Anxiety. It is a damn liar.
I have come to realize that anxiety is the opposite of instincts.
There's black and white.
Sadness and joy.
Anxiety and instincts.
Anxiety likes to seep in and cloud your innate instincts. It likes to be sneaky and make you believe that what hasn't happened will happen. It lies with false thoughts while hiding truth and logic from you. It's something you can't understand unless you go through it.
Lately, I've been fighting to be happy. Everytime I feel overwhelmed or stressed or sad, I do something to counter it like deep breaths, put on music, get out of the house, do some work. But on my way home from picking up The Bull from preschool, I had a sudden thought enter my brain. The slight hiss of a nasty snake asked...is the baby ok? She was napping when I left. Then the snake coiled around my logical brain and choked it off, replacing my instincts with its venomous lies.
What if hubby didn't check on her?
What if she stopped breathing?
I know babies who have died at this age.
OMG he is going to call me and tell me she is dead.
WHOA. STOP. Not even a minute passed (literally a minute) where I had to stop the snake by lopping it off at the head. I text my husband to ask if she was OK. These are the pictures I received in return.
It was a simple truth hidden by nasty fears. See what a masterful liar anxiety is? The only way I shut it down is by pushing logic to the forefront of my mind and talking my way through it out loud.
I share this so that if it's something you deal with, I can tell you that I understand. You aren't crazy or alone. You're a fantastic mother and father.
If you are supporting someone with anxiety, don't just tell them they are wrong or to get over it. They know it's a lying asshole snake, but can't always stop it on their own. Pick up the sword and help them cut off it's ugly head. Moms and dads, you are brave warriors. This too shall pass.