This morning I woke up with a headache, a nasty inexplicable bad mood, and a house full of blessings.
The house full of blessings include my children, my husband, but also a literal house full of stuff that I’m grateful for. Running water, air-conditioning & heating, a full fridge, and a comfy bed. You don’t really need me to list the specifics for you.
What I didn’t expect to accompany me on my journey through motherhood and achieving the american dream was the anxiety that now hangs over me daily, and the jury of peers online that have something to say about it. I have had three nights of insomnia and worry thinking about every ridiculous scenario that might happen, and planning out my days at 3 am in explicable detail. The tension in my face this week alone is adding an additional line that I will for sure notice when I look in the mirror in a few years and wonder how I aged so quickly.
I didn’t expect that despite loving my life, I can simultaneously wish it would all go away some days.
Since outing myself on my Facebook page for finally deciding to take prescription medication for my anxiety and depression, I’ve received an outpouring of me-toos and thank-yous from women everywhere. Private messages filled my inbox, and public messages filled my Facebook page. I felt humbled that so many were trusting me to share in their own experiences with mental illness.
I still received the typical and predictable negative responses I knew would come.
I got the, “You should focus on God not medication.”
And, I got the, “I take these herbal supplements now that have cured mine!”
I even received an “I hate you” from a troll that only the online world could serve up to me on a silver platter of hate and blame.
But, what usually gets me the most out of all the well-meaning people of the world, is the innocent statement to recognize how blessed I am. Because, they are right. My house full of blessings is right here with me while I try to conquer the anxiety and depression. My house full of blessings accompany me down paths I’m not proud of. They have patience with me and forgive me when I really think I don’t deserve forgiveness.
For me, my anxiety manifests itself when I storm around in anger lashing out at my house full of blessings when I don’t want to over something dumb like a coat that didn’t quite make it to the hook, or an empty yogurt container still sitting out on the counter.
Can you imagine being so blessed, but sometimes being blinded by your pain?
I can imagine hurting people I love because I’m angry about something that I can’t quite put my finger on, and thinking that someone else noticing the overflowing bathroom trash can will cure my headache and finally make me happy.
It’s an awful feeling with the fog lifts and you realize you stomped around in a huff barking orders in the hopes that your mind would be occupied with tasks instead of worry.
“Count your blessings” is a song of a hymn we sing in church sometimes.
I wish it were that easy. To just count them, name them, and poof! my anxiety would disappear.
I have a house full of blessings for sure. I count them. I hug them. I serve them and I love them so much that it’s painful some days.
But, despite all my blessings, the anxiety is still here robbing me some days. Stealing the moments with those blessings of mine, and reminding me that there is still so much to overcome.
It’s not as simple as a supplement, or a walk outside barefoot in the grass, although sometimes those things do help a little. And, it’s certainly not just about knowing how blessed I am. If that were true, I would have been cured a long time ago.
But, am I grateful for those blessings? You better believe it. It’s because of my blessings that I keep fighting the anxiety and depression that threatens my happiness every day.
I thank God for my blessings. He gave them to me to help me survive.
Meredith Ethington is the founder and creator of Perfection Pending, and has been blogging for over 10 years. She is a mom to three, and is desperately trying to help her kids understand sarcasm, and her need for personal space. She recently turned Perfection Pending into a contributor site to share the voices of all the fellow moms she admires. She is a freelance writer for sites like Scary Mommy, Babble, Huffington Post, and Momtastic. Follow her on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter where she loves to laugh at herself and admit that while parenting is the best thing ever, it’s also the hardest job on earth.