Lately, I’ve been in a funk. A mental funk.
For me, anxiety comes in waves. I will have good weeks or months and then I will have bad ones. Thankfully, it isn’t as bad as it used to be when I suffered with post-partum anxiety and depression. It still takes a toll on my mind and body and it puts a strain on my marriage.
These days, anxiety manifests itself in different ways than getting up every 5 minutes to check on my newborn’s breathing. Now, it shows itself as self-doubt, stress, and irritation.
To be specific: I blame myself or my husband for any and everything that goes wrong. I convince myself that people are judging my parenting. I put way too much on my plate while trying to distract myself from being anxious but then I can’t do everything at once, which makes me feel like a failure. I have endless things to do every day as being a wife and mother but when my anxiety is high, I just simply do not have the motivation to do it.
I’m sure you’ve probably felt like there was no point in doing certain things because you just have to do them again the next day and the day after that. (Personally, referring to folding laundry!)
But the main issue is the attitude I have towards my husband.
I find myself being so snappy towards him. Being envious of him and how he doesn’t feel the same way I’m feeling. I feel like he just does not understand it. I don’t want to be touched most of the time, the small things that he does will get under my skin. Honestly, my stress gets taken out on him because he’s the only one there.
How I try to do better:
I try to outsmart my mind. I’ve talked before about anxiety and how I manage it and those things still ring true. I have to remind myself that I’m not mad at him. He isn’t the cause of how I feel right now. Remind myself that my husband knows me better than anyone and he has been through it all, right there beside me. I don’t want to take anything out on him when he’s just trying to help. Being mindful in the midst of the storm is how you will make it through without destroying everything in the way.
how our spouse can help:
The things that anyone suffering wants- more than anything else – is a listening ear and constant reassurance. A listening ear without comparison and a constant reassurance without frustration.
Listening. The worst thing that I’ve found when trying to vent to someone is them comparing their situation to mine. Not to belittle anyone’s feelings but when I’m trying to tell someone how I’m feeling, I really don’t want to be interrupted or told, “Oh, how do you think I feel when ..”.
I try to listen and help everyone when I am able but there’s sometimes I need someone to hear me too.
Constant reassurance. Anxiety is constantly trying to tell me I’m not good enough or that people think something about me that they really don’t. I will ask my husband many times, “Am I a good wife?”, “Do you still love me like you used to?”. I keep asking as if I think the answer’s changed since the last time. I will say it again, ANXIETY NEEDS CONSTANT REASSURANCE. The best thing to do for someone suffering is just remind them that they are enough. That they are good enough and do not get frustrated that they are asking you again.
The small things can make a world of difference to someone feeling overwhelmed: Putting the shoes on your child so your partner can finish getting dressed. Taking over putting the leftovers away so that your partner can get to bed just a little earlier.
Marriage is a team effort and there’s no scoreboard. Some days, your partner doesn’t have as much in them that they can give. Please try to sincerely understand them until their storm passes.
Always remember that it’s okay to get help. It’s okay to feel the feelings that you are. And it will not last forever.
It’s okay to get help
National Suicide Prevention Lifeline: – 1-800-273-8255