My Anxiety Story

I remember going to my first OB appointment when I was pregnant with our first child back in 2009.
He read me the referral my family doctor sent over and asked about my anxiety the doctor had written about on my chart.

I didn't know what he was talking about.

Sure, I was more paranoid than most of the people around me.
I remember being so scared I could barely breathe as a kid, because I was convinced at least 2 nights a week that a "bad guy" had broken into hour home - but I didn't have diagnosed anxiety.
I sure as hell had no idea that it was written on my chart, and I didn't really believe it. 

Fast forward to the first year of our daughter's life and things felt great! .
Sure it was new, and I was exhausted but I finally felt like I knew my purpose in life.
It was hard, no doubt, but I loved all the challenges I faced.

One night, after we had just put our one year old to bed, I was sitting on the couch watching a movie with my husband and I had a tingling sensation go up the side of my neck and into my face.
I dismissed it, but a few minutes later it came back.
I started panicking thinking something was horribly wrong and told my husband to take me to the hospital.

I thought for sure I was having a heart attack.

Luckily, we were living with my dad at the time while our house was being built, so he was home to watch Emma while Louis took me to the hospital. 

They hooked me up to a heart monitor and a few hours later the DR came to see me and told me that what I had just experienced was a panic attack.
He asked me if I had ever experienced one before, and I said "no".
I really hadn't, and to be honest I wasn't convinced that I had just experiened one either.
I wasn't stressed about anything when it happened, so how could it be a panic attack?

I went home that night and continued on with life.
No follow ups with any doctors about my anxiety.

By 2013, we added two more children to our family, and while it was a bit chaotic - I was managing really well.

It wasn't until about 2015 that my anxiety started creeping back.

2015 was a crazy year for us.
We bought an older house in a new city, sold our house the next week, and moved to the new place 2 weeks after that.

I didn't think my anxiety was an issue at the time, but looking back now I can see that it was.
I was constantly on edge, I didn't take my son out to playgroups like I used to take my daughters to, I couldn't sleep well, I would have heart palpitations and have this feeling of just constantly being overwhelmed.

Looking back,  I can't believe I didn't realise how overwhelmed I was.
By the time I was 24, I had three kids (two of whom needed to go to sick kids regularly for their vision), a job where I worked as a support worker for intellectually disabled people (many of whom suffered from their own anxiety disorder), a mortgage while everyone else I knew were still living at home without much responsibility. 

I had a lot on my plate.

I remember dragging all three kids in the car to drive 45 minutes to Sick Kids for a long day where everyone was over tired and just feeling completely exhausted and guilty.
I felt like it was my fault that they had vision problems, which is crazy, but that's what anxiety will do to you.

Those days were super emotional for me. 

Emma hated the drops and usually would scream for a whole half an hour after while I had a 4 year old and 1.5 year old to care for too. 

I should've asked family to take the day off work to come support me, but I had this fear in my head that if I asked for help, people would think I was weak. 

I'm writing this post right now because anxiety is something I suffer with and I am now finally, at 28.5 years old, comfortable to talk about.

It wasn't until very recently that I was actually able to admit to myself that I do, in fact, suffer from anxiety.

So many people experience anxiety and are too scared to talk to others about it in fear of being judged, or in fear of appearing weak. 

I am writing this post right now, because today has been a bad day for my anxiety and on days like today I just feel completely defeated.

I want others going through what I am right now, to know that they aren't alone.

Kelsey,
oxoxo

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