I’ve never written anything that can be read by anybody, anywhere. I’ve never exposed myself quite like this before. So please, bare with me.
I guess I should start by giving my name? I’m Meghan, a 29 year old single mom to a 5 and a half year old little girl, who works full time, and goes to school full time. All of this while still trying to maintain a social life, spend enough time with my family, exercise, and even go out on the occasional date.
Oh, and I have anxiety.
No, I’m not crazy.
I don’t pull my hair out of my head. I don’t punch walls. I don’t really do any of the things they show us on TV when someone has a mental disorder. Actually, unless you knew me, you’d never guess I was struggling with anxiety.
Sometimes I cry. Sometimes I feel like I can’t breath. Sometimes I feel like my heart is going to beat out of my chest. I get irritable, snappy, and short tempered. Other days- most days- I feel fine. I don’t feel overwhelmed, or like I’m not doing enough or trying hard enough. Recently, I’ve gotten better at accepting that I’m only one person, and I can only do so much.
I have anxiety, and I’m not ashamed. The only thing I’m ashamed of is when I take it out on those around me. Specifically, my daughter.
Don’t get me wrong, I love my daughter more than anything in this world. She’s smart, creative, funny, and beautiful. But, like I said, I’m a single mom. I’m the only person around that she can go to for attention, and it can be overwhelming, especially on days when I’m feeling particularly anxious. I snap at her for no reason, and the sound of her sweet, sweet voice makes me shudder. I love her, but there are times when I need her to not be right there, following me, talking to me, singing to me, asking me questions. This is all followed by my immediate guilt. She’s doing all of these things because she loves me, and she looks up to me. She’s asking me questions because how else is she going to learn?
These are the deep dark secrets that I keep to myself, because I’m afraid if I said these words out loud, people would accuse me of being a bad mother, and that is my absolute worst fear.