Until today, I didn’t realize how much my anxiety takes over when I am faced with a situation involving crowds. Today at the ice-skating rink I had a bit of an anxiety attack. It took everything I had to move past the initial tense, overwhelming feeling and let go. It was a real moment that made me realize how much I let mommy anxiety control my life.
I don’t remember it always being like that though. Before kids, crowds did not have any impact on my choices.
But soon after I had two kiddos in tow, I started to notice that I would avoid situations where there would be a large crowd. I would purposely pick another day or just forgo the activity all together. If I had someone with me it was less scary, but going alone overwhelmed me and my anxiety took over. I cannot tell you how many things we didn’t do, or I talked myself out of (sometimes even on the way).
I’m not sure the exact reason I get anxious, but the thought of a crowded place with three kiddos now makes my stomach go crazy, my body get tense and every horrible thing that could possibly happen begins to race through my brain. I think a lot of it has to do with being able to see all my kiddos and what is happening around me. I like to be aware of my surroundings but I know that with kids in tow, this can sometimes be very difficult. That thought in itself makes me freak out a bit.
Today, the ice-skating rink was very crowded and it took me a minute to get myself ready to fight my anxiety head on. After a few deep breathes and telling myself it was for my daughter I was ready to take on the crowd. And I am so glad I did! We had such a great time despite the crowd.
On the drive home, I realized how much we haven’t done because of my fears. It breaks my heart knowing I let my anxiety control those moments so many times before. How many things did my kids miss out on because I wasn’t able to work through the mommy anxiety? I am being completely unfair to my kids letting something like this control me. They deserve more from me and showing them that I can conquer my fears in those moments is something I want them to see and learn from.
It is my goal to fight my anxiety and really push myself to do more things even if they do make me anxious. It’s worth it to see the smiles on my kids faces. And I am hopeful that the more I push through, the less anxiety will be such a factor in my life.
So I am marking today as the first of many fights with anxiety I’ve won. I know that there will be many more in the future. But I also know that God is in control and I can work through it with a little prayer and faith.