I was mindlessly scrolling through TikTok (don’t judge — I’m blaming the COVID-19 quarantine for this new pastime) when I first realized that the way my brain works is not normal. It was a video from a psychologist talking about anxiety and intrusive thoughts that caused me to pause.
For as long as I can remember, I’ve had a never-ending soundtrack playing in my head of the worst case scenarios of everything I do. I thought this was normal. After a quick talk with my husband, I learned that not everyone has an inner monologue telling them the 150 things that they did wrong each day or the potential negative outcomes of every decision made.
I’ve always had anxiety; panic attacks have just become a regular part of my life. So, I kind of assumed that everyone struggles in this way, and that anxiety was a fairly normal part of life.
It wasn’t until we were five months into a pandemic where every decision I was being faced with felt like life and death that I realized how uncontrolled my anxiety had really become.
I finally decided to come clean with myself and my doctor and ask for help.
As women, as mothers, we are often tasked with holding the family together. We are expected to make big decisions and somehow just know what is best for our kids.
Five months worth of daily migraines and panic attacks finally made me surrender to the fact that I have no idea what the “right” choice is most of the time, and that’s okay.
I had to admit that it was okay to not be okay — especially right now. It’s okay to second guess every decision and not be confident in the choices I am having to make about returning to work, sending my daughter back to school, or even just if it’s safe to go to Target.
I’ve had to remember that I need to give myself grace for the big things and the small things. It’s okay to ask for help with my anxiety. It’s okay to say I’m overwhelmed and have no idea what is “right” and what is “wrong,” which frankly it seems to change every five minutes.
It’s okay to not be okay.