I Started Seeing a Therapist


A woman sitting with her hands crossed with a therapist.I started seeing a therapist. I put off this for a long time because I told myself that my problems were small, and I often got upset with myself for even complaining when I seemingly have all that I need.

My anxiety started when my youngest child was born. I could manage two children and still mostly balance my life. When the third one came, I felt out of control. I was doing things that did not feel humanly possible and suffering physically and mentally. I was always sick, not sleeping, and always felt on the verge of a meltdown. I rarely asked for help and powered through because people were complimenting me on how great a job I was doing.

I think this is where the problems started. If it looked like I was doing great, why did I never feel like I was doing enough? Why wasn’t I satisfied with the way everything was going? Being a working mom was a challenge, but so was anytime I was alone with all the kids. Maybe I was not cut out for any of it.

Eventually, I got used to this way of living, and it got a bit easier to accept. I became less sensitive to how loud the house always was. I gave in on food choices and clothing options, fighting my daughter to put her hair in a ponytail, and carried on. That was until over a year into the pandemic. Nothing was predictable anymore, and it seemed like so much more was added to my plate. Going to work as a teacher was no longer an escape. It was equally, if not more, stressful.

By September of 2021, I was officially burnt out. I was waking up in the middle of the night having anxiety attacks. My coping mechanism has always been to just take on more. If I am constantly busy proving to myself that I can do it all, then that leaves no time to think of my struggles.

I still did not think these attacks warranted therapy, but they do, and I am glad I started. I am still in the phase where I am learning my triggers and some of my toxic behaviors. I am not a fan of the phrase “practice self-care” because I feel like it is so broad, but I am learning that spending five minutes alone helps me. I am also learning that I am deserving of breaks, and I should feel no shame when I ask for them.

All of these years, I have been my own worst critic. I have and continue to place unrealistic expectations on myself, but I can say that now I am working on it.

Moms, working or staying at home, one kid or five, we should not be expected to be superhuman by others or by ourselves. We don’t have to pretend to love every minute of our day because society says we should find the balance. What works for someone else does not need to work for everyone.

My hope for 2022 is to continue working on myself and occasionally putting my needs first. If I can be kind to myself, I can better take care of my family. Seeing a therapist is a step in the right direction.


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