“I would stay awake at night. Watching and listening for any indication of danger. I would watch the shadows on my ceiling. Contemplating how I would protect my family.”
It was like any other work day. My husband pulled into our driveway minutes before I needed to head out the door. I asked him about his day while I quickly packed my lunchbox. Moments later I was off to work. But this day wasn’t going to be like the rest.
For the last day I had been feeling an intense pressure in my head. As if I was hanging upside down. I went to my regular doctor a few days before, but had no answers for my symptoms.
When I got to work, I felt awful. The left side of my face and arm started going numb. I couldn’t breathe and I was scared. At first I thought I was having a stroke or heart attack.
I quickly told my boss what was going on. He had one of my coworkers drive me to the Emergency Room. For the next 4 hours I was at the hospital alone. Awaiting tests. They gave me Benadryl which made me pass out. Despite all the scans and blood work, they found nothing wrong. The doctors said I could have MS or an auto immune disease. That’s when they referred me to a Neurologist.
The next day I was struggling. I could still feel the medicine in my system. My mom called me when I really needed someone to talk to. We talked for several hours while Aurora napped. That’s when I learned she experienced the same thing after having my sister. It was discovered that she was struggling with severe stress and anxiety.
That’s when I started reading about symptoms caused by stress and anxiety. I started jotting down what made me stressed. I realized this didn’t happen overnight. It was a gradual process that led to my breaking point.
Since Aurora was born, my anxiety steadily increased over the months. I work in the news business where every day is full of negative news. Someone was killed during a home invasion. A mother killed her kids. It seemed like every headline was describing death and hatred. Seriously, it’s my usual day. I began to turn those scenarios into “this could happen to my family.” I would stay awake at night. Watching and listening for any indication of danger. I would watch the shadows on my ceiling. Contemplating how I would protect my family. I was constantly in a “fight or flight” state of mind that was causing serious mental and physical issues.
I started relying on myself to take care of everyone. As a mom I have the instinct of protection. I feel like I need to constantly warn my husband of what could happen. I was putting all this responsibility on myself. Not on God.
“Since Aurora was born, my anxiety steadily increased over the months. I work in the news business where every day is full of negative news.”
I put too much pressure on myself as I juggled being a full-time wife, mom and employee. Not to mention the hundreds of things I needed to get done each day. I had no close friends near me to talk to. No family. Even though my husband does so much, I still felt alone and responsible to get everything done.
It was during that time I was far from God. I knew who he was. I knew what all he had done, but I couldn’t bring myself to ask him for help. That ER visit made me see I can’t do it alone.
I am a very stubborn and determined person that struggles with perfectionism. Those things don’t mix well when you lack humility and faith. I began to realize I NEEDED God in every part of my life. More than I was allowing.
It’s been a few months now since my nervous breakdown. Am I all better? Nope. I struggle daily to maintain my stress and anxiety levels. Some days are better than others. I have to workout daily to help release the stress I hold inside. Some days I feel my stress and anxiety build. I usually have to stop and breathe. I start praying to God about it. Redirect my focus on something that makes me happy.
If you’re going through extreme stress and anxiety, I urge you to get help. Whether it’s from a friend, doctor, or spouse. Someone you trust that can listen to you. Also, when you identify the stress that’s when you will be able to tackle the problem. That’s why it’s good to have someone to talk to.
I can’t tell you how much better I feel. I have more good days than bad. I have this weight off my shoulders. I can finally breathe again. It doesn’t take me hours to go to sleep at night. I finally have given God all of those worries.
Honestly, if I didn’t experience a nervous breakdown, I think I would still be trying to do it all alone. It was a wakeup call. God showed me that no human can do it alone. No one can bare that much stuff.
A great story to read is 2 Kings 6:8-23. It’s during the time the king Aram was at war with Israel. Elisha shows great courage while the “servant of the man of God” struggled to see a good outcome.
“It was a wakeup call. God showed me that no human can do it alone. No one can bare that much stuff.”