finger from thumb to pinkie on a hard surface, then repeating those movements from pinkie to thumb; the deep breaths in through my nose and out of mouth, closing my eyes, sitting down, and meditating. The aftermath leaves me drained, not wanting to be around people, except for my own people - the kiddo, the future hubby, and our dog.
I ended 2016 with an anxiety attack on Christmas day, on a short flight from San Francisco to San Diego. I began 2017 with four anxiety attacks. One, out of nowhere as I was tailgating at Qualcomm Stadium, prior to a football game. The second, on the morning of our flight home. This was the worst of them, with my anxiety lasting nearly the whole day. The third, as I waited for my appointment at the DMV, forcing me to sit debilitated in my car, windows cracked, eyes closed, repeating the routine that has grown to be so familiar. And the fourth, just yesterday, while out eating lunch with my fiance. Warmth over came me, I could feel the perspiration building on my forehead as I started to lose my breath. We abruptly left and took the rest of our food to go.
For years, I've told no one. Those closest to me having no clue. Even now, I can't help but chuckle at how easy it is for me to be so forthcoming about my anxiety on such a public outlet like social media and my blog, but never felt the desire to verbalize my struggles to even my closest friend. Until now, of course.
So as I write so publicly, I remind myself that the styled photos, with perfect lighting, and the date night makeup are just one small part of the lives of the many supporters and friends I've made on social media. We all have our struggles, and I'll respect that some are less open about them so publicly, than others.
As for me, you can expect nothing less than my raw true self. It took me a little over 3 decades to get there and now, I can only strive to embrace all the emotions that motherhood, co-parenting, emotional well being, loss, love, and all things "real life" have for me. My blog, my brand per se, may be "Mighty Mama," but in order to be your mightiest, you have to accept your moments of weakness too, anxiety and all.
Stay Mighty. Stay Real.