I've been having anxiety attacks since childhood. I can't remember the exact moment they began, and can't aways tell when they're about to happen. Since becoming a mother, they're even harder to manage. With growing demands (and children), the stress comes in waves of a different magnitude. They're disruptive and frustrating to experience, let alone witness, and that's only a few things moms who have anxiety attacks won't tell you.
Even though I've experienced multiple anxiety attacks throughout the course of my life, I sometimes miss the warning signs or put off addressing them entirely. My hope to calm myself and bypass an attack entirely, convinces me to ignore the red flags that would otherwise alert me to an impending attack. I can feel perfectly fine one minute, and struggling to breathe the next. If I'm having a particularly hard day, where I've been obsessing over world news or all the bad things that can happen, the attack is a gradual full-body takeover. I may find myself pacing, unable to concentrate, or even missing things my kids have said, all because I've already fallen in the center of the inevitable tornado. The thing is, once I'm there, I can't pull back until it's over.
Despite my best efforts to do away with anxiety attacks completely, as a parent I'm acutely aware of how these sudden fits might skew my children's perception of their strong, confident mom. I hate that. With that, here are some other things moms with anxiety won't tell you. While the following is difficult to admit to, they're also everything you really do need to know.