This I Believe

Sarah - jenison, Michigan
Entered on March 5, 2007

This I Believe

I believe in conquering my fear. My fear has ruled my life for 2 years. Before it was just slowly seeping in, finding it’s way into my innermost being. Then it could grab me from the inside. It attacked so hard and so fast there was no time to rebel. It must have started at my heart, gripping it- turning it into a brick, weighing me down. I know it was in my spine, my neck was hot, my hair standing on end. My breath was gone- I had to gasp for air. But what I remember most is the shaking. I wanted it out of me so I shook my arms and legs. I paced. My fingers tingled. Only the passing of time could dull it.

I learned the next day, that my fear had a name. Post Partum Depression. It was a relief to see it on paper. To see it had a name, and a checklist. These things make sense to me. I had a traumatic birth, a difficult baby. Post Partum Depression makes sense to me.

I began to fix the problem. Wonderful anti anxiety drugs. They pulled me out of the state of anxiety I was in and that is when I noticed the hopelessness. The depression, the worrying. I could look back and see how it snuck in. I saw the signs and how It got me.

Now I know. But it is still a secret, no one can know. You see they all compliment me. They all say I am really good at this mother thing. “You had a baby with out drugs!” (They do not know the birth flashed back to me daily and I become afraid as relive those horrible moments) “You are so patient, you never overreact!” (They do not know I cry on my knees at night, I beg God to help, I pound the floor).

Until I am really close to back to myself again, can I really talk about it. Pregnant people call out to me, I need to tell them so It does not get them. I need them to know I survived. Then my family- I need them to know what I overcame. What I will continue to overcome. I also learned that others had it too. I am not alone. Now it is an easy topic. I am proud of what I did.

The problem was thought, that I defined it. I gave it an end. What I know now though is that it is not over. My confidence is the tool the anxiety used this time to creep in. And then it is inside and it grabs me again. It takes over my heart, next my neck and then my limbs. I franticly try to shake it out. I search the house for my pills. The edge is gone. But I am afraid of fear.

Here is my lesson: I might be anxious. But I am not afraid. Every night ends in sunrise. Every day starts again. The children make me laugh. My husband makes me smile, My job gives me satisfaction. I read books, I do laundry, I walk, I play. There will always be anxiety, but I will not be afraid of it. This I believe.