There is nothing more nerve racking, scary, worrisome, or daunting than becoming a parent for the first time. So many scenarios flood your mind while you are anxiously waiting the arrival of the newest member of your family. Of course for me it was no different! I was feeling a very interesting mix of emotions! Being a first time parent was the most exhausting and rewarding chapter and thankfully one I am still experiencing. However, it is certain not all unicorns and rainbows. In my beautiful and perfect life of Henry and Adam, tragedy struck and just destroyed my life. I had never suffered a more devastating blow to my psyche. As someone who was always pretty sure and confident, I found that I have begun to second guess all my choices. Living with anxiety and depression makes life much much harder.
I have never really dealt with anxiety in the past. I was always able to make decisions and to stand behind them with certainty and now that just isn’t even possible. I am constantly looking for reassurance from family and friends. This is way out of character for me. I get it… “Kari, you have been through something incredibly traumatic.” Yes, that is true, but anxiety does make tackling your loss that much harder. It is so debilitating! So my hat goes off to you who have had to deal with it daily for most of your life. I couldn’t imagine trying to navigate through life with this any less mature than I am now. The constant feeling of uncertainty. The dread looms over you all day. The nervousness drives you crazy, because most of the time you aren’t even really sure what is bothering you. Dealing with this day in and day out is an “energy zapper”. For me it makes parenting extremely difficult. I am constantly worrying about my choice when it comes to Henry? ” Do I let him watch too much TV?” ” Am I being too strict with him” Am I even a good mother?” “What if this decision scars him for life?” Infinite amounts of questions are cruising through my thoughts faster that than the speed of light. Before Adam was my reassurance and my equalizer, and now I am attempting to do all of that for myself to… did you hear that….BOOM!!! My head just exploded with emotional overload. Cue anxiety attack! These usually happen at night, which is typically when Adam’s seizures occurred. Coincidence…. I THINK NOT! In my case anxiety has a nasty older sister…depression. Again, I tip my hat to all of you who have been dealing with depression for any length of time. IT IS A BEAST!!!! As someone who could accomplish any goal that I set my mind to, having zero motivation more times than not is so frustrating to me. Yes, there are many factors that are playing into my feelings, such as lack of sleep, but the motivation issues is a really problem. As a mom and working full time, I don’t have time to be unproductive. Most of the time, I am able to muster up just enough to ensure that Henry is provided for and comfortable, but as soon as I can I just sink into my bed. But the day isn’t over. Now my anxiety goes into overdrive because I start thinking about the million other things I should be doing rather that laying down.
Dealing with any type of mental illness whether is it like mine (situational depression and anxiety) or something more difficult, there is not need to be ashamed. As tough as it may be you have to choose to rise above the stigma. Those who will stereotype you and look down on you are not worth your time. It is during these times, that you are able to weed out those who truly have your health and safety at heart. These are the sunflowers that you need to surround yourself with. The truth is you will never when every battle that you fight and that is okay. It is during our triumphs that we are comforted, but it is in our failures that we become wiser.