Anxiety is always present in my life. A very common symptom of anxiety is feeling overwhelmed. This used to be something I tried to manage ALL THE TIME. Since working on this in the last few years I have tools now that help me slow it down before it starts. Great, right? Yes. However – I am still human, I still have anxiety, and I still get overwhelmed. More so lately in fact. First I had took a look at the why…..
In the last couple months I am adjusting to a “new normal” that includes a husband that travels away from home a lot more, a job where I have taken additional responsibility which makes me even busier, and kids that are older and busier. In short – life happened.
“If you are overwhelmed by the size of the problem, break it down into smaller pieces.”
- Chuck Close
Last week I was literally “overwhelmed” and when the Hubs got home we talked about it in detail. First and foremost this was a big step – I can finally sit down with my husband, and say “I am overwhelmed and I need help.” Well done Jennie! We talked about how we can make things easier for me. Looking at the full picture and breaking down all the pieces and determining what we can adjust, where we can get help, etc…. Having that conversation alone made me feel better, and I had a “game plan.” Sometimes it is that simple.
In the grand scheme of things…………
- If homework does not get done RIGHT after school, will the world come to an end?
- If someone has to miss a practice, will the world come to an end?
- If I have to get someone to pick up a kid from carpool, will the world come to an end?
- If my son attends Tae Kwon Do at 6pm instead of the 3:45pm, will the world come to an end?
- If we are eat dinner at 7:30pm, will the world come to an end?
- If I get take out a couple nights a week (THE HORROR), will the world come to an end?
NO Jennie. The world will not come to an end. I remind myself some weeks are busier than others and some weeks the Hubs is home and helping. Bottom line - I do my best at any given time and whatever the outcome, I know I gave it my best shot.
Anxiety is not a single condition. It can also be mentally and physically overwhelming. Don’t let anyone downplay what that struggle is like. I have learned to lean on those that understand it. Hell – my husband did not understand it for a long time. But he took the time and totally gets it now and I can lean on him, I trust he gets it and I am open to his feedback/advice.
There is nothing worse than someone telling you to “figure it out, “it will all work out,” “quit your bitching,” “get over it.”
EVERYONE'S PAIN MATTERS. EVERYONE'S FEELINGS MATTER.
My advice – do not seek comfort from those who don’t understand it. I say this not to avoid friends or family. And in their defense if they don’t experience it or live with someone closely who has it – they do not understand it. Period. Don’t EXPECT them too. They have the best intentions with the things they say. They mean well. BUT - when you are overwhelmed or struggling, they aren't your best source of support.
I am grateful to have friends and husband that support me and help me in my times of struggle. I have my “go to” peeps for this and they help me balance. Anxiety and Mental Illness is VERY real for so many. 1 in 5 Americans experience mental illness in any given year.* There is a huge stigma around mental illness too. We must all do our part to change that.
May is #mentalhealthmonth. Learn more about what you can do to build awareness.
*Source: National Alliance for Mental Illness