05 May #ICantDoThisAlone (excerpt from Coordinating Chaos)
“My husband had a grand mal seizure while we were camping at the beach about three years ago. It was the scariest thing I have ever seen. I’m sure that whole scene will remain burned in my memory. He is ok, but after his seizure there of course were tests, and brain scans, and the rule in California is that you aren’t able to drive a car for at least three months after you have a seizure. Since he wasn’t able to drive, that responsibility fell on me. We have a lot of people that attend multiple different schools, and have a plethora of activities. My cute honey had a big role in taking them to all their places. But then, he couldn’t.
Taking on the responsibility of being the sole driver in a family of seven, and also the stress of worrying about my husband, led me to experience something I had only heard of before.
The first time happened as I was dropping my kids off at school. I started getting really hot, and my heart was racing in my chest. I couldn’t focus and had an overwhelming frantic feeling. I couldn’t get out of the car fast enough in the parking lot but still felt like I couldn’t breath. I bent down in a ball in the dirt parking lot by my son’s TK class and just started bawling uncontrollably. It was really strange how quickly it came on, and how I couldn’t even care about the people around me – the moms staring at me in my ball next to the open car door. While bawling in the parking lot, I just started praying – out loud – for peace and clarity about what was going on, it was all I could do to not feel like my whole life was out of control. I got back in my car, after what seemed like forever but was probably only a few minutes, and started to try to process what had just happened to me. Was I losing my mind? Was it gonna be that time of the month? What was all of that about? I looked down at my phone, and on the screen was a listing for a book on Amazon about overcoming anxiety. No. Not a coincidence. There was the answer. That was what had happened, and was the first of many anxiety attacks to follow.
Nothing seemed to really trigger them specifically – other than just my everyday reality – so I could never tell when they would pop up, but I started having an anxiety attack at least three times a week. It was awful. Debilitating. I was already not feeling like myself because of everything that was happening in my life; I felt like I was under a shadow – then throw these anxiety attacks on top of that. I knew that this was not something that would ‘just get better.’ That’s when I knew I needed to start going to counseling…
I knew that this was not something that would ‘just get better.’
I had not been taking care of my mental health, psychological well-being, or emotional well-being. I let the stress and pressures of life become too much, by repeatedly ignoring them and pushing them aside. The anxiety attacks I started experiencing and the unshakeable cloud of disappointment were the side effects. I’m just glad I noticed them when I did, and took the steps to get help. It was scary to admit that I needed to go to counseling, but as I mentioned, it was the best thing I could have done. In retrospect, I’m positive that I would not have been able to get through that without professional help. It truly was the first step in moving forward into growth, abundance, and positivity – which I know is the life that I am supposed to live. And so are you.”
Check out the rest in my book Coordinating Chaos!