It was such an ordinary moment. My 3 year old son asked me to do a puzzle with him. His older sister was at gymnastics and I stopped was I was doing and sat down on the floor with my little boy. He sat there handing me puzzles and I watched with unbelievable clarity as he named sea creatures, asked me questions and loved the simple fact my focus was totally and completely on him.

The wound is still very fresh as I share this. For about a year now, I’ve been trying to figure out “what is wrong with me”.  I live an incredibly privileged life.  I have 2 miracle rainbow babies, my husband is supportive and provides for our family so I can be a stay-at-home-mom, I have wonderful friends, I have been able to meet several personal goals, a solid community, we are all incredibly healthy… And despite that, I still found myself in my own head feeling like a failure to my family. In my own words “I just couldn’t get my s*** together”.

I had tried everything at that point.  Counseling, prayer, natural supplements, testing for many many things including attention deficit disorder, autoimmune disorders and more.  I was stressed, overwhelmed, unhappy, exhausted because I couldn’t sleep at night, snippy with my family, impatient with my children….. I was hurting those I loved most.

I kept telling myself over and over “I’m just stressed, I just need to cut back, I’m just overwhelmed, I need to get rid of clutter, I just need a break, I need me time” all while struggling to keep my anger and stress levels in check.  I didn’t know what to do and I didn’t feel like myself at all. In truth, this had been an escalating problem since shortly after the birth of my son but I would mask and avoid the problem by focusing on other things. A new diet, a new workout, a new devotional, a new hobby… Those other things would distract me briefly but eventually I would be right back to the same cycle of needing to de-clutter my house, revamp our routines, try some new tactic to counter the fact that I couldn’t seem to get a grip on what was really going on.

So a month ago I was again at a breaking point. I had gone to our church women’s retreat and on my list of things I was stressed about I wrote “I think I need medication and I’m scared”. At this point, I felt like I had failed GOD. God am I not trusting in you enough? Is all of this because I can’t seem to be satisfied with what you’ve graciously given me in this life? Is my faith faltering? I left those worries and many others on the piece of paper and felt lighter that day. I slept so well for the first time in several weeks. I came back home and that within 24 hours I was feeling the same uneasy feelings of stress, overwhelm and chaos. Later that week I saw my doctor, tried to hold my head up high as I waved the white flag and walked nervously out of Target holding a 30 day prescription.

At that point I was asking myself yet again “how the hell did I get here? Is this really what my life has come to? That I need PILLS to function?” There is no describing how it feels to be at that point. As my husband and I were driving home from church last Sunday I read him this blog “I Thought I Was Turning Into a Rage Monster Then I Was Diagnosed With Anxiety” and sat there crying as I read out loud how I had been feeling for so long. Terrified. Confused. Exhausted because you can’t stop thinking about everything and everything you have to do, and those thoughts keep you up at night.

That simple moment where I got to sit with my son and talk with him without thinking about anything besides our time putting together a puzzle, clapping with joy when we finished it and seeing with absolute clarity the harm anxiety had caused within me and also how in manifested externally once I could no longer hold it in. How I was constantly distracted and unable to enjoy moments because my mind was filled with things that needed to be done. How I needed to GO GO GO GO. It was hard. It made me realize there were 2-3 years I was unable to be fully present in the life of my family. I’m lucky there are many years left to enjoy these moments and be present. I’m lucky to be getting my life back.

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