Anxiety: My Experience

Wednesday, 30 April 2014


I love being a mummy, I have a wonderful partner, a gorgeous son and my life is pretty much perfect..
So why do I wake up with a huge feeling of dread??
This was the question I asked myself every morning when I woke, shortly after having Harry - i was plagued by feelings of panic, sadness, stress and anxiety

Being a new mum is hugely overwhelming and a massive adjustment not only to your social life but to your whole way of thinking and your daily routine so it's understandable that you aren't going to feel completely yourself or on top of the world everyday. However I was starting to lose myself entirely and I just didn't feel right at all, I'm normally a very happy go lucky kind of gal, full of positive energy! I desperately wanted to see my friends yet couldn't bring myself to leave the house. I was terrified of something being wrong with Harry or something happening to him that I couldn't control which worsened when we found out about his hearing loss.  But mostly I was feeling ridiculously anxious and emotional for no reason at all, and that was when I started to worry there was something wrong with me. I constantly googled for help but everything was pointing me in the direction of postnatal depression which I was pretty sure I didn't have.. I didn't feel depressed, I didn't feel like I hadn't bonded with Harry and I didn't hate my life, I simply just could not shake the feeling of worry in the pit of my stomach. Those worries soon turned into panic attacks where I literally felt like I was choking and couldn't breathe and i would end up uncontrollably crying for hours on end. 
It also felt like every other mum around me was doing fantastically well at being a mother and enjoying every single moment - Whereas I was struggling with the broken sleep, a colicky baby and the pressures of being a "housewife". I felt like I was doing a terrible job even though deep down I know that I'm really not!
Self esteem takes a huge hit when you suffer from anxiety. You worry that you're a burden on people around you, that you're ruining everyone else's mood and that you're coming across as pathetic. Those feelings then make your anxiety even worse as you are constantly worrying - it's a vicious circle!!

Everybody has feelings of worry and anxiety, it's completely normal when there's something on your mind. However when you're feeling overly anxious about a certain situation or topic or for no reason at all then that's when it goes deeper than just general worrying. Excessive anxiety then releases huge rushes of adrenaline which then leads to panic attacks, and these can last from minutes to hours.

Anxiety is a disorder that some people find it very hard to understand, they may think you are a diva or drama queen, crying for attention, maybe just a huge wimp or a miserable person. Those people are the lucky ones who don't have to endure what us anxiety sufferers do every single day! It's not something you can necessarily control or cure and it can happen to even the most bubbly people - I am sure a few of you who know me will be very shocked that anxiety and panic attacks are something I experience!!

Mr H and I are really close, we tell each other everything and we're both very "open books" so I immediately turned to him for support. I think speaking about my confusing feelings was a huge and vital step to helping me feel better and I am so incredibly lucky that I have such a fantastic support network around me and when there's no one around you lovely lot on Twitter help pick me up when I'm feeling down!

I'm not really sure how my anxiety was triggered but as it started shortly after giving birth to my son it's referred to as postnatal anxiety. The symptoms are very similar to post natal depression so I think the 2 are very easily confused if not diagnosed correctly.
I'm currently taking medication to help ease those panicky moments, it's early days but I think they may be helping - that and the fact I know I can always turn to my friends and family when I feel like I just can't cope. I am certainly not over the worst of it yet and I have to constantly keep busy or make sure I have people around me every day as much as possible - although it's not that easy being a stay at home mum!!

I hope this helps any other new mummy's, or anybody really who suffers from any type of anxiety disorder, to know that you aren't alone and it can happen to even the happiest of people! I know I am so lucky to have such a beautiful family and perfect little boy and that really helps me through those difficult days. 
If I could give you one piece of advice it would be to talk. Talk to anyone and everyone about your feelings. Don't be shy to offload, it will make you feel heaps better and you never know you might even get some golden advice back

I would love to hear from those of you who are in the same or a similar position as me, or if you have any experiences you want to share, so please leave me a comment if you fancy a chat or feel free to send me a private email to the address on my contact page!

20 comments:

  1. So brave of you to share this. Hopefully it will help new lots of new mummy's out there :)
    xxx
    ps you look beaut in your piccie

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  2. Reading this tonight has really helped me. I had never experienced anxiety before until I had my daughter 13 days ago. I've never felt anything like it, it's horrible. The crushing feeling where you feel you can't breathe is scary :( Numerous things going on with Isla healthwise and moving to a new area make it feel like things are caving in sometimes. Thank you for sharing this and making me feel I'm not alone!! xx

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    1. Aww you don't know how happy it makes me to hear that my post has helped you! I hope Isla is ok and your anxiety passes soon.. You aren't alone :-) xx

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  3. Such a lovely and honest post Herridge x

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  4. That was so refreshing to hear a new mummy talking about her true feelings, thank you.

    I find myself before my Mummies meetings putting so much effort into straightening my hair, full face of make up etc etc just so people think that I have everything together when I really don't... I would be horrified if anyone knew how panicky I feel inside when I'm telling them all that life is great and I don't feel lonely at all. Why do we do these things?!

    Thanks for being so brave Lucie! x

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    1. Thanks so much! I know exactly what you mean, no mum wants to appear like they don't know what they're doing or that they are vulnerable! I just hope my post helps anyone out ther feeling the way I do! X

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  5. Thank you for sharing, I've only recently been open about my anxiety and my medication for it and just putting it out there helped me so much! Mine started when I was heavily pregnant with my second daughter she's now 2 coming up 3 it's soo frustrating before then I was very rarely in the house where as now it seems to be the only place you will find me. Many people are always amazed when I venture out more than once a day (school run in the morning) My blogs only a small click away if you ever want to off load about it or a simple chat :) x

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    1. So nice to hear from someone who has experienced anxiety in the same way as me! Putting it out there is definately helping me to feel more normal! Thank you for commenting I will most definately check out your blog xx

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  6. well done for sharing this Lucy, I know it can be very hard for people to share this kind of post because there is such a stigma still surrounding all parts of mental health. But by writing & talking about it we are all smashing that stigma on the head...one bit at a time! :)

    I've suffered with anxiety from the age of 16/17 I'm now 22...one of the best moves I've made was to start blogging...I absolutely love it! I used to just speak openly about whatever was in my mind to myself but now I feel myself growing & blogging about more & actually have readers :)

    feel free to pop over & check out my blog if you like :)
    www.awholelotofchittychat.blogspot.co.uk , I'm sure you will leave feeling less alone (well I hope so anyway! :) )

    xxxx

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    1. Thank you Anna and good for you with your kick ass attitude! I will be sure to stop by your blog xx

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  7. I know exactly what you mean. Life changes so much after having a baby it's hard to come to terms with it for a while. I'm a terrible 'housewife' but every so often I try!

    I'm trying to convinve MrLondonMum to move nearer my family so I have the extra support. Baby L isn't difficult but I'd like to have some time during the week where I don't have to feel responsible all the time. However he's not buying it! xx

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    1. I think the changes in life as well as your body and mind can be totally overwhelming! I hope Mr LM listens to you soon as being near my family helps SO much, I couldn't live without them! It's so good to have extra support and a break - we all need it! Xx

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  8. So brave of you to write this all down. Thank you for sharing. I go through occasional bouts of anxiety, sometimes it can be something so silly as just not wanting my girls to go in the car without me. As a Mum I think it is natural to worry constantly, well it is for me anyway! x

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  9. It's totally natural as a mum to over worry, I couldnt agree more! X

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  10. I am a16 year old girl and have suffered from anxiety for the past 2 years and only sought help a year ago, it defines your life and is incredibly difficult to live with. It stops me from living a normal teenage life as I am unable to go out and experience what I want too, it is such a lonley and difficult condition to suffer with as people on the outside cant understand leaving you feeling so alone. This affects every part of my life and has made me such a shut off person and so incredibly lonely and down. People like you sharing this makes people reliase its a problem and everyone no matter what your lifes like you can be affected by it. Thank younfir being so brave and honest yiur truly helping people.
    p.s I used the bach remedy drops that you put in to drinks(they dont taste of anything) to get thriugh my exams and have been incredible would recomend these along with the spray.

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  11. A very honest post. Being pregnant plays havoc with your hormones and then so does having a baby, then there is no sleep is it any wonder why people feel anxiety. Most women probably feel the same but find it difficult to share. Great post Lucy

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  12. Thank you for this brave and personal post lucie. I have a one year old daughter and I can honestly to also having prenatal and postnatal anxiety. I too was a happy go lucky lady so the hormones of pregnant life kicked in off-the-charts. The best advice is definitely to talk to anyone and let it all off your chest and unload. I think my trigger came when I was sitting down in my partners living room thinking will I be able to cope as a mother? Them it came unexpected. A panic attack. Up till now I still always have in the back of my mind if I'm doing a good job. Thank goodness my partner is so supportive and he always picks me up after a fall. I'm glad you have a wonderful support system.

    Mylovelylittleladybird.blogspot.com

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  13. Such a brave, honest post. I too suffer with anxiety, I am working really hard on it though and feel I am much more in control of it, more than I have ever been x

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