I shared this blog with a friend and she gave me some constructive criticism. I was happy to get it. She told me that I should include how I cope with anxiety and OCD while parenting and what strategies I could share. I thought about this for a second and realized that I’d been pretty self absorbed in the blog so far… talking about how I think and feel everyday without including much about how it effects my family or how I deal with it in regard to my family.
So here it is… this is my strategy. I don’t really have one. Here is my answer: I don’t have one of those either. This is how I do it: I’m not sure. I really don’t know a damn thing about parenting with OCD and anxiety…I just know how to get through each day. I don’t know that I’m not doing irreversible damage to them. I don’t know that I’m not projecting every crazy thought onto them. I don’t know that I haven’t passed down these genes to them. I only know that I have a lot of guilt when it comes to this, but I also have goals.
My parents raised me well. They instilled values into me …they were as loving as they could be. They fed me, clothed me, gave me my own room with lots of toys and helped with school work. They gave me rides… and put me in piano lessons and dance lessons. They are good parents. With that being said, they battled their own demons. I’ll dive into this a little more later, when I’ve got more time and feel like I can handle it emotionally. Long story short, my parents had nervous breakdowns- within months of each other. I was about 12 or 13 when it happened. I have never told them how I felt during that time. They have never asked. I have talked about it for over 10 years in therapy. I am STILL figuring it out. I am still dealing with it. They couldn’t help it, but I still suffered. They suffered and in turn, I suffered. I think they knew I was suffering but it was easier to not recognize it. It was easier to turn a blind eye and afterall, they had so much on their plate. I never understood that until I had my own kids and have had to parent and cope at the same time. You have to do both when you have these issues. You have to do both when you feel like you can’t even take care of yourself. You have to find the balance. Everyday is about finding the balance between coping with things and parenting your children… and its extremely hard.
So now that Jack is 3 and absorbing EVERYTHING at a rapid rate… I am having to watch myself a bit more. I am finding that trying so hard to shield him is making it worse. I am more anxious, more upset, more guilty. God, the guilt. The guilt wrecks me. It physically hurts me. I very well may have passed these genes down to them. It is a very REAL possibility. Sometimes the day is too long and I am too weak and things get to me and it shows. I can see my actions and reactions impacting him. It hurts so much. I never ever want to hurt my children. I never want them to feel like this.
With that being said, I am 30 years old. At 30 years old I am going to try the hardest I’ve ever tried in my life to get my OCD and anxiety under control. I am going to fight it for myself and more importantly, for my kids. I am going to give them a fighting chance at dealing with this. I am in weekly therapy sessions and have agreed to take my medications. I am in regular contact with a psychiatrist and don’t see this changing. I have started meditating and hopefully can get back into exercising soon. I am going to try everything I can to make myself a better person, and in turn be a better mother. I am doing it for myself and for them. Even when it feels like too much, I never forget how precious my children are. They are everything to me. I want to be well for them. I want to be a mother that they think is loving and caring and present. I want to experience life with them instead of just passing through each day while life happens to us. I have a goal and I have to make it. For them.