Name: Wendi H.
Occupation: Non-profit Program Manager
Tell us your story:
I’ve knowingly struggled with anxiety and panic attacks since my late teens/early twenties. Now that I can better verbalize my early feelings and experiences I realize I actually struggled with anxiety all through childhood. I believe my anxiety and panic attacks are results of underlying childhood traumas (loss of a parent when I was 8 years old and childhood abuse).
After the birth of my daughter I was thrilled to leave an unfulfilling career in television and be a stay at home mom. Little did I know, I’d tied up my whole identity in having a successful career and suddenly it felt like I had no idea who I was. This led me into an ongoing journey with depression and heightened anxiety and panic attacks and extreme paranoia.
I’m learning to love all of me, even the super vulnerable parts. I’m learning to be a working mom. I’m learning to be a more forgiving and communicative spouse.
I’m grateful for this community and for the opportunity to lift up one another.
What advice would you give another woman who is going through a similar experience?
Post its. During my darkest days I’d put encouraging post it notes all over my house. Things like:
“you are safe.”
“You are loved.”
“Just do the next right thing.”
Is there anything else you would like our readers to know?
One of the greatest lessons I have learned (am learning) is to talk to and about myself the way I would talk to or about my child.