My husband had to take over all household duties, including the many daily tasks required to take care of our two young sons. Life as I had known it had truly changed, and I was disoriented and miserable.
It's the illogical shame you feel when you take a few minutes to eat lunch instead of keeping vigil by your loved one's deathbed. It's the useless guilt you feel for making your friends feel awkward when you're sad.
I can clearly see how stress and fear have accompanied me since I moved from Saudi to the American University in Cairo to pursue my ambition in broadcast media, and to become the independent girl I always wanted to be.
I had an epiphany while in the middle of a breakdown at work: my anxiety was about my dad and the trauma I suffered as a child. When I told my boss that I think I have PTSD, she said "I wish you would have told me that last year."
As they asked me why I was sad, why I was tired, why I wasn't dancing, all I could do was stare at the three tiny faces I'd brought into the world, and try to imagine what it would feel like to feel absolutely nothing about them.