I’ve been hesitant about sharing this, because I haven’t been sure how to broach the subject. This is a tough one. This was going to be a post about chinos, but hey…I feel like getting hardcore on ya’ll and talking about something more – about something that has affected my life and possibly has been a trial in your life, as well.
I have anxiety. It was recently diagnosed as Generalized Anxiety Disorder, but I’ve been dealing with it since childhood. I realized relatively recently that I must have been having panic attacks all those times growing up, when I would all of the sudden feel like I was losing control, became short of breath, start sweating profusely and would have to lay on the cold bathroom floor until it passed…and that it was not simply a low blood sugar problem. like I had thought. It’s not something I’d really faced head-on, because it’s not something I realized may be a problem for me…that is, until after having our third baby. It was then that I realized I was having more bad days than good and that the way I was feeling inside was something I needed to confront and seek help for.
So. I did. I went to see a doctor…and it was hard. It was really difficult to not only confront the fact that I wasn’t able to handle life, but also to have to tell someone else that fact. Thankfully, I have a very gracious, cool doc that handled it with a very laid-back and chill attitude. That helped a lot. I’ve been taking a low dose of anti-anxiety medication since then and it has helped. It’s not this miraculous difference, but it has taken the edge off. That said, anxiety has this way of creeping up inside of me on random days, regardless.
I try to explain it to others, but it’s difficult to do so. That’s almost the most frustrating thing about it, because you want to give a reason or an excuse for how you feel, but anxiety doesn’t provide you with one. You just know that it makes you feel like shit and you want it to go away, but no. It doesn’t. It persists. It grabs you tight and pulls you under…and getting out of its grasp is quite the challenge. I have to stop, breathe and will myself to relax and enter a more clear mind frame.
It’s fun! ha. No, it sucks. It really, really does.
I always imagine what I’d be like without anxiety. Ya know? Like….wow. I’d probably be this laid-back chick that has like 3 businesses, doesn’t become an exhausted party pooper at 9pm, can approach a group of people without over-think every. little. move. I make. Yeh, hmm…but it’s not me. It never has been, so regardless of what I wish I could be like, it’s not the reality.
I recently read this…
“You either get bitter or you get better. It’s that simple. You take what has been given to you and allow it to make you a better person, or you allow it to tear you down. The choice does not belong to fate, it belongs to you.” –Josh Shipp
It really stuck with me and then I ran into this post…and I was reminded. I am not a victim. I can choose joy in this life and push through the anxiety. I can even grow and flourish, despite it!
That’s really empowering to me.
On that note, or rather not at all, let’s get back to what I was going to talk about originally…I love a good pair of chinos. They’re one of my favorite things in life, chicas. Seriously. I always have a mad love affair with them during the Spring each year (while the entire rest of The Mom Edit team curses them under their breath when I bring them up).
They’re just so good to me! Maybe its the more “borrowed from the boys” look to them coupled with the fact that they’re freakin’ comfortable and can be worn with a simple top that makes me love them so, but IDGAF. lol. I love them.
top: J.Crew Vintage Cotton Tank Top – get this. I have two now. They are perfect for throwing on with anything..and they’re light and comfortable.
sweater: old, but this Michael Stars V-neck Sweater looks awesome.
chinos: Anthropologie Relaxed Chino Pants – can’t love them enough. TTS. *be aware that they seem to fade with each wash (in the green color I have them in, anyways)…which is annoying, but I still love them. Maybe the other colors do not do that? Also, could consider hand washing, which I did not do.
Shop more of my favorites below…
bag: sold out. Just came across this $38 BP. Buckle Saddle Crossbody in cobalt and helloooo. ALSO, the color of this Opia Crossbody is exactly the same as mine…and it’s adorable.
shoes: Lucky Brand Sortia Gladiator Sandal – a favorite of mine…always love a gladiator style for Spring & Summer.
Here’s to us – the ones that have to work through feelings of anxiety on a regular basis. Let’s not let the asshole that it is hold us back from living lives of joy, laughter and peace. Yes, it’s challenging and we have to dig deep some days, but it also has a way of fine-tuning us, don’t you think? I mean, is there one life without difficulty? Nope, so you either smile and rise above or you frown and fret about it. I’m choosing to smile (or at least, doing my utmost best to)…even if it does look like a crooked, quasi-creepy one some days. haha. Ya gotta laugh sometimes.
Find me over on Instagram (@camilledipaola) for more motherhood, style & some of our home…all a bit unfiltered & messy.
Photos by Christina Hussey Photography.
Camille, I had a very similar experience: finally saw a doctor after my second baby but quickly realized…oh, this has been going on all my life. I’m on meds, and they make my life better, and my kids’ lives better, and my husband’s life better. Glad you’ve found your peace.
Thanks so much for sharing about your anxiety. I struggle with it too, and also had it become undeniable after baby #3. I’m fighting my way through it and needed this encouragement today. Thank you and bless you. Rachel PS- I love a good chino too! 😉
Major props to you for talking about it. I’ve battled it for 25 years and it’s been the most challenging thing of my life and I’ve had some doozies, including cancer of one child and burying another. But there is help. And good for you for seeking it out. The mess can help but are no answer. I’ve learned how to keep it somewhat under control but not letting it define you is so important. Best of luck!
Meds I meant
Beautifully and bravely said. It needs to be talked about it more. Thank you for sharing your story.
Thank you for sharing your journey with us. I semi joke that I didn’t get post partum depression but post partum anxiety. It is such a beast to deal with. I started therapy last year and find it so calming to work through my issues with my understanding, thoughtful therapist.
I had post partum anxiety too. I actually read quite a bit about it online after having two babies and feeling completely paralyzed with anxiety. It’s a real thing and something that doesn’t get talked about much. Being a new mom is hard, I wish more women would share their stories. I know there are many of us out there!
Oof, I’ve struggled with anxiety and panic attacks most of my life. Meds are a blessing! Thank you for being open about your story.
Anxiety sucks. I had some undiagnosed throughout my life but Baby #1 brought it along with postpartum depression. Meds helped me too but it didn’t take it all away. Hang in there!!!
Congrats to you for seeing it, experiencing it and finding help! Our number two has anxiety and we realized it about 18 months ago. Therapy, so many tears (out of my face) and lots of Starbucks post-appointments helped me be able to help him. Everyone in the family went to the therapist at some point because everyone lives with it if one person does. He’s learned how to cope better but it’s always there, underneath it all, trying to break free. We’ve come a long way and have a long journey ahead.
Good luck to you and your family. Good on you for doing what needed to be done. Wish it wasn’t so. Much love.
What!? A friend just posted this: http://thoughtcatalog.com/holly-riordan/2017/03/the-strongest-girls-are-the-girls-with-anxiety/
I started getting stress-induced heart palpitations after I started a stressful new job that involves public speaking two years ago. After talking to my doctor I realized that I have anxiety and that I’ve been dealing with it my whole life. I’m on beta blockers now that help with the anxiety and the heart rhythm (but have also unfortunately caused weight gain). They aren’t a cure, but acknowledging the problem and treating it have helped so much. Good luck to you!
P.S. The BP cross body bags are 50% off! So I bought two.
Thanks for sharing a tough situation. I commend you for seeking out help. I commend your doc for providing the care you needed. You are helping women today by your transparency. I know now had I had post partum depression when my daughter was born 24 years ago…no one was talking about it at that time and I dealt with many dark days inside my own head feeling guilty that I was struggling to find joy. Your message gives hope and will be a blessing to many.
You are definitely not the only one! I’ve had anxiety disorder for as long as I can remember. Some days are better than others. I try and remember to ask for help, to take slow and deep breaths, to get sleep and exercise and time outside (these things all help me) and to tell myself that all I can do is my best. I sometimes feel guilty that I’m a stay at home, like I should be out DOING ALL THE THINGS but then I remember that that would make my head crazy and I need to take care of myself. Otherwise I’m no good to anyone. ?
I didn’t even know there was such a thing as postpartum anxiety until I was diagnosed with it a year or so after my second child. I had had anxiety attacks since I was a teenager, but didn’t know it would manifest the way it did after having children. I know it’s hard to ask for help, but I’m so glad you did. This is nothing to be ashamed of. Every one faces something as a mom, but not everyone is willing to share or show it.
Cognitive behavioral therapy was a lifesaver for me. It has made a huge difference. If you haven’t tried it, I highly recommend it. Don’t be too hard on yourself and believe you can do this because you can! We’re all in it with you 🙂
Thank you for sharing your story.. that was very brave. My anxiety tripled when I became a stay-at-home mom! I understand what you’re going through.
This article from Sarah at whoorl.com was a helpful read.
I also found when I cut out a lot of sugar in my diet as well as as going gluten-free that helped a bit too. Hang in there mama
If you are able to see a psychiatrist who specializes in anxiety that will really help you as well. They can help you identify triggers for your anxiety, better coping skills and hopefully less frequent panic attacks.
Thank you so much for sharing your story. I think many of us are dealing with struggles that others either don’t see or don’t understand – so sharing your story gives me a sense of “I’m not alone” which is powerful.
Oh, and your chinos look fab even though I’m not a chinos fan!
Thank you so much for posting this! <3
Thank God for women like you brace enough to start talking about these issues. Thank you for posting this!
Anxiety has been a part of my life for as long as I can remember. I have found enormous relief from Cognitive Behavior Therapy, and I preach about it as often as I can. If you’re able to, consider asking your doctor for a referral to a CBT practitioner. It is a time-limited specific form of therapy that has you confront your thought patterns, deconstruct them, and literally create new pathways in your brain for thoughts to flow. It takes practice, and it has saved my life twice. One day at a time!
Thanks so much for going there, Cam!! I believe that it is so important for people (mamas especially) to speak out about these struggles so we can combat the shame and fear associated with conditions like depression and anxiety. I had post-partum anxiety after my first and third babies, but it took until my third until I reached out for help. I started seeing a therapist and talking through my thoughts really has helped a lot. Also I’m now journaling (now that I’m not seeing my therapist as often) and it really helps me get the thoughts out of my head and work through them in a healthy way. Also meditation and mindfulness – I highly recommend the book “Wherever you go, there you are” about meditation. FABULOUS!!
All the best to you, and thanks again for being vulnerable and sharing your struggles. You rock!!
Thank you so much for sharing. It helps so much to know we are not alone. For what it’s worth, you have always *seemed* to have so much grace and good humor! I used to feel the same way, like I felt anxious so I would look for an outside reason why, when really it was just my brain being an asshole! A low dose of medication has helped me too, just enough that I can work on tools for managing the anxiety without feeling totally overwhelmed. I hope that sharing this publicly will help other struggling mamas!
You are amazing for just talking about this issue. Anxiety is a HUGE boulder of oppression. Not a lot of people understand that. For the longest time I was embarrassed to talk about this with anyone and THAT made my problem even bigger. Fortunately, with time, things have gotten MUCH better. Do not fret! There is a light and it comes in many forms to help you cope. I send a tight squeeze your way. Oh and youre ROCKIN’ the chinos 😉
Thank you so much for sharing your story. I’m totally convinced that (although the fashion is great) people return to The Mom Edit day after day, year after year, for the beautiful, honest, and brave writing. Know that you made a difference in many lives by opening up and being honest.
Yes like many others here….I know how you are feeling…and what its like to deal with…that coupled with depression is like living in a fog then not….meds help but don’t take it away…keep the faith…
Thank you for sharing your story. I think so many people have big challenges – anxiety, depression, physical/medical diagnoses, kids with learning and/or emotional issues, etc. and don’t feel able to speak about them. I think there is this culture of perfection which eliminates the space for people to talk honestly about their challenges for fear of being judged. Which of course continues that damaging cycle. With love, support of all kinds (meds, therapy, etc.) we can get help to persevere, but need to also be able to accept that there will still be hard times and that is really ok.
You are definitely not alone, I struggle with anxiety, too. My husband is a CBT therapist and wrote a workbook last year that could be a good (and affordable) intro for you to CBT:
I also want to second another’s comment regarding diet. I feel that cutting back on sugar, caffeine, and alcohol is helpful (I know, not easy to do, especially for sleep deprived mothers). Also exercise helps, running for me, but I think any cardio offers the same benefits. Thank you for sharing this, Camille, knowing a little more about your personal struggles makes you all the more beautiful in my eyes!
Thank you Cam. I’ve suffered from anxiety and depression since college – although back then I denied it. I fought for years, but finally found medicine and a therapist that were great. Once I wanted to get pregnant, I stopped the medication (and had stopped seeing a therapist once I found some girlfriends in my city that were super supportive). After my daughter, I had post-partum, but stopped the medicine again after a few months, thinking I was okay. But about a year ago, the panic attacks started again, and I was up all night. I recently have upped my medicine just a bit, and hoping that things will be better. Anxiety is so hard to talk about and is so mis-understood, so just thank you for putting a light on it and putting your story out there. As women (whether we are single, married, parents, non-parents, working moms, SAHM), we tend to think we need to put everyone else before ourselves. But if we don’t take care of ourselves, how can we take care of anybody else? Thank you!
Also, love the chinos!!!!
Well done, Cam! I really appreciate when you all use this platform to talk about real life Mom stuff (and clothes). I also suffer from anxiety and didn’t realize it until after the birth of my second child. I, too, looked back on my own childhood and realized I had panic attacks that nobody recognized. It’s so important that we normalize these types of issues. Talk about them openly and without shame. I’ve been working hard to recognize my triggers and develop tactics to deal with them. It helps a lot to view anxiety as a resource and a part of me that makes me ME. All the good and the bad.
Thank you for sharing! So many of us deal with this and the more we speak up, the easier it is to normalize getting help. My husband told me something that really stuck when I was beating myself up for having such bad anxiety…if you broke your arm, would I judge you or be mad at you and ask you to just ‘get over it’? Nope. My life completely changed after I increased the dosage on my medication. I’m back down on a lower dose now but that year on a slightly higher dose broke the cycle (for me). Hugs!
I also second cognitive behavioral therapy. With a higher dose of medication, I was able to actively do the work in therapy and now I’m so, so much better!
Thank you for sharing. I found kiddo number 3 so incredibly hard. 3 was the tipping point. 3 is where all my personality “flaws” I mean realness become glaringly apparent. I am not saying 1 and 2 don’t have their challenges and everyone’s situation is different, but 3 is where I saw myself for who I am whether I like it or not. I saw my strengths(which is super important) and my weaknesses(also super important). I came face to face with my limits, the point at which I finally had to ask for help.
Long time reader, first time poster here. THANK YOU for your bravery, both in the writing and in the living. I can totally relate (both to the anxiety and the love of chinos.) Thanks for being rad.
Yes, yes and yes. Cold bathroom floor. Thinking my sugar dropped. I never knew it was anxiety all of my life until after baby #2 and I had a complete meltdown that lasted 3 months. I’m glad I found the help I needed and a wonderful support system. Glad you have too! Anxiety is a major a-hole but I tell him that I can’t control him but I won’t let him control me either!
Love this. Thanks so much for sharing. I’m there too…
Really appreciate you sharing this. I’ve got a teenager who is dealing with anxiety, and your explanation of not being able to explain it really helps me. I’m hoping that in the future conditions like anxiety and depression will be as easily talked/accepted about as cancer because getting the help one needs is really brave. P.S. I also love how you combined gray with tan as I’ve never thought it would work so well.
I’m with you Cam…thanks for sharing this. After my 3rd, same…hit me like a ton of bricks and daily life was…hard. Mine was more anxiety over health…both mine, my husbands, the kids. It was like the stakes got so high and I couldn’t fathom the loss. The meds do take the edge off but there are still mornings I wake up in a panic and fight or flight mode! I had to change meds a couple times to find one that didn’t have some…err…side effects. Don’t be afraid to ask for something different if you need to! Take care, oh and love the chinos too!!!
This is so incredibly timely and relatable. I had a conversation with a dear friend about exactly this last night, and she and I are both dealing with it. Hers has been her whole life. Mine surfaced after I had my first baby, but I think I’ve started to realize that it’s possible I just didn’t have enough free time to know that I had it when I was younger, as I was on the professional ballet track–left school early, danced 6 days/week for 4-8 hours at a clip–so any free time I had was spent doing school work, sleeping, and eating-lol. I’ve noticed that my anxiety seems to surface more when I have a lot of downtime, because that’s when my evil brain is idle enough to start its bullshit with me. I also started getting terrible heart palpitations 2 years ago, and was finally diagnosed with tachycardia (which seems largely related to stress), and since starting my beta blockers, I do feel a lot more… level. Not having the heart issues helps for sure, as it was such a vicious cycle–I’m already stressed, then the heart symptoms start which stresses me more–and at one point in time when I finally started tracking them I was having about 20 or so episodes per day! I was so averse to meds… like I wanted NOTHING to do with them, but honestly, I finally realized that if taking one tiny little pill per day can have such a positive effect on my daily life, then why the hell not?? Lord knows I’ve put way worse stuff in my body!
So yeah, wasn’t planning on penning this novel, but I guess sometimes a girl’s just gotta word vomit, right? Anyway, thanks, Cam, for sharing this at a time when I really needed to read it. May your journey (and all the rest of ours in the many comments above) to health be a smooth one. Talking about it is good. Knowing that other people can relate is even better. 🙂 <3
I don’t have anxiety but my kid does. Not major but something we definitely have to keep monitoring. It does suck but knowing how to get help and deal (and share so that others don’t feel alone) is BIG. If my son grows up with increased anxiety issues, he will certainly be thankful for individuals like you who help keep things in a positive and relatable light. *hugs*
Like the chinos, but love your honesty and sharing. I’ve written a lot about my struggles with depression and anxiety, as well as my efforts to move through it. Making ourselves vulnerable, is a great way to show that we really are in this together, and allow others to be vulnerable in return. Great post!
What a cute outfit!! I love the tips for adding pieces or knowing when to pass…
I would like to thank you for the efforts you had made for writing this awesome article
Thank you for this update. I always like to read posts that share useful information.
The article you have shared here very awesome
This is really amazing for everyone
This is really great work.Thank you for sharing such a useful information here in the blog
Thanks for your helpful sharing. I have read that knowledge very much, it gives me a lot of things.
I would love to discuss the topic you share. with lots of good information and updates.