Living with Anxiety
I’ve lived with anxiety my entire life and as a teenager, it enveloped me. As I got older I became stronger and more resilient. As you grow you tend to worry less about the little things and you learn to appreciate each moment, even the struggles. I’ve learned to breathe through the trying moments and my anxiety no longer controls me, but it took me years to get to the place I am now. After I gave birth I had many moments of anxiety and tears, because becoming a mama is life-altering (and incredible). If you’re pregnant and feeling anxious about the unknown days ahead, don’t be afraid of motherhood. It’s unlike any other adventure you’ll ever embark on. There’s no sunset, mountaintop, or cityscape that can compare to the beauty of your baby learning and growing in front of you. Postpartum triggers every emotion and for the first couple of weeks, you’re lacking sleep and normalcy, which makes you feel a little crazy (ok…more than a little crazy). Before you know it your life has changed, but sleep returns and you find a new normal. I’m living the mommy life and a new, beautiful normal.
I understand how overwhelming and stressful it can be as a mama, especially if you’re doing it alone, or you’re alone during the day. I’m the queen of overthinking and if you live in that same kingdom than you know how easy it is to become your own worst enemy. It’s okay to leave a pile of wash until the next day or to take a break from cleaning. It’s important to take care of yourself during the day, despite being a busy mama. You need to care for your mind, body, and soul. Living with anxiety is a challenge, but it’s only as hard as you believe it to be. Light some candles, read a good, inspiring book, and let the smell of your favorite perfume linger. Surround yourself with beauty and what makes you feel calm. Drink a glass of wine and chat with your best friend, or go for a long drive and listen to your mood playlist.
I fall asleep next to my love, feeling safe and happy, but some mornings I still wake up feeling stressed, because there’s always something I need to accomplish. It’s hard to explain to those who don’t have anxiety what it feels like to suddenly feel unbelievably sad and vulnerable or to struggle with triggers. A trigger is something fairly simple that makes you feel overwhelmed with a certain emotion (sadness, anger, jealousy) and often a trigger takes you back to a moment you wish to forget. I had a panic attack for the first time in years the other night and it was awful; I felt as though I was paralyzed and it was triggered by something that in the moment, I was totally blind to. The next day though, the trigger became clear.
We all have a laundry list of things to handle and worry about during the day, but it’s not a race; you don’t have to deal with everything all at once, and nobody is free from stress. A person’s Instagram may be filled with sunshine and selfies, but that doesn’t mean that they don’t feel just as stressed as you. Stress finds all of us at our weakest moments and it affects everyone differently. Unfortunately, for those who have true anxiety, stress can be deadly. You need to remind yourself that you will accomplish your goals, complete your tasks, and handle your shit, at your own speed. You don’t have to do everything in a day or make yourself feel bad for taking a breather.
When you have anxiety it’s terrifying to not be in control, which I understand better than most. As a teenager, it used to kill me when I felt out of control, but as I got older I let go of the reins. I control what I can and I let go of what I can’t. I always make sure my space and my life are organized and pretty and that is my way of being in control. Life happens and each day is unpredictable, no matter how much we plan, worry, and stress. We can make as many lists as we want, but we have no idea what the day will bring. Isn’t that what makes life so exciting? Learn to feel excited rather than scared, my darlings.
Greyson, my love…you’re getting bigger and brighter every day and I’m so proud to be your mama. I have so much I wish to teach you and tell you as you get older, but one thing I need you to know is how to handle your emotions. Anger can be terrifying and it’s important to take a step back, breathe, and let go. I want you to always remember that you should never go to bed angry. You never know what tomorrow will bring and I hope you lay your head down every night and feel thankful and positive. Always look forward to the next day, babes. Pain as many before me have written, demands to be felt, but you’ll get through the cloudy days. I wish I could shield you from sadness and pain, but I can’t. Every moment in your life becomes a part of you and your story, which is why it’s so important to always be your most amazing self.
One day you’ll meet envy, trust, fear, anxiety, and the emotion which changes everything…love. Love is complicated, beautiful, and terrifying, but when you find the one worth loving, it’s everything. You’ll already know love by how much daddy and I love you and how much you love us back. It’s a level of love which cannot be measured, lost, or described. I want you to never settle in the future for anything less than the love daddy and I have for each other, and of course, for you. The love I have for you though, is unlike any other.
Stay tuned for the next entry of The Greyson Diaries 💙 & follow me on Instagram: lizziemognoni