Stories, skills, and positivity- to anxiety sufferers from anxiety sufferers.
It was the afternoon of July 12, 2011 when my son made his way into this world. I fought for 20 hours to birth him naturally. I was so proud to have him safe and sound in my arms! A month after we brought him home we knew things were not okay. He continued to be jaundiced and very sleepy. A trip to the ER on the eve of his 1 month birthday and we were whisked to the Alberta Children's Hospital. We would remain there for 2 months while they worked to diagnose and operate for a rare liver condition.
It was during that time that my anxiety reared its ugly head. I have always considered myself a Type A personality and a "worrier" but I was brought to my absolute brink when faced with losing my son. The fact that I was not in control of his circumstances anymore was excruciating.I was having insomnia, headaches, weight gain, nausea and I couldn't catch my breath. The thoughts were racing, "what if he dies? What if I die? We are all going to die."I was so fearful of loving someone so much and the thought of them not being on this earth was like a kick to the gut time and time again.
It's been 4 years and Spencers' health has been stable thank goodness! But I have battled anxiety ever since. A handful of times I have needed to go into the ER and just talk to a professional and make sure that this is anxiety, a panic attack, that it will pass. I have learned to be open and honest about my anxiety. I communicate my history easily and I think there is strength in that. I take daily medication, I journal, do yoga and pray. My faith is a huge part of what keeps me grounded.I am able to recognize when I drink too much coffee, eat too much junk, get too tired, the anxious thoughts and breath will increase. I feel blessed to have this recognition because I can take steps to feel peaceful much sooner.
I have a loving family and gorgeous children. I have a successful career and fabulous friends. I am not ashamed about my anxiety. I own it as one of my many facets.I hope my story can inspire moms
to feel okay with any number of their facets and foibles. We are all trying to do the same thing--be healthy and loving and create healthy and loving humans for
this world. Take one day at a time.
God bless you,
BFA, b. Ed, MACP
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Katie McLean holds a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology, and bases her anxiety aid in personal experience, as well as techniques that have been passed on to her by counsellors, friends, and fellow anxiety sufferers.