My Anxiety is Anxious

I was born a worrier. I come from a long line of worriers. My grandmama worried. My mom worries, and her sisters worry. I have put things on and taken things off of my “worry list” for as long as I can remember.

I’ve always worried about losing someone I love. Growing up, I worried about big and wild things like my big brothers getting drafted, and I worried about little things like having friends and losing my beany babies. In college, I worried about my grades, my friends’ grades, and about my friends drinking too much or doing something they would regret. I’ve never enjoyed Bourbon Street because I was always the one who did all the worrying.

Worrying is part of the fabric of my being. And to be honest, I always thought it was normal. And when I reflect, I realize that the worrying was really manageable until I had children. When I had my first son, I was too informed. I had heard all of the horror stories and I could imagine them all happening to me.

But with each baby I had, the worrying got worse. I think fewer than 10 people have held my third baby because, with each person that held the baby, I felt as though I was watching it get sick. I was watching the horror story unfold and I would remember that moment as when it all happened.

And listen, as I type this and admit it to you, I realize how bad it was. But at the moment, again, I thought it was just what mamas did.

The worrying affected my life, but I lived my life. That is until the Pandemic hit. Because health and wellness anxiety has always been my biggest trigger, the fear of the Coronavirus really did me in.

I worried about my husband. I worried for my babies and because I am a worst-case scenario worrier — I worried about the multisystem inflammatory syndrome. But what I really worried about was my parents. I felt that each person they knew to get sick could blame their children for passing it on. So while I worried about their health, I also feared the blame of being the one to give it to them.

Sometime in the middle of the summer, the years of intense worrying caught up with me. I remember very distinctly sitting cross-legged on my sofa early one morning trying to drink my coffee, wondering if I could not breathe because I had Covid or if it was a panic attack.

I had never been on anxiety medication before, but it was time. And I know what you are thinking — “girlfriend, you could be on the Cymbalta commercial.” I know. But look, I thought everyone lived like this! I could not imagine it being any different. I’d lived my life knowing no different and always visually picturing the thing I feared most — in great detail.

That morning, I sent an email to my doctor and an email to a dear friend who is a therapist. Within the week, I was medicated and having telehealth mental health appointments.

And my life has taken a dramatic upswing.

I literally just took a deep breath as I typed.

I still worry. I still fear the worst. But it went from like an 18 to a 6 or a 7. I am able to have scary thoughts and dismiss them from my brain. I am able to better distinguish real tangible fears.

And maybe most important of all, I am able to focus more on what I can control and what I cannot control. And the things that I cannot control are just that — out of my control.
So I am grateful for the Pandemic. I am grateful it pushed me over the edge. I am so grateful to have permanent help on board to manage the anxiety that has been such a huge part of my whole life.

If you are reading this and it resonated with you, call your doctor today. The relief you will feel will far outweigh any stigma or judgment you could face.


  1. I could have written this myself. I JUST started counseling in December and anxiety medication 2 weeks ago. Thank you for sharing your experience. It helps so much to know I am not the only one. Really. Thank you.


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