In the last article I wrote I said that I would start off by talking about how I had to handle my anxiety and depression with my husband. Then we had just started dating. I knew that I had to tell him, but I didn’t want to do it right away. In my mind if I told him within the first couple of dates he wouldn’t give me a call back. Then if I waited to tell him too long it would be like I was trying to hid something. After thinking about it, I decided that after three months of dating I would tell him. I figured it was long enough for him to get to know me as a person, but short enough where it didn’t look like I was hiding anything.
It’s hard with mental illness. When the average person hears the phrase “mental illness” they think of someone who thinks their dog is giving them messages from God. That you are a dangerous person. That is far from the truth. Those persons who are out of touch with reality. While this group makes up a small number of people with mental illness, the general population seems to think everyone who has a mental illness has this type. That’s why it is often kept a secret. Today, more and more people think they have anxiety. While what most of them are suffering from is stress, there are still significant numbers who had a diagnosed disorder.
Anyway, back to my boyfriend. I went on many websites and printed out some information on anxiety for him. He said that he read through it all, He was okay with my anxiety. We continued to date and eventually got married. We don’t talk to family and friends about my anxiety. Only a select few know. Usually I don’t say anything. It helps to avoid other questions that cannot always be answered. My anxiety was under control for a long time. We got married, got a house, and then started a family.
When I was pregnant I suffered from a severe case of Hypoemesis Gravardium. Basically, I threw up anywhere from 3-6 times a day, everyday. I lost over 30 pounds from vomiting. I was very week, dehydrated, and worried. It was rough. Afterwards, I became a stay-at-home mom. I had a misconceived idea of what being a stay-at-home mom was. I thought it would be less stressful. Less work, more time to meet people and have money. Nope! It was more stressful, more work, and less downtime than my job was. My panic attacks started again. I started going in to see a new therapist who worked with women, and new moms. I’ve gone to several therapists over the last 14 years. Therapists are so in demand they move around a lot.
Today, I am able to live normally. So often others wonder if they can live a normal life. I also get that from parents of kids who have anxiety. Yes, you can live a normal life. You just have to go out and meet it. You have to be uncomfortable, even feeling a bit of terror. Work on it. That’s the only way to conquer it. You can use medication to help you. But medication won’t cure you. I will not stop all the feeling or all the bad days. You have to live through them. That’s the hardest part of all.