My name is Maggie. And I suffer from anxiety. Yes, suffer. I’ve lost relationships because of anxiety. I’ve hurt people because of anxiety. In general I might say I’m an awesome person, except for the anxiety. It has kept me from accomplishing a lot of what I’ve wanted to do in life.
The anxious person doesn’t handle pressure well. It eats them alive. I’ve come to be afraid to say no. My logic stands as this: You say no when asked something. Then, you’re hit with pressure. The more you say no, the more you are pressured into doing something you’re uncomfortable with, or not ready to do. If you say no, you’re screwed. Easier to skip that whole process and anxiety attack and just go with it.
For those around the anxious person, or in this case mother, mother-to-be, teenage girl, etc., dealing with this person can be rough. You have to be careful. I consider myself an extreme case, but then again, I’m a little dramatic. (Since everyone is different I shall start referring to myself).
In my case, being put on the spot is the worst thing you could do. I need time to think about things, especially now that I’m a mom and usually things involve him. I have to take the time to think, is this a good idea for me? Is this a good idea for him? Demanding a response right then and there involves pressure. My heart is racing just thinking about being pressured. You force me to either say maybe or yes. Maybe means “I don’t really want to, but I’ll think more about it and get back to you.” Yes either means: “yes!” or “I don’t feel like dealing with you anymore. I’m saving myself.” If I say no, well, read the above again if you don’t know what happens.
The next terrible thing you could do to an anxious mother: Not give her the space she asked for. If people would just wait until I’m ready, things could be a lot easier on everyone. I wouldn’t feel pressured, which as you know I hate, and things might happen a little sooner. Otherwise, I have been known to push people away until it never happens, or the pressure builds and I cave. I may cave and you might get your way, but emotionally I’m a train wreck.
Next, Don’t ask, “are you ready yet?” because you know what that is? Pressure.
I’m not sure why I have to say this, but I don’t think people get it. Don’t pressure me into taking my baby somewhere where the flu could be lurking, just waiting to attack me and my baby. I may have had the flu shot, but my worst flu ever was when I got the flu shot one year. Also, they don’t make the flu shot for infants. Sorry not sorry we’re safe and happy in our bubble.
Passive aggressive comments about seeing the baby aren’t going to help you. You’ll just upset me and piss everyone else off.
Read this post and have all of the tips down pat. Then offer to help me with something specific. I get nervous asking people for help for fear of being too needy. If you get a “no, I’m not ready,” check the above about waiting until I’m ready. If you get a yes but I haven’t gotten back to you about when, chances are I forgot. So kindly remind me.
Be considerate. Be thoughtful. Be encouraging. I might become less anxious.
Now accepting donations so I can wear this shirt and alarm those around me: