One year ago

A year ago.  
Earlier this week, I shared it's been one year since I chose to start documenting my battle with anxiety (and postpartum depression).  I thanked those who have been kind enough to reach out and send a message or two of support and encouragement.  Today, I thought I'd reflect on the past year and acknowledge how life has changed over the 365 day run.

And my, has it changed.  In those 365 days, I've seen doctors, gotten on and off medication, seen two therapists and challenged myself in more than one way in attempts to break through that horrid "what if"? fear.  I've also celebrated another birthday, another anniversary, my daughter's first birthday, learned we'd soon have another little birthday to celebrate, and moved out of state.  This year has once again proven to be chaotic and wonderful, joyful and painful.  But I've come out the other side stronger than I could have imagined I'd be.

Late last year and during the early part of this year in San Diego, my health was my priority and focus.  I recognized I couldn't properly function as an available wife and mother if I didn't face a reality that I had been ignoring the severity of.  I no longer drove.  I barely could take my girl for a walk without having a panic attack.  Everything made me physically and  mentally anxious - restaurants, riding in the passenger seat of a car, malls.  And quickly I was becoming more and more depressed, because I felt like I was losing myself to something I didn't have control over.  I scheduled an appointment with a therapist, had a few sessions, and ultimately decided he wasn't the right one.  I did some more research and found another who I visited once a week until I left the state.  A prescription came and went and I did what I could to get up every day and fight the initial urge of giving up.  I learned breathing techniques and took up yoga.  I learned that things like date nights and treating yourself are vital to well-being.  We as a family made a sacrifice and put all extra financial resources into getting better and I was never more thankful for health insurance.  

Now,  I'm months away from the age of 26 and welcoming another little into the world, and I can say I'll be going into both milestones a little healed.  Of course, not fully.  The battle of anxiety and depression is a daily one and one that tends to last and linger, but these problems no longer dictate my day-to-day as much as they used to.  Sure, I still have harder days especially during these pregnant months.  But they no longer have the control that once sent me spiraling.

This all may look very different in a few months.  I know that.  Having a history, I'm more likely to deal with postpartum anxiety and depression again.  Hopefully with the steps I've taken to prepare for the postpartum months, I'll be better equipped to handle whatever comes my way.  For now, though I'm taking a step back and acknowledging a year of struggle and triumph and giving thanks for my little family who never tired of cheering me on.


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