Anxiety Stole all the F*cks I had to Give
Let’s talk about anxiety. Because if I’m being completely honest, anxiety stole all the fucks I had to give.
Seriously, in my 23 years of momming, I have NEVER met a woman who didn’t battle anxiety at some point in motherhood. One in nine women suffer from postpartum depression and/or postpartum anxiety. That’s a shit ton of mamas!
Hormones, brain chemistry, sleep deprivation, unbalanced diet, change in identity, caring for a new baby coupled with trying to care for yourself, your partner, your family, and your home are enormous burdens that are glossed over by society. And that’s just the beginning of a mama’s concerns. Why do we allow our precious mothers to suffer in silence?!? We need to share our stories so women know it’s okay to seek medical help. OBGYNs and general practice physicians are knowledgeable about postpartum depression and postpartum anxiety. Please talk to them if you’re not feeling like yourself. Talk to them even if you are feeling like yourself. We need to make mental health conversations part of routine checkups. We must normalize mental health struggles.
Beyond postpartum, anxiety is a beast I battle daily. Sometimes I slay it, and sometimes it emotionally cripples me. Mostly, we live side-by-side. When anxiety is winning, I give way too many fucks about everything. I’ve been too scared to walk to the mailbox. I’ve been terrified to make phone calls or write emails. The weight of all my collective fucks feels like I’m walking through thick, muddy sludge in heavy boots thanks to the anxiety-ridden prison in my mind.
I’ve been petrified to get help because I thought something was wrong with me—and with ONLY me. I have several autoimmune diseases and anxiety seems to fester when I’m physically unwell. I didn’t realize the negative self-talk was a common problem. I was unaware that brain chemistry can go awry and can also be treated. I didn’t want to appear weak. I didn’t want to be viewed as “crazy.” Later, I didn’t want my anxiety to be used against me in divorce court as a single mom. I hid my mental health battles from the court for as long as I could.
When my ex-husband attempted to undermine my ability to be a great mom, I had no choice but to tell the judge I suffered from anxiety and was getting help. You know what? The judge respected my plight and awarded me sole custody. I’m not a bad mom for suffering from anxiety. I’m a good mom for seeking help with a medical condition. I see you struggling mamas. I am you. I’m climbing out of an anxious mommy hole which I dug long ago.
When I’m emotionally exhausted from depleting my fucks reservoir, I give zero fucks about everything. I can’t bring myself to care about anything. Why must we face this battle alone? Anxiety and depression are treatable. It’s not our fault. Please let me give you the courage to ask for help. When the fog is lifted, you’ll return to your badass self, full of fucks to give.