I’ve been distant. Quiet. I know.
The truth is I’ve been going through something. All my life I’ve been considered a “worrier.” If you were to ask any of my friends, they’d probably say I have a lot of stress, much of it self imposed, and kind of on the irrational (ok, crazy) side. I’ve been finding over the last couple of years, culminating in the last several months, that my anxiety levels have been getting to a point that is crippling.
All of my life I’ve believed that if I just powered through, kept moving, I could get past the uncomfortable feelings. I recently came to the quiet revelation that I’ve been doing mental health all wrong and that maybe my constant feeling of dread and worry wasn’t normal, especially when things are generally ok.
The turning point for me was releasing this last pattern collection. I’ve been so worried that things aren’t good enough, that people will be disappointed, that something is wrong, that I’ve been terrified to write about them. I need to work on a new collection for my lingerie shop, which is looking rather ragged, but I have the feeling that nothing will ever be good enough. I open my email with dread and some days can’t even bring myself to check because I’m afraid that something is wrong. I have no reason to feel this way. I am a good designer. I’ve worked hard to build a fairly successful business.
Thinking about these feelings made me realize how afraid I was for Isabel, and my compulsive need to make sure she is ok. My irrational worries that she will get out of her crib, through her locked door, past the baby gate, down the stairs, out of our locked house, and come to some terrible end out in the world. It’s a terrible feeling to constantly have with you.
Since buying this new house, my anxiety has shot through the roof. I feel like there is a lot of “unknown” which is really terrifying for me. I have constant stress over finances when I really don’t need to. I have constant stress over the state of our house, when reality is I live in a beautiful old home that much of the major work has been completed. When I sit and think rationally about my anxieties, none of them make sense, but I just can’t stop. I almost constantly have that tight feeling in my chest, like the way you feel before writing a big test that you’re not quite prepared for. I wake up this way, and when I do fall asleep, I have stressful dreams.
Mix all this with an unhealthy dose of intrusive thoughts, and I decided that maybe something wasn’t firing quite right and that I needed some help. As someone who DIY’s everything, saying this was a big step is a bit of an understatement.
I always thought my Anxiety was a mixed blessing. Sure, it stopped me from sleeping or actually getting to know any of the many amazing people in my life, but it compelled me to work, work, work! In hindsight, none of my best work has been done in periods of high anxiety. It’s not a good motivator and it’s definitely not good for business. In fact, it’s been crippling my business over the last few months.
So, I’m trying something new. I’ve been doing self care things for months, like exercise, but it hasn’t been cutting it. I’ve been getting a lot of new insight into the way I think over the last week and it’s really been a revelation. I’ve started on some medication, picked up yoga again, started a “worry journal” (which sounds lame but feels helpful), have enrolled in some support groups and hopefully will have some one-on-one care soon. Unfortunately, there is a wait list for mental health care in our area, so that has been frustrating for me, but it feels good to be getting help.
I wanted to write this to explain a little to you what’s been going on with me. I haven’t been myself for a while now. I’ve always wanted this blog to be a place where I can share real life: it’s good times and it’s not so good times… I hate that persona that people put online where thing are 100% perfect 100% of the time #bestlife #blessed. Reaching out for help was extremely difficult for me, and I want anyone know is going through something similar to know it’s ok! We would never judge a friend who is going through these things, so I don’t know why we judge ourselves so harshly.
Thanks for listening, and mostly, thanks for caring about me. If anyone has any similar experiences, I’d love to hear.