January 26, 2022

Anxiety | Personal | Sarah Tapp Photography

I don’t talk about this a lot because it’s not something I like to admit and it’s not at all comfortable, but I feel like I have to get it out and maybe … Just maybe I can help someone else feel like they’re not alone. …

The last couple years I have struggled so hard with anxiety. And it’s affected everything. … I try put put on a brave face and act like I’m calm but the truth is, I’m always stressed. I’m always anxious. And I think it’s been this way as long as I can remember, but I just haven’t known it. I haven’t been able to put a name or face to it because I didn’t know what is was. Or maybe I was just more distracted with the fun that comes with being a kid and then a teenager. But as adulthood and motherhood came, I had a lot more to be stressed about. …I am happy with where I am in life and I love my girls and would do anything for them, but being a parent is hard. And stressful. And it creates a lot of anxiety for me.

Everything came to a head when we moved to Oregon in 2019. I was so completely overwhelmed by everything. Every single decision felt monumental and it took me a long time to get back to any sort of ‘normal’. I remember having a doctors appointment and he asked me all these questions about function and if I enjoyed doing things I loved and if I could get out of bed and my answers were all yes. But even though I looked like I was fine on paper, I still knew something was wrong.

My whole life I’ve been a perfectionist. Straight A’s in high school. I always wanted to do the absolute best I could at everything I tried. And if I wasn’t good at something, I either didn’t do it or got so frustrated with myself that I couldn’t do it that I’d sob and sob and thing something was wrong with me. Looking back now, I realize that I had anxiety all along. I thought I was trying to just do my best, but really it was anxiety pushing me to be perfect, because if I wasn’t perfect, what was I? …Since figuring out that I deal with anxiety, it’s gotten worse …the anxiety. I don’t know why, but putting a name to it just makes it worse for me. …Maybe because I’m just annoyed and frustrated that I can’t just let things go. … I have learned a lot about myself, my emotions, my relationships, and my beliefs, but it just seems like I can’t figure it all out. … I can’t put all the pieces together. …I’ve never been very patient and I guess all good things take time. …But it’s hard.

Anxiety affects every aspect of my life, my emotions, my physical health, my relationships, my parenting, my housekeeping, my business, my self-esteem, my worth, everything. And just because I look okay on the outside doesn’t mean I’m okay on the inside. I always feel like I’m worried about something. I am always worried about something. It’s like my mind goes a million miles a minute and I can never relax. There’s always a storm inside of me and I don’t know how to make it go away.

…My brother passed away on Christmas and it’s been so hard. I’ve never lost someone so close and have never dealt with grief like this. …And it made me realize that I don’t know how to process my emotions like I thought I did. …I guess grief is maybe something that doesn’t ever go away and maybe anxiety is like that for me too. …But I just hope that I cant get to a place where it doesn’t control everything I do and everything I am. …I am learning and growing and trying to figure out what works and what doesn’t. But I guess I just want to say for anyone else dealing with anxiety, you’re not alone. I see you. I know you. And I’m with you.

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