​ To anyone anxious out there

I’ve always been a worrier. A bit of a stress head. At times, a bit anxious. It’s just how I am. Those who love me know it and still love me for it, or despite it.

At school I was the conscientious one, a bit of a geek who never wanted to skip classes or break the rules. As I hit my late teens and A levels, I started to have sleepless nights because I was worried about my exams. It got worse at university. I got by with the odd Nytol and clinky clunky music, yoga, chocolate and wine. My friends and family soon learned what triggered it and whenever I felt worried they would try to calm me down and help me chill out.

As I’ve got older occasionally stress has lead to bouts of anxiety, a general worry that something bad is going to happen. I’ve learned to live with it. Manage it.

But when I had Miss Belle a whole new level of worry engulfed me. It hit me like a bus when she was less than 24 hours old.

We had a hard time feeding and I spent longer in hospital than most of my friends. I remember thinking “why can’t I do this? My baby doesn’t like me. I’m a terrible mum. I can’t even feed my baby.” I was so upset. I was exhausted, frustrated and stressed. Eventually things got better and we got on the roller coaster that is new parenthood, as we thought things were OK, only to be told she had lost more weight. A couple of weeks of continued stress passed until eventually her tongue tie was snipped and our feeding turned a corner.

I sobbed before my husband went back to work after his two weeks of paternity leave. I felt I couldn’t look after her all on my own all day. When my parents left after a visit I sobbed some more. But time ticked by and slowly we found our feet.

So what? You probably think. This all just sounds normal, the feelings that come along with being a new mum.

Well, Miss Belle is now nearly two, and since she was born there have been a few times where anxiety has reared it’s ugly head.

After our tricky start to breastfeeding I was paranoid about her weight gain, so I used an App to record her feeds. I could also record when she napped which quickly helped me notice a bit of a pattern. When we met up with some new parents from our antenatal classes and I told them about this App, some of them found it odd. I left feeling low, again like I was weird and doing it all wrong.

When I was home alone with my newborn baby I had visions of dropping her as I walked up the stairs.

When Miss Belle had had yet another weekend of 40 degree temps, cold hands and feet, and mottled skin, I rushed her to the GP and broke down in tears. I was so worried, so anxious. The GP was kind and told me that these feelings were totally understandable and not unfounded. She saw me two days later to talk about how I was feeling and discuss if I needed help.

On Monday, it was World Mental Health Day. I’ve not written this because I profess in anyway to be an expert on aspects of mental health. I’m not a doctor or a nurse. I’ve written it because I want people to know these feelings are common. It’s just nobody talks about it.

I’ve been thinking about it and I wonder how much of a fine line there is between worry and anxiety. Some people are just more of a worrier than others. Not everyone can be laid back and care free. If it helps you to have a routine or make a note of what time your baby feeds or sleeps, it’s OK. It doesn’t make you a freak and you shouldn’t be mocked by others. You shouldn’t have to apologise for being the way you are.

But, if you start to have constant anxious feelings, then things probably are not OK. If you are having anxious thoughts every day, several times a day, then it’s time to talk. Tell someone close to you, a partner, parent or a close friend. My advice is to speak to your health visitor or GP who can tell you what support is available in your area.

There is help out there. All you have to do is talk.

Hot Pink Wellingtons
Diary of an imperfect mum
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  1. Hayley
    13th October 2016 / 7:18 am

    So true … talking really does help and this is so relevant regardless of whether you are a mum or not.

    • thisismenow
      13th October 2016 / 7:37 am

      Definitely. Let’s get people talking! X

  2. 13th October 2016 / 8:31 pm

    Very true, anxiety is so common and not many people have the confidence to speak up. Well done on raising awareness! x #SharingTheBlogLove

    • thisismenow
      13th October 2016 / 8:46 pm

      Thanks so much x

  3. 13th October 2016 / 9:14 pm

    Thank you so much for sharing such an important post with us at #ablogginggoodtime. I am also a real worrier but worry and anxiety are different beasts. I love your advice about seeking hep if those anxious thoughts become more frequent. Thank you for linking up to #ablogginggoodtime

    • thisismenow
      13th October 2016 / 9:45 pm

      Thank you for your lovely comment and thanks for hosting xx

  4. 13th October 2016 / 11:05 pm

    Anxiety is something a lot of people seem to have but no one seems to think is a problem!
    People need to start talking more and making everyone aware that is isn’t normal to be anxious all the time!


    • thisismenow
      16th October 2016 / 12:08 pm

      Yes I think it’s very common but some people still hide it. Hopefully talking about these things will encourage people to get help if they feel they need it. Thanks for stopping by x

  5. 14th October 2016 / 11:45 am

    I am lucky in that I have not suffered from crippling worry or anxiety. However two of my kids do worry a lot and I often find it difficult to know how to help them stay calm. Thanks for raising awareness that this is a common experience and that talking helps . #ablogginggoodtime

    • thisismenow
      16th October 2016 / 12:09 pm

      Thank you and thanks for reading x

  6. 15th October 2016 / 10:02 am

    Anxiety can be so debilitating. I suffered when I was younger and into my teens. I was good at hiding it from people though, as they just thought I was weird. I would get so worked up, it would make me physically sick. For me, my faith and the things that I believe now really help me with this. From time to time, I may have an anxious thought, but never like it used to be. Thanks for sharing. #fortheloveofBLOG

    • thisismenow
      16th October 2016 / 12:11 pm

      I’m glad you’ve found how to manage it. Thanks for reading x

  7. Kelly
    15th October 2016 / 11:54 am

    Such a good piece. I think we often don’t want to talk about it as we feel we’re making a fuss but people can only help if they know what’s going on

    • thisismenow
      15th October 2016 / 12:58 pm

      Thanks, you’re so right x

  8. 15th October 2016 / 8:34 pm

    Wise words. People shouldn’t need to suffer in silence. Also I can’t believe fellow mums made you feel bad for recording your daughter’s feed. If it makes you feel any better all these years on, I timed each and every feed my daughter took for about 4 months! By the end it was habit / paranoia but for a long time I was so tired, I was paranoid I’d forget when she last fed and not feed her enough.

    Thanks for sharing. #fortheloveofBLOG

    • thisismenow
      15th October 2016 / 8:37 pm

      Thanks for your comment. Yeah I didn’t think it was that odd just to know in all the sleep deprivation where I was at with it! I can’t remember how long it took until I eventually stopped doing it, but it was when I felt confident enough in it all. Thanks again for reading x

  9. 15th October 2016 / 8:34 pm

    I have struggled with anxiety and depression (not related to being a new mum), but have been lucky to have good people around. I think people are starting to talk (and write) about this type of thing more now which helps people to feel less alone.

    • thisismenow
      15th October 2016 / 8:38 pm

      I definitely think it’s starting to become less of a taboo subject, but there’s still a way to come. Thanks for reading xx

  10. Mindful Mummy Mission
    15th October 2016 / 9:24 pm

    What a warm and reassuring post – I can nod along to lots of what you have written here so thank you for putting into words things that I thought in the past and thought it was just me – I used to imagine I’d let go of the buggy with the baby in it when walking down a steep hill near me…. ridiculous really but I couldn’t shake the thought at the time….. Thanks so much for being brave and honest about your anxiety. xx #ablogginggoodtime

    • thisismenow
      16th October 2016 / 12:02 pm

      Thanks for your lovely comment. xx

  11. 16th October 2016 / 12:54 pm

    I can really relate to this – I’ve always been a worrier, even when I was a child, and it definitely got much worse when I had my son. Like you, we had some difficulties in breastfeeding, and he lost a fair amount of weight, and was always on the lower percentiles. I think it’s such a vulnerable time in any woman’s life, that I think it’s understandable that it’s so common for anxiety to developer. I used a feeding app too – at first I found it reassuring and it would let me track when he was having a growth spurt, but I think I quickly became obsessed with it and would worry if I wasn’t feeding him for as long as I had done the previous week. I remember being much happier when I got rid of the app. I think it’s noticing in ourselves when something isn’t right and making changes, as well as being comfortable enough to talk to our friends and family when something is up (and also have them flag it up to us when they feel something is up too!) Thanks so much for joining us at #SharingtheBlogLove

    • thisismenow
      16th October 2016 / 1:30 pm

      Thanks for your comment Katy. I think I got a bit obsessive too, and with the naps too! I did stop using it once I got more confident and learned to relax into breastfeeding. You’re right about learning to recognise when we start to feel like there’s a problem, I’m much better at recognising and then managing things then. Thanks for hosting #SharinghtheBlogLove x

  12. 17th October 2016 / 6:57 am

    I’m an anxious person and when I have an anxious moment, later when I’m feeling calmer I look back and see what the trigger was. By doing this I’ve been able to work through some of anxiety and try to avoid certain triggers. It’s ongoing for me. Thank you for joining us at #SharingtheBlogLove X

  13. Fancy
    17th October 2016 / 9:26 pm

    Talking helps so much. Great post

  14. 19th October 2016 / 10:33 pm

    Really great post. I think it can help just to talk about these things. It definitely helps to feel that you’re not alone when you get comments from people who understand. Thanks for joining us at the #bigpinklink

    • thisismenow
      20th October 2016 / 6:43 am

      Thanks Louise, yes definitely, in a way I’m not surprised at some of the comments because I knew it was common, people just don’t like talking about it xx

  15. 21st October 2016 / 6:46 am

    so great to raise awareness! I have anxiety and at times it is all under control and then out of nowhere I feel so overwhelmed. #bigpinklink

  16. 21st October 2016 / 8:09 am

    Well done for writing this post. I hope it helped you and also help others too. Anxiety is such a horrible thing, and I’m glad that you’ve managed to try and rise above it by seeing your GP. I hope you’re feeling better now by the time you read this post. Thanks so much for linking up at #fortheloveofBLOG. Claire x

  17. 3rd December 2016 / 8:33 am

    I almost cried reading this. I have two children aged 4 and 2 and I am constantly anxious about them. Other parents think I’m weird because I enforce a strict routine and I’m constantly told that I need to “just relax”. My youngest has reflux and problems with eating and I worrying about him most days and wonder if he will ever be “normal” when it comes to food.

    And the other thing I often worry about is whether or not everyone else is sick of me being anxious all the time. Because I’m definitely sick of myself.

    • thisismenow
      3rd December 2016 / 7:33 pm

      Oh I’m sorry to hear that. Maybe speak to your GP or health visitor. But don’t worry about what others are thinking of you, just look after yourself XX

  18. 9th January 2017 / 3:19 pm

    Well done for speaking out very brave of you.

  19. saffi yusef
    27th April 2017 / 9:01 am

    Great blog post. Anxiety struck me yesterday when I least expected it. I’ve been poorly the past couple of days after catching a baby bug myself. Ridiculous as it sounds I started to fear the ‘what-ifs’. What if I need 2 go into hospital. No one to take care of baby, what if something happens to me, would hubby cope? What if I am unable to look after baby permanently? Scary thoughts that brought on a nasty panic attack. I haven’t had one of those for a very long time. Reading your blog I feel I now need to write it all down for myself as therapy on my blog http://www.saffronandcyrus.com

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