Wednesday, September 12, 2012


550 Romansmint

Last night while I attempted to unwind from a really long week/weekend, Hunter decided to recap a recent documentary he had seen about zombie apocalypses and deadly virus outbreaks. He went on to suggest that perhaps we needed to own a gun to protect our family in case the human race regressed into animal-instinct survival mode.

Ya'll, maybe it was the wine? Maybe the lack of sleep, the recent move, the pounding headache, the looooong day at work?
But I kind of snapped.
Poor guy was just trying to push my buttons (I H.A.T.E. guns... and zombies for that matter ok), and BAM there I am spewing a year's worth of anxiety and fear on him.
Like, really serious heavy stuff.
I am struggling with anxiety.  
And I hadn't even spoken to my husband about it once. My best friend, the man who understands me more than anyone else ever could.

You have to understand, in the first 25 years of my life I don't think I took more than 5 minutes to stop and reflect on my own mortality. Maybe it was immature. Naive?
But I had peace.
I trusted that my future was in better hands than my own and I enjoyed the moment. Period. I think I was kind of proud of my ability to just go for things. I had this confidence that whatever happened, it would be fine. I think it was part faith, but also part pride.
And then I got pregnant.
Believe me, I  did know that it would change my life. But true to the mindset I've just described, our pregnancy wasn't actually planned. We did switch to natural family planning because of the horrible effects that hormonal birth control had on my body. And we did know that there was a greater possibility of pregnancy sooner than we were planning, but we just went for it. We knew we wanted to have lots of babies at some point, so why not see what God had in store?
Well, He had a perfect daughter in store about 2 years sooner than we were thinking.
I freaked out for a minute when we first found out and then we jumped right on board and got SO excited! :)

Then, it started.

From the very beginning of the pregnancy I would have so much stress between appointments. What if something happens? What if the precious little heart isn't beating anymore?
But I pushed it aside because I didn't have a clue how to deal with it.
My pregnancy was picture perfect (other than being TEN DAYS too long... but who's counting?) and our perfect Lily was here before we knew it.
She was healthy and fabulous and nursed easily. Appointments have always been routine and normal and yet I continue to be plagued with fear.
What if something happened to my sweet babe? There are a millions of things to be afraid of for this fragile tiny person. And beyond that, what if something happened to the love of my life and I had to care for this girl alone? What if something happened to me and she didn't have a mama?

Yikes. SO unhealthy to dwell. I know that.
I also know that God gave us a spirit not of fear but of POWER and love and self-control. (2 Timothy 1:7)
I'll be praying that I can remember that every single day.

Do you/ have you ever struggled with fear and anxiety? I would love to know how you deal with it. 

(I'm linking up with Amanda again today. Check out all of the inspirational blogs over there!)


  1. Oh goodness, how your post speaks to my heart. I have struggled with anxiety for year, panic attacks, the whole shebang. Like almost skipped all my classes from 1 whole semester in college. It was bad. I would say that having a baby didn't increase my anxiety but changed the focus of worrying about myself to worrying about my babe.

    One of the biggest things that helped me cope was talking to others that could relate to my fears. I tried medicine but was determined to control my fear with my faith (not that I at all judge people who choose meds). Meds helped me for year. Something about having someone who could finish my sentence with my fears made me feel like I was not cuh-razy and didn't belong in a straight jacket, but it was just a condition. Talk to people momma! It will help!

    Hi, I am Alexis and I suffer from anxiety. Nice to meet you ;-) OR scare you off!

  2. I've struggled with anxiety for most of my life. It can really hold you back from doing things you want to. I've found that what helps the most, but is also the hardest, is doing things that cause fear and anxiety. For example, one of my biggest fears is public speaking. I had to take a speech class for my degree and I almost dropped out... because I was afraid of the class. So silly, I know. Well, my therapist told me that I needed to keep exposing myself to these situations in order to be able to deal with them. Each speech I did was easier and easier, and caused less anxiety. It was never a walk in the park, but it got better.

    I agree with Alexis. It's important to talk about it. I hope you find something that works for you soon!

    1. Thank you Katie! I can tell that just writing about it, sharing, talking with Hunter is helping. It puts my focus where it needs to be and helps me to realign my priorities :) Thanks for your encouraging words and good for you for working through your own anxiety!

  3. Hey I can totally relate with the unplanned pregnancy;) We had just switched to natural family planning as well and here I am 6 months pregnant with our daughter! Even though she hasn't been born yet, I already have a fear of driving in the car with her, letting people hold her, exposing her to germs. I almost want to just hide out at home with her and keep her safe from the world...which I know isn't good! What a good verse to remember when I start feeling that way.
    Following along from Desire To Inspire Link up:)

  4. As someone who has struggled with anxiety since the age of 19 (now 27), I hear you. I have had to work so hard at allowing God to be my source of peace and not answers, others, or myself.

    Being pregnant now, I am sensing different anxieties coming back, but am doing my best to let my trust rest in God!

  5. I found your post from Desire to Inspire :) This rings so true with me. I think I tell my husband pretty much every day that I do not know what I would do without him. My husband and I have decided to co-sleep with our son and people have been freaking out telling us the worst stories. I know the risks that we are taking, but there are the same risks with him in a crib by himself. This has caused quite a bit of fear in me about what if something happened to my husband or to my son? I don't know what I would do. I read some blogs that the women have gone through some pretty hard tragedies and I think, "What if that happened to me?" And the fear sets in. I think the only thing that calms my brain at those points in time is saying out loud. Telling my husband has really changed the way fear affects me. It's like it almost loses power when I tell someone else. :) I hope this helps.

  6. Oh how I can so relate. I was and probably still am (a little) completely paranoid and it all started after the birth of my daughter. Okay, so maybe a little during the pregnancy as well but I was a complete wreck. During my pregnancy I lived by the wish know "I wish someone would hurt my daughter because if the did...blah blah blah". I was fiercly overprotective! I don't think you are the only one:) Maybe I won't be such a wreck with the next child though but it is good to know that I'm not the only one:) Stopping b from the ND Mentorship page, I'm going to stick around for a while:)

  7. Thanks so much for sharing this post! I read it at midnight before our ultrasound and helped me calm down. Your honesty is so sweet and beautiful!! Miss you Ashley!

  8. Ashley! I'd never really struggled with anxiety until February of this year when our foster boys were taken away from us. It was excrusiating, and I felt so violated. I'd have nightmares...if I slept. We locked our front gate every night. I woke up my husband in the middle of the night because I heard "something". It was terrible. I don't really know how I got over the anxiety, but it lasted for about 3 months. Mr. E. and one of my best friends both encouraged me to look at things rationally instead of emotionally (which is really hard for me) and that definitely helped.

    I'm so glad you opened up, shared, and inspired. I LOVE the verse you shared - it is one I remind myself of frequently!

  9. Okay crazy!! When I was reading about your pregnancy I totally related. Stressed about everything, but I too had a pretty great pregnancy, EIGHT days too long and we had a little Lilly. That is Crazy!!?! Motherhood sure changes things around. I am grateful that you opened your heart to share this with us all. Blessings to you Ashley, I know that it is hard to let go and remind ourselves that God is greater than us. I think its impossible sometimes. Keep going girl!!! You are doing great!

    1. Thank you so much Hannah! I'm feeling so encouraged by all of these responses :) I'm so glad I opened up and shared. I already feel free-er!

  10. I can completely relate to this. I've always had some issues with dwelling (and still do - I think it's bad mind habits), but I became incredibly anxious during my pregnancy and after my daughter was born. I couldn't drive or be in a car without serious anxiety for the better part of a year. Then, after it was starting to go away, I found out that postpartum anxiety was an actual, legitimate thing, like postpartum depression. I think that's what I had, along with postpartum depression. Wish I'd known about it earlier - I would have gotten help, or at least been able to cope a bit better knowing what it was.

    1. I have never ever heard of that either! Good to know. Unfortunately I think it may be more of a heart issue than a hormone imbalance. Fortunately, sharing about my feelings and praying about them and giving it over to God has helped tremendously! I have a feeling it just may be a lifelong battle of reminding myself to do those things :)

  11. Catching up on blog reading this morning and had to comment on this post. I've dealt with anxiety for years and it's not fun. If you ever want to talk more about it, you've got my email. ;) I take medication to deal with mine. No amount of meditation, prayer, alone time, talking, etc helped me. And, I'm a much better mother, wife, friend, sister, daughter, etc when I'm on my medication. Things can get so overwhelming, but when you're dealing with anxiety it doesn't even take a lot of you to feel overwhelmed. Luckily, my husband is amazing at knowing when I'm really feeling anxious and he'll suggest some alone time for me, take the kids to the park, etc. I hope that you'll find a way to deal with your anxiety. It's certainly not fun and can be tough. Thinking of you! xoxo



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