To my friends and family who deal with my anxiety and intrusive thoughts,
Today, as my sister was watching the Inauguration in DC, I was annoying the poop out of her(and subsequently, my husband). I sent her message after message asking her if she was safe. I stalked her accounts on social media. I watched the television obsessively, despite not being a supporter of this new political climate, because I was terrified.
I woke up this morning with imploding and intense intrusive thoughts about everything that could go wrong at this event. People on both sides are a little extreme at times, people on both sides have so much hatred. And I couldn’t stop the thoughts. A common situation I find myself in with OCD and anxiety-the thoughts just would not stop. So I annoyed my husband. I annoyed my sister. I annoyed my best friend, God bless her, as I asked for reassurance again and again, “Madi is smart right? She’s tough. She knows what is safe. Right?”
(If you struggle with intrusive thoughts, this post dealing with intrusive thought might help!)
And despite knowing those things were true, despite knowing Madi is far more intelligent than I, she has great discernment, she was updating and alive-the thoughts wouldn’t stop. Prayer, mindfulness, reframing, all my techniques….none were working. The thoughts and images were relentless in my mind.
As I’m writing this now, they’re finally coming down a bit and I can breathe normally again. But the damage is done-my poor sister has had to put up with my craziness this time. Never mind my husband, who has to deal with it all the time, or Heidi who has to reassure me often. But my little sister had to put up with my anxiety today…a new low for me. If we’re being completely honest, I know it’s postpartum stuff, but that’s not the point of post. I’m writing this because I just want my friends and family to know two things.
Number one? I’m sorry.
I’m so sorry for all the nights I wake you up at 2am, panicking because I just thought of the size of the universe again and I can’t breathe. I’m sorry for the times I beg you not to leave, because being a lone scares me so much. I’m sorry for the fun times I ruin with panic attacks and worry. For the thoughts I have that I try and vocalize and even after you spend hours talking to me about them, I’m still left obsessing over what could happen-even when really…it couldn’t.
I apologize for the shaking of my hands and the moments it seems like I can’t stop moving because my body is wired to the max. For the seamingly small and insane things I worry aboutm obsess over, and lose my cool from.
And number two? Thank you.
Thank you for loving my despite my many battles with my mind. For getting up in the middle of the night and reassuring me that no, atoms are not going to randomly implode on me. For praying over me when my intensity grows and calmly holding my hand when I question if those prayers are even going to help. Thank you for letting me repeat the same thought multiple times, for being patient with me, for offering up and being distractions. Thank you for sometimes letting me vocalize fears and intrusions that make me feel dirty, wrong, and bad, and always reminding me these things are out of my control-what matters is I’m not acting on them.
(You can read more about my thank you letter to those who loved me at my lowest here!)
Thank you for loving me through my harder times and building me up for my better ones. There’s all kinds of talk online about how hard it is to live with a mental illness, but I know it’s also really hard to love someone with one. Thank you for loving me so well.
And thank you, even when I’m annoying, for telling me you’re safe over and over again.
I’m forever blessed to have the people I have in my life, who accept and love me, all of me, and I am so grateful for you all.