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242 – How mom anxiety is like reliving a drunken night

I Don’t know about you, but I had a few handful of drunken nights back in college. And what I found after having anxiety as a mom…stick with me here, there is a link… is that recounting my episodes of anxiety are very much like recounting a drunken night from back in college. And Mama’s Daily Dose is… how mom anxiety is like reliving a college drunken night. Let’s get movin before we get interrupted.

Okay, So picture this. You wake up after a fun night with your friends, you’re all sitting around eating your breakfast burritos (at least that’s what we did in San Diego) or whatever greasy food helps your hangover. And you start recounting the drunken night from before. And you’re like, super embarrassed by some things. But it’s also like really compelling. You’re like, Okay, this is interesting. I’m in this plotline. I see how I could keep going that way. It’s super embarrassing. But I keep going there. And then you know what, I’m probably going to do it again next weekend. 

And that was a lot like recounting my anxiety, when I would go through the stories or tell my husband or my therapist, or whomever, I would say, “I felt super crazy in the moment. But I kept going with it. It was so compelling.” I was a little embarrassed to admit how long I would stick on this subject. I would think that my husband got in a car accident. So then I would have to pack up my kids. Do I take them to the hospital? Do I drop them off at a neighbor’s house? What am I going to do? Do I bring the pump? Do I bring my baby with me? And everything just seems so logical. But I also felt crazy. And recounting it. I was like, I mean, that’s kind of embarrassing that I spent that much time on that. Kind of like my drunken night in college. It was a little embarrassing some of the things that we did, right? But I did them again. The next weekend, I would go do those stupid drunken things. And then the next day, I would go through and go down that rabbit hole of anxiety too, because they are also compelling. Those stories, they keep you engaged, no matter how gruesome or embarrassing they are.

Mama, your action today is to recount one of your drunken escapades from when you’re younger. Not really. I mean, you can do that. It could be fun, or super embarrassing. The real action today is to accept those anxieties and those worries, they are compelling, because they soothe us. In a weird way you can be like, “Meghan, No, this is crazy. This is not helping me!” But it does soothe you kind of in the way that a pacifier can soothe a crying baby or toddler. It is there to protect you. It is a protection mechanism. And accepting that and accepting that anxiety is something that is just trying to protect you is the first step to healing. And have a great day free of mama guilt because you deserve it.

Rather listen than read? Listen to the podcast here:

Mama’s Daily Dose

Meghan Q Barrett is Mom Success Coach and Connector who helps mamas create a life they love as “mom” AND an individual without the mom guilt. She connects mamas from all around the world so you can share your stories in a safe, supportive space.

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