The Struggle In My Truth

Posted by Heather on Oct 3rd 2016

Looking at me from an outside perspective, I have it all. A beautiful family, an amazing husband, a couple of fairly successful businesses, a nice home and overall, the life I’ve always dreamed of… but there’s one thing that many people don’t know about me. One thing that has taken over my life over the last year. It’s something I’ve hidden. I smile through it, I pretend like nothing’s wrong, but the truth is, I am living with something that I can’t control.

The truth is, I’ve been struggling with something that has completely crippled me over the last year. It’s something that I fight daily. It’s something that keeps me in bed more days than I’d like to admit, afraid to get up. It keeps me from doing my hair, putting on makeup, from caring what it is I wear. It’s something that stops me from leaving the house. It’s the reason that when most people ask me to go and do something, I immediately come up with an excuse as to why I can’t. Mostly, it’s the reason that I’ve lost friends and contact with family members.

The truth is, I suffer from anxiety. An anxiety that gets my heart racing and causes me to feel like I’m going to pass out. An anxiety that brings with it a fear that I will never be able to go anywhere without feeling this way. An anxiety that has kept me from birthday parties, family functions, my daughter’s competitions and even everyday things like grocery shopping or picking up my kids from school.

I have always struggled with some form of anxiety, but it really reached it’s height about a year ago. I wanted to take the girls to Disney since they had a day off. The plan was to drive up by myself, with the girls, but thankfully, one of my friends and her two kids came along, and she wound up driving. The whole way up I felt anxious but I tried to ignore it. I knew if I could just get there and get into the park and could see the kids having the time of their life, I could get past it.

We made it to the ferry line when my mind started racing. The line was huge. We were toward the back of the line. I knew that if we made it on that ferry, there would be no where for me to sit. Instantly, I started to panic. It probably took less than a minute for the anxiety to escalate and I ran for the nearest bench, fearing that I was going to pass out. By the time I reached the bench, I was so far gone, I had to lie down. I was lightheaded, I was panicking, I was sweating and I knew that if I could just let it pass, I would be ok, as I have in the past. The next thing I remember is the paramedics taking my blood pressure and watching as my kids looked over at me, with a look of fear, unknowing what was happening to their Mom.

We wound up heading back to the car and driving home. The entire way I felt horrible. These 5 kids were so excited and I had taken away their opportunity to see Mickey. I was heartbroken because I couldn’t control what was happening. I couldn’t just deal with it so that they could have their day. To this day, I still feel horrible and embarrassed about it.

Although I’ve spoken with a few people about it over the last year, I’ve never wanted many people to know. I thought that keeping it a secret would make it go away. I thought if I kept it to myself, I wouldn’t be admitting that it was real. Over the last couple of weeks, it’s gotten worse and I think it’s time that I speak about it. It’s time that I stop hiding my truth. People’s lives aren’t always as perfect as they appear on social media. Most people don’t take pictures of the sad moments. They don’t take pictures of the fights they have. They don’t talk about their fears and their failures but maybe we should. Maybe sharing something like this will not only help me to deal with it better, but will also help someone else to get their truth out. Maybe it will help us to connect with others that are going through similar situations, but are also afraid to talk about it. From this day forward, I’m not going to be afraid. I won’t let anxiety win.