Fear.

Monday, February 10, 2014


Good luck with that.

Fear - and let's just let it be synonymous with anxiety, depression, worry - sucks.  

I struggled with feelings of inadequacy, anxiety, and sadness last week.  "Leave your fear behind" as the saying goes (in this particular image, anyway).  But how?  Leaving it behind seems to only happen after I've gone through it.  Exercise, meditation, prayer, music, a glass of red wine.  They often seem to do very little while the only true cure is to simply walk through it, wait till you're on the other side.  And as long as you're still walking, you'll eventually get there.

It's pretty lonely when you're in the midst of the walk, though.

I'm hoping that today we can find some sort of community in the comments.  Find camaraderie in the commonality, or something. Is it misery loves company?  Maybe a little, but for whatever reason, we're  often so reticent to talk out what's really ailing us.  Embarrassment, shame.  Transparency would do a world of good.  Whatever fear you've got, write it out here if you'd like.  Anonymous comments allowed (cause sometimes, myself included, we're not ready for total transparency).

83 comments:

  1. I never used to have fears (well apart from snakes and spiders and stuff) as I had went through so much c*ap in my life and had always come out the other side. I honestly believe that Godbhas a plan for us and there is not really much we can do about it. However now I am a mum I could literally drown in irrational fears! My biggest one is that my husband works away 2 weeks at a time leaving me at home with our 18 month old. I am so scared that something will happen to me in my sleep and my daughter will be all by herself and no one will know. My neighbours pretend they never hear anything so probably wouldnt do anything even if they were hearing her scream. It really does scare me!! Not sure if this is the kind of fear you were meaning for us to talk about but it feels good getting it out in the open!! X

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    1. aileen, i think when we become moms any fear we previously had is like enhanced times a hundred. you're not alone. (especially those late-night/middle of the night fears! and yes, they always feel so irrational at the time!)

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  2. I have struggled with anxiety my entire life.......that pit-of-your-stomach, can't shake it feeling, like waiting for the other shoe to drop constantly. Xanax has gotten me through some of the worst of it, but it feels so much a part of my identity now. Which......I hate.

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    1. You've written exactly what I would have. Even down to the Xanax. Anxiety is with me always...I can't even imagine a life without it. I'm coming up on a year with my therapist, but it still feels like I have so far to go. Most of the time fear feels like this dark pit that I will never be able to crawl out of...

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  3. oh man, i can relate. i feel like i am stuck in such a...stuck place with my fears and anxiety after a truly life changing and devastating loss 2 years ago. i can't reconcile that it was only 2 years ago. sometimes my anxiety is paralyzing, but sometimes i have no choice but to keep moving forward because my life simply doesn't allow for the fears to take over. work is actually something i am grateful for sometimes because it keeps me distracted. i just recently started keeping a journal of sorts. i was so reluctant to write about my grief because i felt like it was reliving it all over again. but i do think starting off every morning writing through the scary stuff helps me clear my head a little. not entirely, but it makes it possible for me to get through my day without so much weighing on me. i hope we can all continue to keep moving forward, it is the hardest part but the most important part. hugs all around.

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    1. i'm so sorry for your loss. grief is so strange and all over the place. i've talked with steve about it a lot, after his losing shannon, and how it doesn't move in the way you think/expect it would. two steps forward, two steps back a lot? anyway, i imagine journaling is cathartic in a way. wishing you peace in your future. xo.

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    2. It is very two steps forward, two steps back. Progress and then I get my knees knocked out from under me all over again. Thanks very much for your thoughtful reply, truly. xoxo

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  4. It's true that going THROUGH something is necessary... avoiding that isn't necessarily healthy... And going through it can be so hard.... But then, would happy times feel as happy if there were no lows? Probably not...
    Hope you get through your time quickly... there are happy, joyful times around this sharp bend!!!
    xx

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  5. It is so hard to say what exactly has me so down in the dumps. But I guess at the root of it is fear. Fear of rejection or not being enough, fear that I cant control, fear that I wont have. one thing is for sure unless my eyes are fixed on Jesus and my trust and hope is rooted in Him and His goodness and faithfulness the just putting one foot in front of the other and trudging through is almost unbearable. But you are right you just have to keep going and you will make it through the other side. :) i think you are awesome by the way. I really admire you.

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    1. it's soooo hard for me to trust God/Jesus in the midst of it. i sometimes feel like he's just watching and not interceding much on our behalf. because he can't? because he won't? i don't know. neither may not be true, but there's so much sadness, sometimes its the only way i can get by. i do wish my faith were stronger. xo.

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  6. I wrote that out wrong. I am not currently down in the dumps. But I do get there and half the time it is hard to say exactly what put me there.

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  7. I too have been struggling lately, especially at night - in the form of insomnia. My thoughts race around my head so darn fast that i literally sometimes have to get out of bed to calm down. I think it's work stress (deadlines, etc.) and worrying about my kids, their futures etc. You are right tho, there is not enough talk about this, and i think it's something a lot of women share, but feel like we can't talk about it b/c of the pressure to be perfect as a mom, wife, caretaker, employee etc. Just reading your blog, you seem like a very calm and peaceful person inside, i would never have pegged you as someone with any sort of fears/anxiety. I always just repeat the mantra "this too shall pass" and it usually does. But in the meantime, it sucks!! What you have taken on in your life, the things beyond your control are huge , an immediate family of 4 kids, adjusting to that etc. I think it's always easier in the beginning when there's that blissful time of love, romance etc. but then when reality hits, it becomes a whole other chapter in your life, and you've got a LOT going on age wise (kids, teenagers, preteens, a toddler) It's a lot to manage if you ask me. I can't imagine that there wouldn't be struggles and times of feeling inadequate - geez, i feel like wonder woman would feel inadequate or afraid when faced with the same circumstances!! Try as we may, i agree, it's only after going through the fire that we feel true peace inside. Facing the fears and doing what we can to move past them. Good luck! Go Bridget!!

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    1. the fears we have in the day always seem magnified in the night, don't they?? wishing you some restful and rejuvenating sleep in your future (as an aside, have you ever tried essential oils? they helped my mom -- she doesn't have insomnia but has trouble STAYING asleep past like 3-4 AM sometimes? just a thought.)

      thanks so much for this comment, also. it is a lot to manage, like you said, and so much of it i don't blog about, so it's really quite nice of you to say what you said. thanks :)

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    2. would LOVE to know what essential oils have worked for your mom!! at this point...i'd try anything!! thanks!

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  8. i feel it, i feel aaaalllll of this! i have struggled with anxiety for years, myself, and even though i feel like beneath it all... fear, anxiety, inadequacy! i am a happy person, i really am.... but there really must be something about this time of year that just dulls all the happiest feelings and tries all your patience. ugh. by the time "spring break" [i will take a spring break for as long as i love, school or not!] rolls around, i need it for my sanity! you're not alone in the slightest. and i think being a mother puts it all to the test even more! it's easy to find ways to point out where we aren't meeting the standards we set for ourselves, but from the outside looking in, wow, you are doing an aaamazing job :)

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    1. this time of year definitely adds another factor -- gray and cold here and too many days of being cooped up.

      thanks brittany!

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  9. Amazing timing for this post. I have been experiencing all this the past few weeks. The snow, cold weather, and illness have caused us to stay home for days at a time and it has made anxiety and sadness really come out. Late fall I had a miscarriage and the pain from it hits me at the most unexpected moments. It has also caused fear of something happening to my two year old to reach an all time high. I am worried about how I have lost my "innocence" in a future pregnancy but worry more about not being pregnant by my previous due date. The past few days I have finally been able to get back out into the world and feel a little more at peace. Exercise, small gatherings with friends, and even a solo shopping trip (never happens!) have been helping some with these feelings.

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    1. oh kelly, i'm so so so sorry about your miscarriage. it's such a strange and sad loss and form of grief. but i think it's totally normal that it's heightened your concerns for your current child and for a future pregnancy. time will help this, and seeing your belly swell with baby once again! wishing you so many blessings in your future!!

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  10. i'm fearful of the unknown, that i'm doing it all "right".. mostly though, i'm fearful that i won't experience life the way i envision. it's all pretty scary and i'm right there with you.

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  11. Wow- thanks for this. You're the first blogger I follow who I feel like really, really cares about what "we" are all up to. I had such a high day yesterday- beautiful weather, skiing with friends, life is good. and then today i just woke up feeling like i'd gotten hit by a bus, and i don't even know why. i just felt all day like i was doing enough, couldn't possibly do enough. it was insane- even when i was doing stuff (all day, so type A) i just couldn't get ahead of my fear. and dumb dumb me- i skipped yoga tonight so i could do work, and while i did do work... still. i should've gone. i should've done something to get all the worry out. and sometimes i just want to scream or cry or just get SOMETHING out of what i'm feeling and then i just sit here feeling paralyzed. and now it's late and i'm exhausted and there's still stuff to do. and to me it just feels like... what's the point of all this? am i really getting through this life just to feel burnt out everyday? to feel like sleep is bliss and sometimes waking up is the opposite? don't get me wrong, i'm not depressed, truly, and most days are happy, comfortable, and sometimes even downright beautiful. but lately, i just worry about everything constantly. money, family, what have you, and i just don't feel good enough for my own life sometimes. i'm not maximizing it. so there you go. fear. fear of not being enough. but i am enough. i'm all i have. i'm in control of this life, but sometimes it feels like the complete opposite. fear. i hope your day gets better/week/whatever and that you find comfort in finding you are by far, by FAR not the only one with these feelings and that your life is pretty incredible, and you are blessed to have so many people who love you and look up to you. xoxo

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    1. yes you should have gone to yoga!! (this is as much me scolding myself as i am you!) so hard to do the things we know will help when we are in the MIDST of it, you know? i definitely cried a lot last week and i will say, it did help (and exhausted me too!). and i know what you mean with the "whats the point of all this?" sometimes it seems crazy? but then the beauty reveals itself once again and we forget how crazy it is for a time, right? anyway, thank you so much for this comment, and wishing you lots of love.

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  12. I am in the biggest funk right now and I agree with Brittany that it must be this time of the year. I'm questioning everything, myself, my husband, my role as a wife and mother, the way I look, balancing taking care of myself and my house and my husband and my children. Am I adequate as a stepmother as a biological mother, is adequate enough. Is what's best for my children, the best version of "me" that I can give or should I be striving to do things in a different and better way? Should I get botox for a few wrinkles showing up or should I embrace the age my face is starting to show. Should I have another child? Will I regret if I didn't one day? I mean the list goes on and on, I feel like I am in a perpetual state of questioning EVERYTHING. ugh....I feel ya Briget. I really do. Sending peace and love to you and hope we can all find a little clarity and not beat ourselves up so much.

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    1. i hear you, so much! my mom always tells me: "you only have grace for the present moment!" soooo hard to not look into the future with fists clenched in anxiety. so hard. xo.

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  13. Thank you for sharing this. I go through periods of really deep and dark anxiety where I end up doubting everything from whether I'm loved, whether I'm even worthy of love, what part I'm taking or should be taking. It's all-consuming and I end up pushing away those who are closest to me. It's funny that you liken it to a walk because walking is often what helps me break free. I walk and walk and walk, addressing things I've been running away from. I want to thank you for sharing your own struggle because I think so often we forget that everyone is struggling with their own demons and insecurities, we just rarely see it.

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    1. keep walking!! love to you, alison.

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  14. My parents got divorced in November after 32 years of marriage. We came from a very devout religious family where infidelity and divorce don't happen. Until they do. For the last six months or so I've felt as though my entire core being was shaken. What's real, what's not. What truths was I taught growing up that still apply. I feel as though I've had to go through the entire grieving process for the loss of my mother. At least the mother that raised me and taught me everything. Walking through the darkness was the most difficult thing I've ever done. There were so many days I couldn't walk anymore and I just laid down and cried my way through that day. I feel as though I'm through the darkest of the dark, but it's definitely not summer and rainbows yet. It has been such a lonely time, and yet so incredible to learn to lean on those closest and accept help where it's given. I've also learned to look outside of myself and recognize the cries for help in others that only people in the darkness can recognize. I have a deeper gratitude and recognition for the people that sat and cried with me on those days and marched through the darkness with me on the better says. I've learned to throw out the rotten things in my life and cherish the great things. I think it's only through the worry and the fear that we learn what we can handle, what we stand for, and what our focus needs to be. Hopefully whatever was happening last week for you has been able to change your perspective and outlook on the world.

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    1. oh my word. can't imagine how that would rock your world. i tried to put myself in your shoes as i read your comment -- it'd be devastating. i'm so sorry for the loss of the parents/models you once knew. wishing you peace as you guys find your new normal. and that you keep cherishing the great things!! xo.

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  15. "..the only true cure is to simply walk through it, wait till you're on the other side. And as long as you're still walking, you'll eventually get there"
    Thank you for this. Beautifully put and so very true. As it goes, "Time heals all wounds." I hope time is good to you and until then, hang in there.

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  16. I need this today. My husband and I are getting ready to leave for a much needed kidless vacation to Mexico, but the fear of leaving my children behind and all of the what-ifs are crippling!

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    1. oh dude, you sound like me! (except, i'm not actually going to mexico... but, you know.) have fun nevertheless! i'm sure they will be in good hands!!

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  17. I have ever-present fear and anxiety about the future (jobs, babies, house, etc) It waxes and wanes, but this post is so what I needed to hear today. Thank you.

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  18. I had one of those weekends. I felt like it was me vs. the world. It basically only involved my thoughts and deepest feelings, but while trying to act the normal and happy me on the outside. It's a terribly struggling feeling some days. And it's usually instantly better when you are through it, like you said.

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  19. I worry so much about having another baby, which hasn't come terribly easy to me yet. I obsess over the age difference between my current child and a yet-to-be child as each month without pregnancy goes by.

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  20. Thanks for the honest post. I think women especially suffer a great deal from this. I have found there are a few things that trigger symptoms of sadness and anxiety. One is a lack of vitamin D in the Winter and I find that supplementing this with 2000 IU Vitamin D helps to some degree. As far as the anxiety, too much caffeine or sugar can get my mind and body racing. Obviously emotion issues aren't cured by diet and supplements alone, but I do think a healthy body will help the mind and mood. The last thing that helps is prayer... recognizing that I am loved by a merciful God and that no matter what twists and turns my life take God is with me.

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    1. yes. if i don't have my cod liver oil every day, i notice it! the healthy eating definitely makes a difference, you're right.

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  21. My biggest fear right now is not having my friends in my life anymore.
    I moved to a town where I don't know anyone, I'm about an hour away from my friends.
    Our lives are changing and we are ending up on different paths.. & it hurts.

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    1. that's so hard, kristy. hope you find a groove in your new home, and with new friends in your future.

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  22. I have this fear that I'm not everything I should be for all the people I love. Am I too selfish? Did I show my love for them enough? What if something happens to them and I wasn't the person I should have been for them while they were here with me? I know I'm doing my best and that I express my feelings for my loved ones all the time, but it never feels like enough. Almost nothing seems to make the fear of the death of a loved one any less.

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    1. fear of losing your loved ones. the worst. xo devon.

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  23. Just walked through my own and found the other side. Crossing forty can send your hormones haywire and I needed to learn new ways to curb the irrational feelings. For awhile it just looked like sheer discipline. Hard to do when you don't want to get out of bed in the morning. Then it began to pay off. Came back to Isaiah 58, a bible verse that meant a lot to me in my twenties also. Making someone else's day, loosing their chains, can also help your own light break forth. Keep walking, lovely lady!

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  24. I feel like having a kid has added a whole other level to my fear/anxiety. Now I am double worried and constantly thinking about her. It is really creepy how you can just get sucked into the cycle of fear/worry/stress/anxiety. You are right too, you just have to get through it. Although, I think it is good to try and help yourself out of it, even if you don't have much control. I don't remember feeling as deeply with these emotions until after having a child. Then again, I don't remember feeling the love and happiness so deeply either. aaaaannnd, I am done.

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    1. yes, yes, yes, yessssss. yes. did i mention yes?

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  25. Timing of this was pretty perfect....over the past week I have dealt with a blow of a difficult diagnosis...one of those life-changing moments where life just all of the sudden feels different, tastes different, smells different. I do agree though that all you can do is walk through it and if determined can get to the other side and find that new normal.

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    1. liz! i'm so sorry to hear this. i hope everything's ok and that you do find that new normal and soon. and that it's really good on the other side.

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  26. I have a lot of fear and anxiety about my pregnancy. And to think that will get so amplified once my little one arrives...

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    1. it will, but so will so many other things. i think of it this way: the highs of parenting are so so so high. higher than anything i've ever experienced. the lows, which are more often in our head then actually happening, are very low. the concern, the worry, the fear of loss. but more often than not, they're just that: worry. gives you something to do but doesn't get you anywhere!! blessings in your pregnancy!

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  27. Bridget, I've never commented before but I read all the time. I am struck all the time by how genuine and authentic you seem. This post like everyone else said was very timely. I've been feeling so anxious and thus irritable lately. Snapping at my toddler from lack of patience, fearful of the feelings that come at night of inadequacy in all areas ( mother, wife, friend, employee, daughter, sister!) I worry that I'm approaching middle age (37!) and what if I'm wasting the back half with the mundane. I feel guilty that I think that. I worry that I'm alone. I worry about my kids and my husband and bad things happening. I worry when I'm calm, because I should be worrying!! Ugh! It's exhausting! But I'm so glad you were brave enough to write this because it allowed us all to feel
    less alone! Thank you!!

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  28. Thanks. It's been a rough 6 months. I'm beginning to feel responsible for aging parents, had unexpected & terribly expensive health scare and dealing with a cross country move I think the cold and grey only makes things seem even more dreary. However- walking (with extra hats), tea, and painting has helped a ton. Fight the good fight. Thanks for writinf

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  29. gosh, i HATE commenting! but i just can't help myself! i hate, i mean hate germs. so much. i thought i was better but now everyone that gets sick i'm like "STAY away!". when i have my kids in the grocery store i'm a nut job like "no one touch ANYTHING!". there's not just 1 person in our home. there are 5 for every plague to go through. and i get so tired. and overwhelmed. i can't take it. i ask god to just calm my spirit. take my fears. remind me how Great He is, that even on a hard (sick) day He will make all things new. walk through it, don't be afraid. still struggling. blahhhh. you're welcome! ;)

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  30. Sending love your way. You are a great woman, period.

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  31. I struggle a lot with feeling inadequate. I've been seeing a counsellor though, and it's bringing so much clarity and helping me understand where the fear comes from and how to overcome it. Love ya, lady.

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  32. Have you seen Finding Nemo? Whenever I'm going through an especially difficult time in my career, my awesome boss sings "Just keep swimming, just keep swimming!" A little inside joke between us ... Both work outside the home moms, with husbands who travel and kids under 2. Thank goodness for her in my life to help cheer me on.

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  33. Whops published too soon ;). Meant to say "Just keep swimming Bridget!" We are here with you.

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  34. You're so right. Misery does love company. Even when not in misery, transparency among women would do us all so much good. It builds us all up, and we all need it. Someone left me a great comment saying something similar when I opened up about Tuck and I haven't stopped thinking about how true it is. I don't know what you're having fear of, but I'm sorry.
    What I fear? This whole summer. Hating it, but even more, knowing that parts of me will enjoy it. Tuck starts a new therapy program, that's amazing, which we're incredibly fortunate to send him to. It's 5 days a week, year round (no summers off) from 8:30- 5:30pm. He'll be with the best people in the field to try and teach him how to learn, to talk, to eat, ect. I fear the mom guilt I will feel leaving him, missing him all day. I especially fear the mom guilt I will feel on days when I will appreciate him being gone because we will have been able to go somewhere we would have not otherwise been able to. Admitting that is me being transparent. I fear the opinions of other moms who might view it the wrong way. I fear losing my tight bond I have with him. But right now, I feel like it's the best choice, I know it is. Because the worst of all my fears is the one I'm living and breathing, which is a fear of leaving my house. A fear of what will happen at the playdate, at the grocery store, at the museum. It's been crippling, so I guess there's a little hope in switching out one fear for another? Is there ever no fear? Gosh, I don't know with kids.

    Love you Bridget! You have so much support and so much love, I hope you are feeling better! xx

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    1. girl, you know how i feel about you. love love love.

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  35. ugh, yes, this. crippling fear. I'm a germophobe and it really hits hard in the winter when everyone is sick... it makes me stay home for fear of my 2 year old catching something from MOPS, gym class, playdates etc. Last April we all came down with what I fondly named "the plague", and lovely combo of stomach bug and terrible cold, and we were all sick at the same time. We have no family nearby to help and it was just SO terrible and has made me even more afraid of us all getting sick again. If someone posts on facebook that their kids are sick, I avoid them for the next couple of weeks. But staying home away from people ends up making me more depressed and anxious. It's a vicious circle. sigh.
    I. just. want. it. to. be. spring.

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  36. Right now it's money. Money and marriage. Not that I'm worried about our marriage lasting, but honestly I worry that we will never learn to communicate in ways that get us anywhere. Or in ways where we actually listen to what the other person says and stop being stubborn. And as much as I want to say it's all my husband (those infuriating men :)) I know it's me too. And when those lows hit, they hit hard in the most hopeless ways. What helps me is just remembering that the highs are great and far more often than the lows. And that we both are committed. And that marriage can be hard, any lifelong commitment can be hard. That's why we have to commit.

    And the money? Well, it's money. I just hate feeling out of control of things and I have no patience for things to be in order. I want things to work out right.this.instant. and that gives me all sorts of anxiety.

    Ugh. We all have something don't we? And in that way I guess we are all so similar, which is a comfort in itself.

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  37. You are not alone, sister. I was feeling so down this weekend, and I couldn't put my finger on it. However fear that ranks at the top of my list is mama fear (and guilt). Am I good enough?? Do I do enough for my kids? Do I do too much? Am I nurturing enough? Am I helping them to become healthy and happy people, or am I screwing it up? Am I taking care of my husband and nurturing our relationship enough? Hell, am I taking care of myself well enough? Now they are all sleeping so sweetly in their beds, and I'm not sure they really know how much I love them. Just a few things on my mind today. Thanks for creating a space for sharing. Sending you light....and a hug.

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    1. i always think of those sorts of things times ten when they're all in bed for the night. you look forward to bed time, and then you want to wake them and be sure they know your love. crazy. hugs back at you.

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  38. at the moment any positivity just seems to be drowned out by fear and anxiety about the future and whether it will be alright. the littlest things just seem to make everything harder but maybe that is because i am deep in my fear cloud and it is totally clouding my judgement.

    i have this big situation, which is just there burring away in the background. i know how i would normally deal with it, remove it from my life, but because it is family it is so much harder and i feel like i am walking a tightrope to keep everyone happy when all i want to do is scream and tell them to leave me alone. and the fear and anxiety this causes is just frustrating as nothing will change because the words can't be said.

    sorry for this cryptic stream of consciousness. it is just nice to be able to write it somewhere without any judgement. here is to this week being kinder to us all.

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  39. so on board the anxiety boat these days. part winter blues, part first pregnancy hormones, part really struggling to find the balance. keep walking, lady, the walking is the important part.

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  40. I too suffer from anxieties and fears, and they always magnify at 3am. My almost 80 y.o mother just moved in with my husband and me and I worry about how we are going to care for her as she ages. We know we are walking the right path; doesn't make it less scary, but it does give me underlying peace despite the waves of fear that constantly ripple on the surface.

    There is this magnificent book entitled "Searching for and Maintaining Peace" by Fr. Jacques Philippe - short but not lacking in mightiness. It has helped me, my husband and siblings through our respective hard times. This passage has hit home recently: "It is normal to be profoundly touched by the suffering of another who is dear to us, but if, because of this, we torment ourselves to the point of losing our peace, this signifies that our love for the other person is still not fully spiritual, is still not in harmony with God. It is a love that is still too human and, without doubt, egotistical, whose foundation is not sufficiently based on an unshakable confidence in God."

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    1. that's a beautiful passage, thank you for sharing it. and also, i think it's incredibly wonderful of you to take in your mother. it doesn't come without its struggles, but what a blessing you must be to her.

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  41. Less than 2 months ago my boyfriend of 7+ years told me he had a 6 month affair. We are working through things and things are getting better. I have been dealing with 6am-8am nauseating anxiety + shaking ever since.

    Does it get better?

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  42. Fear, anxiety, stress. It does not discriminate. It knows no age, income bracket, relationship status.... I live with anxiety every day. Sometimes I don't even know why. My 16 year old daughter came to me the other day and said 'Mommy, sometimes I'm nervous about something...and I don't even know what it is" !!!!!!! Broke my heart. I thought, there it is. Anxiety and she's only 16!!! Anxiety is a silent killer. It kills joy, your body, your hope. It lives with me every day. I struggle through it. I try to find peace, gratitude, contentment every day while fighting the beast. Try to take joy in the simple moments. I'm so glad, Bridget, that you brought this up. I read your blog and say to myself, she's young, thin, pretty, nice house, old soul and I think it all looks so perfect. And it is, but not always on the inside, right? Why do we put so much pressure on ourselves? And what about our girls? My children will hopefully NOT remember me as always stressed, grumbling, muttering, complaining. All I want is peace and harmony. Damn the fears, the anxieties, the stresses. I just want to move to Vermont and stop running around ALL the time... driving, dropping, picking up, groceries, band, chorus, winter track, travel basketball games on SUNDAY, jeez even God took a rest on Sunday, piano, cello, etc.etc. . What I'm saying is there's just too much going on all the time. Our houses are a mess, our dinners are scattered and crazy. I don't mean to complain but doesn't it sometimes feel like too much of a good thing?

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  43. A day late, but this post speaks to me (and so much of us obviously!) so directly right now. I'm 35 weeks pregnant with my 3rd child. And, as with each one before, I cannot picture him surviving and coming home with us. So, I have these horrific scenarios play through my head, day after day, where he doesn't make it and I come home without my baby. Why this happens to me EVERY pregnancy I'll never know but I hate every second of it. I just want to be excited and enjoy my last pregnancy, but the overwhelming fear plagues me. I can't sleep and I cry randomly just thinking about it. So weird. Anyway, thank you for opening the conversation. It really is comforting knowing that everyone has their own fear demons and to encourage each other through them. You rock.

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    1. jamie, that sounds terrible. i remember being utterly stupefied that i was going to have a living, breathing, healthy human at the end of it all. it came in waves. deep breaths and visualization of that little baby at the end! sending my love!

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  44. I have many fears, but I will start with the basics. FLYING.

    This is a fear that has gotten worse over the years, so much that I need a pill to even get on a plane. It's incredibly infuriating because I do love seeing new places. I pray that it goes away, it's all I can do at this point.

    xo

    Michaela

    http://michaelajeanblog.com

    PS this is amazing as are you!

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  45. Thanks for your transparency. Fear and anxiety have been eating me up since I had a miscarriage in December. We are currently trying to get pregnant again and I have anxiety thinking "what if it doesn't happen for a while" but also fear about going into another pregnancy and the thought of experiencing this pain again. I don't even allow myself to talk out loud with anyone about the possibility of getting pregnant or planning for a baby because in my mind I will be getting my hopes up for something that may not happen. I'm scared I will lose the joy of pregnancy when I actually do get pregnant because my fear will be so big.

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    1. i'm soooo sorry emily. that's such a normal fear to have -- the pregnancy following the miscarriage, of course. pregnancy can already be such an anxious time and add that worry to it?! no thanks. wishing you so many blessings in the getting pregnant again, and the staying pregnant with a beautiful baby at the end. xo!

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  46. Gosh. Such a timely post for so many of us it would seem. Really makes me believe it has something to do with the weather. I lost two good friends this weekend and even though I know for sure they were toxic relationships that needed to go (because they caused too much anxiety) I'm much more affected by it than I expected to be. Like, that high school girl who worries that nobody will sit with her at lunch. Why are women SO hard on each other and why are good, real friendships so hard to come by these days? I wish the community I feel in these comments would present itself to me in the real world soon. Hope your struggles continue to lessen too Bridget. Hugs. To all of you.

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  47. I am a teacher. I have been teaching for so many years that I have lost count. My "fear" with teaching started last year. The state requires so much paper work that I have been lazy on my classroom assignments. I do not have time to read 100 term papers; because, I have to show the state that I am fulfilling the needs of each and every one of my students. I have decided to retire...I am only 56. The "fear" of retirement weighs heavy on my heart. I love my students, I hate my state!

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    1. that's terrible. and no way around it either, right?! i'm so sorry. we need more teachers like you - those who love their students and job. how frustrating.

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  48. Oh I agree. As is the case for most any struggle in life, there's no way around it; you have to walk through it. We talk so much about showing compassion to other people, and that's so important, but I strongly believe that we also need to be more compassionate towards ourselves. We need to be more patient with ourselves as we have these experiences. We need to give ourselves the time and the space to feel whatever we're feeling and to work towards gaining a better understanding of ourselves and our unique experiences. I watched this TED talk months ago, and it really spoke to me. I think that many of us could benefit from adopting a similar approach to whatever we might be dealing with. I have so many thoughts about this, but I don't feel totally comfortable sharing it all.

    I think that maybe we shouldn't make fear, anxiety, depression, and worry, synonymous. They can be similar, and they can even be felt and experienced all at once, but they're not all the same and I think that there's some potential danger in thinking and speaking about them as though they are.

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    1. hi morgan, thanks for the ted talk mention - i hear so many good things about those, i need to tune in sometimes.

      you're right, they're not synonymous. i meant more for the sake of this post/brevity, than in general.

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  49. Every few months or so, I will go into a downward spiral of doubt and anxiety where I question every major life decision I have ever made and despair of ever finding true contentment and happiness. I think a lot of these worries stem from the modern-day pressure to "have it all" as women--the feeling that because we can do anything, we should do everything: be all things to all people, including to ourselves; somehow have amazing careers yet also have all the time in the world to dedicate to the people we love; while we are having these amazing careers and being amazing partners/mothers/daughters/friends, also have the time to perfect our bodies so that we will be desirable not only in our partners' eyes but in the eyes of society; and in all of that "free time" we have left, not only have a casual hobby or two for our own enjoyment, but engage in a wide variety of activities and master them all.

    If you haven't already seen this Hairpin article, give it a read...it relates the pressure to "have it all" to our cultural obsession with Downton Abbey (I know you love it as much as I do!).

    Hang in there...you are certainly not alone!

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  50. It breaks my heart to know that so many people are feeling this way. We've all felt like this, and it truly is the worst.
    But I've always wondered when this started to be the phenomenon that it is. Did our mothers feel like this? Our grandmothers? And WHY is it so bad now?
    If you look at fear(anxiety, worry, etc.) from a biological point of view, because we are animals, fear is something that was beneficial. It let us know that danger was present and kept us safe and from harms way. Just like a deer, or a cat, or birds' behavior will change when they sense the presence of that "something's not right" feeling, humans have used fear as a tool to keep their species safe.
    Women, especially have this ability. Call it intuition, or what you like, but every woman knows what that bottom-of-your-stomach-sweaty-palms-wait-a-minute-something's-not-right feeling is....it's your bodys' way of telling you to be careful, be alert, sh*ts about to go down. And thank god for this, because I'm sure it's prevented many a catostrophie(and outed many a cheating spouses).
    The greatest injustice is that this new level of anxiety we are all experiencing is making us in this hyper-alerted, fearful state ALL THE TIME. Not only is it exhausting, stressful on our brains, bodies, and immune systems, but it makes it impossible to listen to that gut feeling, the REAL one. The fear that is actually supposed to be there. We are so overloaded with this constant fear(anxiety) that it drowns out the positive fear that is there to protect us and keep us safe. The one that's telling us "Hey! Slow down, your working to hard!" Or that's saying "this big life decision doesn't feel right, it's not for me." Or even the one that's saying, "your not hungry, and eating another sleeve of Oreos is not going to make you less stressed!"
    So I think the real task here, when we go to that dark, lonely, shameful, anxiety/fear ridden place, is to stop. Take a breathe. Acknowledge WHAT your feeling. Not WHY, who cares why...but WHAT fears am I feeling?? And ask yourself, is this a productive fear? Is this fear a REAL fear? Is it going to help me, protect me, improve my life? IF NOT, let it go. Delete it. Its not real, it's not helping you, who cares why it's there, it's not from your body so LET IT GO.
    If it is real, if its telling you something, or protecting you, or a consequence of something that's not quite right, keep it. It's meant to be there. To keep you and your family safe. To help you make decisions from your gut and your heart, not your fearful brain. Acknowledge it and reflect on it, and the fear will work itself out, and do its job. Listen to what it's telling you.
    The more you sort through your authentic fears/anxiety and get rid of the phonies, the more room there is for that little voice, for that feeling that tells you what is right for you. And more room for joy. And creativity. And love. And peace. And humor. And productivity.
    It's alot easier said than done, but in my humble opinion it's what ailing us.

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  51. And GO BRIDGET for being brave enough to put it all out there and giving us the courage to do the same!

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  52. I've been struggling with feeling like this recently too .. I'm 41 and single and childless NOT by choice.. and I feel like .. while I KNOW it's going to happen.. I feel truly that it WILL.. I don't know when. But it kind of needed to happen yesterday. Or 10 years ago. And the clock is ticking wayyyy loud. And I'm scared at the same time (I had a difficult past). It all feels like a mess but I know God's got it under control. Ugh. Thanks for being so real, Bridget. It's so easy for me, a 'career' woman to think you moms have it all together, when in reality, we all struggle in some way or another.x

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  53. Thanks for this honest post. In the past year I've been diagnosed with generalized anxiety disorder and I've come to learn that the worst part is the feeling of isolation and the misconception that no one else feels this way.

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  54. What an inspiration you are, Bridget! I have the hardest time sharing about myself.... its a work in progress but it fills me with all sorts of anxiety. My hormone situation has been all out of whack since Na was born and I am just now starting to get it under control. Up until this point for half of my cycle I would be filled with a ridiculous amount of anxiety over ridiculous kinds of things... And thats just not who I am. Or who I want to be. Lets just punch those negative, self depreciating thoughts in the face together, shall we? You rock my socks, Mrs. Hunt. Rock. My. Socks.

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  55. Sister. You know me and the worry and anxiety. Now that I'm home all day with 2 kiddosy fear is that I'm not good enough. I did really good in the beginning at learning to be still but my plate has recently filled back up and it's just too much. Too too much. I feel like I've ruined my relationship with Easton. Emerson takes so much time and requires a lot of me. When she goes to sleep I want to do something for me. Shower. Laundry. Eat. But that leaves Easton alone and entertaining himself. All day long. At the end of the day I look back and feel so sad for him. I mourn the time when it was just him. I wouldn't trade Emerson for anything in this world. But I just haven't gotten that rhythm with 2 yet. It's so hard. I don't know how moms with lots of kids do it. Anyways. Typing this out I think I have fear or anxiety of being still. Not being busy enough. Yet. In the midst of too much busy all I want is to be still. I want nothing to do. I want to rock my baby because there is nothing else to do. I want to play Legos with my almost 4 year old because I can. My gracious ever forgiving ever loving 4 year old. God bless his soul. So. Sister. You aren't alone. I love you for this post. And all these responses I've read through. You, my friend, have a heart of gold. Love you bridge!

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  56. Love the conversation start-ups here. I'm assuming you follow Momastery and am guessing you've seen her latest "Sacred Scared" progject. If not, it's pretty sweet.

    Up until a year ago, I touted myself as "the only one in my family NOT on mental health meds." And then fear/panic/anxiety/depression/all of the above struck a year ago and I've now tasted Xanax and a hint of agoraphobia. Obviously, based on my career path, I'm always seeking out the holistic answers. On top of prayer. I'm excited to soon write a blog post on natural and soothing remedies for anxiety, for when it is health-related. I'm so sold on the gut-brain connection, it's crazy.

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talk to me.

(also! if you have a question, check back as i usually answer it here!)

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