You never know when anxiety will hit you.
This morning as I was dropping off my youngest at preschool, I all of a sudden had this seizing fear that something bad was going to happen. That he was going to fall down the stairs and have a catastrophic injury. I knew this was probably just a random thought due to anxiety, but part of me still wondered, “What if it’s true? What if I don’t listen and I’m wrong?”
It took everything in me to drop him off and leave him there. My brain was telling me that he was in danger. And I had to actively disregard that information when my instinct was pulling me to do the exact opposite.
I wanted to run back and get him. I wanted to talk to his teacher to make sure she kept extra watch over him that day. But I didn't. I made myself walk away with tears in my eyes.
I've been slowly learning to recognize when my thoughts are coming from anxiety versus when they are from intuition or spiritual promptings. The thoughts I had that morning came on suddenly, with an overwhelming and panicked feeling, versus a calm "knowing" feeling, and that is what helped me decide to reluctantly push it aside.
And I was right. He was fine. And that gave me confidence and hope.
But it's not easy. Even if I'm pretty sure a fear isn't real, it still feels very real. There are very powerful opposing forces inside my mind. I can feel the physical effects of stress within my body. I’m still learning in therapy how to recognize what’s true and what’s not. I'm not always right, and sometimes I give in. But I’m fighting every day to keep trying and I'm not going to give up.
This is just one example of how simple things like “trusting your gut” are anything but simple when you have a mental illness.
But I can do this. And so can you.
Keep fighting the good fight, friends.
This post was originally published on the author's Facebook page, Driving Mom Crazy.