Do you ever think that sometimes you are your own worst enemy?
I am definitely my own worst enemy! My brain gets all wrapped up in the negative and the what-if’s, leaving me in a whirlwind of worry, doubt and anxiety that is so powerful I get knots in my stomach and have a hard time breathing. While I’ve never actually had a panic attack, sometimes I’ve been close.
You see, I come from a family of worry-worts. My dad does not fall into this category, but my mother, grandmother, great-grandmother and great-aunt worry (or worried) a lot. I remember my Great Aunt Elsie fussing at us for climbing on things because she was afraid we would fall and break our necks. I loved my Aunt Elsie dearly, but she didn’t really know about the power of the tongue.
I really began to notice anxiety creeping into my life when I became a mother. I would wake up a million times a night to make sure Evan was breathing. Even after his second and third birthdays, I remember occasionally wondering the same thing, especially if he slept late in the morning. Sometimes I would open his door quietly just to check. I knew it was ridiculous. We prayed over Evan right after we found out I was pregnant. We prayed for his safety and that God would always take care of him.
It’s difficult for mothers to put a pin in the anxiety that creeps in so easily. From the moment we see those two pink lines, the maternal instinct slams into overdrive with an intense desire to protect the growing life within us. Throughout the entire pregnancy, we watch what we eat and monitor every movement for signs of abnormality. After the birth, with the baby in our arms, we silently dare anything to bother our little sweetness, or else a ferocious mother-bear will spring to attack. Simultaneously, we pray constantly for protection, peace and health.
In our weakest moments, especially when we’ve had little sleep and the crying seems like it will never end, the doubt and anxiety begins to weave it’s lies and deceptive thoughts into our minds. If we don’t recognize what is going on, these thoughts can take over and if you’re like me, depression may set in. Even if you do recognize what’s going on, depression may still take root.