As a mom with anxiety and depression, my mind doesn’t stop. Ever. My husband hates that I can’t just sit and watch a movie because I can’t sit still. My mind doesn’t allow me to do one thing at a time. I’m constantly making lists, I’m constantly planning, I’m constantly over-obsessing every detail of every aspect of my life. My mind is constantly consumed with everything I need to do, should be doing, plan to do, didn’t do right and things I didn’t do at all. And with the latter two comes guilt, self-doubt and self-hate.
Everyone else can do this, why can’t I? Why did I yell so much today? Why don’t I feel like reading to her? Shouldn’t a good mom be more patient? I hate myself for not being more patient. I hate myself for not being able to live in the moment with my children. I hate myself for not being happier. I hate myself for crying so much. My mind is nonstop. My anxiety is nonstop. My emotions are nonstop.
It is absolutely and utterly exhausting.
Then there’s the worrying. I worry about everything. Constantly. Every cough could turn into pneumonia. And doctor, why don’t you understand that?! Every horror story on the news involving children gives me nightmares. How am I ever going to let my children leave the house?! I am paranoid and obsessive and I can’t help it. The constant checking the stove, hand washing, lock checking and child checking. Are they still breathing? Are they too hot with that blanket? Is the coat warm enough? Am I giving her enough vegetables? What do other moms pack In their kid’s lunches? Does her teacher think I send enough food? The right food?
And the social anxiety is fun too… Why don’t other people sit with us at church meals? Oh gosh, they’re sitting with us! My mouth is full, I can’t answer their question! Oh what’s his name? I said it out loud, that is his name right?
And the constant replaying of conversations in my head, over and over again… The obsessing, the overanalyzing. It doesn’t stop.
The worst part of all of this is the fear that one of my beautiful children will have to experience this. That they will have to endure the constant paranoia, the sadness, the worry, the constant self-doubt, the constant exhaustion of it all. That they may fall victim to depression and fail to see what beautiful unique people they are. That they may one day feel intense sadness without cause. That they may feel guilt for feeling such gut wrenching sadness without reason. That they too, will have to experience this never-ending mental self-abuse cycle.
That is the worst part of it all.
Originally published on The Mighty.