It has been about two months since I have had my anxiety medicine. I quit taking it for two reasons. One being, the doctor suggested getting it off it at the end of my pregnancy anyways. Two being, I am too lazy and stubborn to find a new physician here, tell her my issues and get a new prescription. I know it’s wrong and childish, but it’s the truth. I’ll find a doctor soon.
The good news is that I have yet to need it. My mind has been more calm than it has been since I can remember. This pregnancy has somehow brought on a sense of calmness that I never even thought possible. I have had zero panic attacks in over 3 months, my nightmares have lessened (I actually had a dream I was vacationing in France the other night… I NEVER dream like that) and even my blood pressure has been low.
For the last 5 years my blood pressure has been on the higher side at every single doctor appointment. The doctors usually chalk it up to “white coat syndrome” and high anxiety, but I can’t help but worry that my family history of heart disease reached me at an early age. However, since my first prenatal doctor appointment I have had ideal blood pressure. I look like the poster child for a healthy heart. I’m so relieved and feel so good that I went to the baby doctor by myself for the first time this week.
This must seem so ridiculous to most of you, but this is an enormous step for me. I was not even nervous, like, at all. In the name of full disclosure, I will say I have had moments of worry, but “normal” people worries. I have worried about breast-feeding, having a healthy baby, raising a child with Husband, etc, but these moments pass. I have not dwelled, worked myself into a panic or anything. Husband has not even once suggested I take my medicine. I don’t even know if he realizes I’m not on anything.
I don’t want to suggest that getting pregnant is the answer to anxiety disorders. I know this isn’t true. Pregnancy can often cause more anxiety; I assumed it would in my case. Pregnancy isn’t the answer to any “problem”, I know that, but it’s possible that it’s motivated me to stay on a healthier track. I workout at least 6 days a week, eat healthier, get more sleep, drink way less coffee and even think more positively. I have been careful not to put myself in situations that typically trigger panic attacks. I have been honest, maybe to a fault, with everyone. Mostly, I am focused on being the best version of me I can be for our family, and it’s working.
Less stress has made a huge difference, as well. Clearly, cutting out my work hours and allowing myself time to relax has both hurt and helped. I need to be busy and I like schedules, and the guilt of doing less has brought on it’s own sense of stress, but I’m learning to find a happy (and healthy) medium.
When my Grandmother passed recently, I was in the middle of a lot of intense moments. I worked with my Mom and sister in the funeral home to help write and edit her eulogy. We put together the photo collages in the director’s office and organized the food in the family room. I held my Mother and my Sister when they needed it, made small talk with relatives I haven’t seen in years and typed up my Grandmother’s entire journal. When everything began I thought the weight of the situation would break me. I thought, “this is it, call the doctor, call a therapist, a downward spiral is sure to hit”, but it didn’t.
Weeks have passed and I’ve yet to crash. I’m like a pregnant Zen master. Where did this come from? I now have a slight worry that the world will come tumbling down once the baby arrives, but who knows? Maybe, I’m taking a permanent turn towards peace and calmness. Or, maybe I’ll just have my ups and down throughout the years. For now, I just want to enjoy these moments.
If you are dealing with high anxiety, panic attacks or even just too much stress try to remember that it will pass. There is a light at the end of your tunnel, and eating healthy, exercising, keeping a healthy mind and living honestly will get you through that tunnel a bit faster. I’m so thankful for the last couple few months of zen-ness.